With Instant Articles, Facebook gives companies a way to post content directly to the social media network rather than linking to it from their website. Instant Articles load up to 10 times faster than linked content, a change that Facebook said it implemented to dramatically improve the mobile device user experience. During an initial roll out phase, Instant Articles were only available to major media brands; in April 2016, it was announced that the feature is now available to all users. This means small businesses can publish their blog posts or other content that appears on their website via Instant Articles. Here are some of the ways Instant Articles can benefit small businesses:
After a year of use, the first sets of stats related to Instant Article performance are becoming available. IGN, a provider of video game and entertainment content, has reportedly seen their Instant Articles reaching 12 percent of their audience, compared to an average of 7 percent reach for traditional linked articles. Facebook says that they’re not prioritizing Instant Articles algorithmically, which means any increase in reach is due to more users reading and sharing the content.
Creating articles, graphics, and other rich content that’s relevant and interesting to your customers requires a significant amount of effort. Facebook requires that every piece of content shared via Instant Articles is also hosted on the business’ website, which means every time your Instant Article is shared, a link to your website is shared as well. WordPress is currently developing a plug-in to enable publishing content to your website and Instant Articles simultaneously; it’s currently in beta-testing stage but is expected to be fully available later this spring.
See an increase in web traffic
Popsugar, a media outlet specializing in entertainment and celebrity news, saw traffic to its mobile website increase 36 percent because of Instant Articles, according to a recent Digiday report. Talk to your web developer before launching Instant Articles to make sure your site is robust enough to handle the increase in visitors seamlessly. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you can capitalize on this surge with additional compelling content, eye catching calls to action and data capture opportunities, such as an invitation to sign up for regular emails.
Get richer feedback
Facebook provides companies with information on Instant Article reach and engagement, time spent in each article, how much of each article is read, and engagement with rich media assets like photos and videos. Additionally, Instant Article data is incorporated into Facebook Page and Domain insights, giving business owners the opportunity to review geographic and demographic information about who’s reading their content.
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