How to Monetize Using Facebook’s Instant Articles

Facebook released Instant Articles to publishers as a way to showcase interactive articles within the social network. The intent was to improve how articles are read from Facebook by placing fast loading articles within the app, and not redirecting users to an external website.

And, as Facebook does, they found a way to not only improve user experience but also to make money. 

Don’t worry, though. Facebook and users aren’t the only ones who can profit from Instant Articles. Using Audience Network, which is an ad network originally created to help showcase and manage ads on apps, Facebook can display an ad you create or an ad from one of the 4 million advertisers within an article.

Before we get too ahead of ourselves and your vision begins to blur into dollar signs, let’s first dive into how one must become a publisher and publish Instant Articles.

How Can I Become a Publisher? 

Becoming a publisher for Instant Articles requires a few steps to setup. The process itself can be a little time consuming, especially when deciding on design and monetization, but it’s worth the headache to become a publisher. 

Here’s a basic breakdown of how to become a Publisher for Instant Articles:

  1. Sign Up. First, you’ll need to sign up to become a publisher here and designate which Business Page (if you manage multiple) you want to publish Articles for.
  2. Grant Access. Working with a team? Designate roles to each member of the team so they can access the Instant Articles tools in their Business Manager account. Add additional team members and setup roles in the “Page Roles” section of the Business Page’s settings.2016-09-30_10-31-50
  3. Download the App. If you haven’t already and are an admin of a Business Page, download the Page Manager App to your mobile device. Not only do you need to manage Business Pages on-the-go through your mobile device, but you’ll also want to preview the Instant Articles on mobile and can do so using the app.
  4. Connect Your Site. With a unique code provided by Facebook, add the meta tag to the <head> tag in the website’s HTML. This is similar to the process of adding conversion pixels to an ad account on Facebook, so you may need a web developer’s assistance if you’re not familiar with coding. After the code is installed, add the website’s URL during the setup process of Instant Articles.2016-09-30_10-35-12
  5. Design the look. Facebook makes it easy for businesses to stick to their branded colors, font, and style by allowing Instant Articles to have custom styles. Once you create one style, you can save it and reuse it for all future articles. Add a new style template for each article or keep branding aligned using the same template.2016-09-30_10-37-25
  6. Format the Article and Import. This is going to be the most complex step of the Instant Article setup process because it requires you to look at and create code. Anti-coders have no fear! Facebook has plenty of resources to help with this step and ensure the article is published to your liking. Get creative during this step and add interactive elements like slideshows, maps, and geotagged media to the article.
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How Do I Use the Audience Network For ROI?

Once you’ve become a publisher and imported 5 articles, Facebook requires a minimum of 5 articles in the Production library before you can submit for review, you can start working on the advertising side of things. You’ll need to have a clear understanding of how Facebook’s Audience Network works to understand the advertising process.

Think of Audience Network similar to the idea of display ads. Create native ads that fit within an article’s page or setup parameters that allow advertisers to show their ads within your article. Designate what type of advertisers are allowed to show their ads within your article, making sure it stays relevant to your demographic.

With over 4 million advertisers on Facebook now, you can afford to be picky when it comes to choosing what ads appear alongside your content. Facebook lets you designate a “block list” of advertiser types you don’t want included on articles and gives you plenty of analytics to review performance by country and placement over specific time frames for future ad decisions.

How Do I Create My Own Ads? 

Video ads, animated ads, and banner ads can be created by publishers and sold by their sales team. If you have a team of great ad designers, this may be an option to make additional revenue. Publishers get to keep 100% of the revenue generated by ads they sell themselves.

To display these ads in Instant Articles, use the Ad element to designate the position for the ad within your article. The ad will be served from your designated URL and will be labeled “Sponsored”, similar to ad content in Newsfeeds that clarifies it’s an advertisement and not a part of the original content.

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How Do I Show Other Advertiser’s Ads?

Using ads that match your audience, the Audience Network displays ads from the 4 million Facebook advertisers within your Instant Article. And, get paid for it. You’re readers won’t be turned off by the ads because of their relevance and you’ll be able to profit from other advertisers on your own content.

Audience Network ads are displayed within a webview as a user scrolls into the reader’s view on their mobile device.

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When Will I Get Paid For the Ads?

Audience Network pays out monthly for ad revenue, usually landing on the third week of each month for the previous month’s revenue.

About Ashley Ward

Ashley is the CEO & Founder of Madhouse Matters, an online-marketing company specializing in helping businesses develop their brand and presence online. In her spare time you'll find her researching the next big update, indulging in several different IPAs, and planning her next adventure.

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