How to use Instant Articles to your Advantage

We’ve been talking a lot about quick loading articles recently, with a series on AMP as well as a Q and A coming up on our Facebook page this month. Another version of this exists out there specifically created by Facebook to improve their user experience, these are known as Instant Articles.

How do Instant Articles Work?

The way in which instant articles work is quite similar to AMP, though Facebook have chosen to keep this technology closed instead of open source. This means that when you’re using AMP, you have more understanding and control over the technology.

Instant articles are created by Facebook, you provide them with an acceptable page and they make changes to allow them to load faster. Understandably, this isn’t always viewed in a positive light, as some webmasters want more control over how the finished product is displayed.

Using them to your Advantage

These instant articles can be highly useful, you only need to look at the likes of Buzzfeed to see how massively their users interact with listicles, clickbait and celebrity gossip. Facebook is most often used on a mobile device and generally speaking, this means that we have a much shorter attention span.

This means that we won’t be waiting around for long for content to load, as we’re looking for that instant gratification. On top of this, we also often use Facebook when we’re out and about with our mobile data, which means stripped down sites are faster to load and use less of our data.

Therefore, it’s clear to see why these articles are good for the user and this means that Facebook will give priority to these articles as they provide a better user experience.

Higher CTR on Articles

Although these instant articles are quite new, they’re already showing some promising results. Not only do people use Facebook more than any other platform to discover content, instant articles can lead to a 20% increase in click through rates.

Of course, you still need to motivate your users to make this leap over to the article with an engaging headline and eye catching graphics. This is the cornerstone of good content, but quick loading speeds can definitely help in the process.

Give your Users an Immersive Experience

One of the main benefits of using instant articles is that it creates an immersive experience for you user. You’re not being shunted from pillar to post, from app to browser, instead you have a seamless transition from the newsfeed to the story.

Although this may seem like a small difference, it makes a big difference on a subconscious level. It creates an overall richer experience, making your user more likely to click and enjoy the content in future.

Make it Interactive and Engaging

Within instant articles, we have the option to add all sorts of immersive media. This includes panoramic images, video and maps. These all help your user to enjoy the content and potentially lead to a conversion further down the line.

Think about things that you could add to your text article to give your user something extra. If it’s about a service you offer then show them all about it with a video or GIF, if you want them to visit you then add a map.

Advertising with Instant Articles

We’re seeing a big push on the part of Facebook to make these articles attractive to their users, which means they’re getting further organic reach. Although there are no confirmations as of yet, this may also mean that advertising costs are reduced when using these articles.

It’s a logical conclusion that the higher click through rate and engagement with these articles means that they will be cheaper to advertise with. This is an experimental time, both for users and for the platform itself, so join in on the experiment and you may get some financial perks for your advertising budget.

Instant articles may seem like they’re a bit daunting, but they offer a lot of rewards to those willing to use them. If you’d like to implement them into your social strategy then just get in touch with us. Request a free consultation and we can have a chat through the practicalities of using these handy innovations.

 

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