Premium ads are placed on the Facebook homepage, lead with a social context and are larger than traditional marketplace ads.
They are paid for on a CPM (cost per mille), rather than CPC (cost per click), basis, allowing brands to reach a bigger audience. Premium ads are also the only format that can be served to mobile users.
Until now, advertisers needed to contact a Facebook sales representative to place a premium ad and there were minimal opportunities for optimisation once the ad had gone live.
By using online tools, Facebook could potentially allow advertisers the chance to optimise their ads throughout a campaign and tailor content for different users.
For Facebook, this means it should be able to expand the use of its premium advertising products without the need to hire too many extra team members. Expanding the offer would allow for more testing, which could yield better results.
Facebook’s preferred marketing developers, such as TBG Digital, Adobe and Buddy Media, are also set to benefit from the change, by offering their big-spending clients more prominent ad placements.
Simon Mansell, CEO of TBG Digital, says the changes are positive news for brands.
“Premium inventory is better quality as it’s the first ad people see and is by itself on the page instead of with six other ads. [The changes also mean] advertisers can test 20,000 ad variations rather than five and work out which messages are resonating with audiences,” he adds.
Separately, Facebook is also reported to be launching an ad tracker tool to help brands measure the impact of their campaigns on the social network.
Marketers have been calling on Facebook to provide them with more case studies and data to prove how their social media campaigns positively affect their wider business goals.
Advertisers are crucial to Facebook’s success as a newly publicly listed company, with advertising accounting for around 85% of its current revenue.