Facebook Instant Articles or Facebook Notes—which should your business use?
With marketers continuously looking for new ways to leverage their content marketing strategies, all developments in publishing platforms must be evaluated. Facebook is a social media giant and an influential marketing platform. Despite its ubiquity, Facebook offers features that are undervalued for content marketing purposes. Those features? Facebook Notes and Facebook Instant Articles. First, let’s very simply define each tool. Then, we will explore the highlights with pro-con lists.
Facebook Instant Articles
This feature launched in May 2015 with a few select companies like BuzzFeed and National Geographic. One year later, Facebook released their global rollout. According to Wikipedia, Instant Articles are posts created so “people browsing Facebook in its mobile app can see the entire article within Facebook’s app, with formatting very similar to that on the publisher’s website.” The posts are copies of your company’s blog articles that live on Facebook (think LinkedIn’s Pulse). Instant Articles are only shown to mobile users; the articles are read within Facebook. The user does not click out of the Facebook platform to read the articles.
Notes have been a Facebook fixture for years. They are teasers of the blog articles from your website or supplemental articles created to complement the content marketing that resides on your website. These snippets and articles live on your Facebook business page in the Notes section and link the reader back to your website to read the full article or related content.
Pros and Cons
- The articles load 10 times faster within Facebook than clicking off to your website
- The user doesn’t have to leave Facebook to read your article
- There is 70% less abandonment since the read does not have to leave the Facebook app
- You can use your Google Analytics to track the data, just like on your website
- The setup is quite technical and requires knowledge of HTML
- The articles have to reside inside Instant Articles and on your website’s blog
- You must be approved by Facebook, and the initial approval requires 10 articles to be submitted
- Does not build links back to your website
- Facebook has 1.8 billion active users
- Your content can show up in Facebook’s news feed on desktop (non-mobile) devices
- It builds links back to your website, which helps with SEO and content marketing efforts
- Facebook could remove the Notes app at any time, so you would not want to use it in place of your blog.
- There is little way to customize the content in Notes.
- You cannot connect Notes to your Google Analytics to integrate the data.
Some companies may find cause to use both features, but any decision between the two will likely come down to what your specific goals are. Both are valuable; Instant Articles are read to completion more frequently, while Notes have greater potential to drive traffic to your website. How you weigh your opportunity to educate the public against the importance of drawing web traffic is a key dividing line here.
Unless you are pretty technical and know HTML, stick with Notes for the time being. Build Notes content into your content marketing strategy and optimize the opportunities that come from integrating Facebook content and your website.