If you’re wondering how to use Facebook Instant Articles to get more traffic to your website, we’ve got everything you should know.
As digital publishers search for creative ways to increase website traffic, audience engagement, and revenue, one approach that keeps coming up involves Facebook Instant Articles. Instant Articles aren’t necessarily new, in fact the platform has been around for years, but up until recently this has been an under-utilized tool in the digital publisher’s toolbox.
If you haven’t heard of Facebook Instant Articles before, you’re not alone. Most publishers don’t realize they could be posting articles directly to the Facebook platform as a way to increase engagement and revenue.
Facebook Instant Article is a native publishing platform with interactive features like auto-play video and tap-to-zoom image galleries. It was initially developed to help solve the problem of content loading slowly on the mobile web. According to Facebook’s own data, Instant Articles receive 20% more clicks than mobile web articles from the News Feed, and these articles are shared 30% more than mobile web articles. The content that publishers distribute with Instant Article must be published on their own websites first.
Instant Articles are HTML documents that load quickly in Facebook. They give publishers an opportunity to share content and tell stories in a custom, branded way that renders extremely fast on mobile devices. Instant Articles use a standard markup language that’s similar to XML to apply different styles and interactive features to the stories that publishers publish.
The Facebook Instant Article program is open to a wide range of news publishers, including legacy publishers and younger digital media startups. In most cases, publishers treat Instant Article as one part of a larger, holistic content distribution strategy. That means very few publishers are relying solely on this feature for content distribution and monetization. We all know how fickle social media companies can be, and how a simple algorithm change or update can put a publication’s entire strategy in jeopardy. That’s why experts tend to recommend that publishers treat Facebook Instant Article as a single piece of a larger distribution pie and that they closely track metrics like page views and revenue generated by Instant Articles published on the Facebook mobile app.
If you are a news publisher and you’re interested in publishing your articles on Facebook Instant Article, follow these steps:
Step 1: Sign up with Facebook to start creating Instant Articles.
Step 2: Choose which Facebook page you want to activate Instant Articles on and provide the URL you plan to use for articles.
Step 3: Sync your website with Instant Articles using Facebook’s publishing tools, an RSS feed, or an API. Completing this process means your articles can be published directly from within your CMS, so you won’t need to recreate them on Facebook. If you’re a WordPress user, you can use this plugin to streamline the process even further.
Step 4: Submit your feed for Facebook’s review.
Reasons to Use Facebook Instant Article
Digital publishers are using Facebook Instant Article to expand their audiences and drive more engagement among mobile users. Facebook has also developed a number of monetization opportunities for publishers who leverage its platform. For example, publishers can sell ads in their content. When they sell ads on their own, publishers keep 100% of the revenue. When publishers work through Facebook’s Audience Network, Facebook takes a 30% cut.
Another important reason why publishers are using Instant Article is to grow their readership. Facebook Instant Articles load incredibly fast on mobile, and we know that load speed is important for digital sites. Fast load times lead to less abandonment and more clicks.
Instant Articles also support email sign up forms, so publishers can grow their newsletters and capture more data about their readers.
If you are interested in learning more about Facebook Instant Articles, including the eligibility requirements for publishers to participate, click here.