Take advantage of Facebook’s Instant Articles
Friday, July 21, 2017
Facebook wants to do it all. They want to be the place you connect with your friends — and where you discover new products (and buy them directly on Facebook).
So, it makes sense that Facebook wants to be the place that publishes the news, not just shares it. In short, that's what Facebook's Instant Articles are all about. Instant Articles allow you to publish immersive content and stories right to Facebook. However, this content type can only be seen if opened in the Facebook app.
Instant Articles aren't given priority in the News Feed, like videos are, but the statistics Facebook boasts are impressive. The articles load 10 times faster, and people in the U.S. and Canada click and read over 25 percent more Instant Articles than mobile web articles. Plus, once the articles are opened, people are 70 percent less likely to abandon them midway.
Because Facebook deeply believes in the performance of Instant Articles, they're rolling out a new tool, which allows you to compare the performance of Instant Articles with their mobile web equivalents. With this new data, now is the perfect time to test and learn if Instant Articles will work for your brand.
Now, let's get started below!
How to set up Facebook Instant Articles
While most features on Facebook are relatively easy-peasy, Instant Articles take some legwork to initiate. And if you have developers or designers, they'll be a big help with this.
Here are the exact steps to follow to get started with Instant Articles. Remember, the setup is worth it — 25 percent more clicks!
- Sign up for Instant Articles. Then, go to your Business Manager page, and click "Publishing Tools."
- Click "Configuration" on the left-hand side so you can connect to your website. You need to copy/paste the code into your website's HTML. There is a plug-in you can use if you're on WordPress.
- On the same page, scroll until you see "Styles." Click "Add Style," and develop the look and feel of your Instant Articles. You can customize everything from logo placement to texts and colors.
- Import five articles. The easiest way to do this is to connect your website's RSS Feed to Instant Articles. There are a few plug-ins that could work for you, too. Or if you have a developer on your team, have them use the Instant Articles API to publish directly from your content management system.
- Once your articles are there, use this Submission Checklist to make sure they'll pass the test. Bring your story to life by adding video, photos and social embeds. When you're ready, see how they look using the Pages Manager app on your phone. Once you submit, Facebook reviews your first five Instant Articles within two days.
- Once approved, continue to edit your imported Instant Articles to get the look just right. Again, use the Pages Manager app to see how they look before publishing. Instant Articles don't post to your News Feed automatically. So, be sure to post them on your page just like you would with any other content type.
- If you please, monetize your Instant Articles by including ads.
- Use this tool to see if your Instant Articles are, in fact, performing better than their mobile alternatives.
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