The Strategy Behind Facebook Instant Articles Monetization

We're in a very lucky position at RebelMouse because normally you get to only see your own data. We're able to see what's happening across a huge set of web properties with different audiences, missions, strategies, and teams all over the world. We share our learnings in strategy sessions with clients where we brainstorm on how to make this information and these trends applicable to their business.

There is a lot of noise going around about Facebook Instant Articles not performing well. But what we're actually seeing is quite beautiful in many cases. We have clients experiencing up to $25 CPM — and even $35 — on Instant Articles now. They're achieving those numbers not through a sales team, but rather with effective content on sites that are perfectly optimized for social — and this absolutely includes a seamless Instant Articles configuration. Across the board, we're seeing sites hold a healthy $5 CPM a day, and some even regularly come in at $10.


How + Why Instant Articles Work

Let's be clear though: To get the most out of Instant Articles, you have to go 100% all in — every article has to be posted as an Instant Article. This means a video at the top of the post is essential, followed by content worth reading. But this means more than just a set of embeds — you also need correct context and voice your audience thinks is worth scrolling for. And it's especially important to configure your ad units so they display evenly throughout your content to the right audiences.

It's a battle-tested formula that's working for all of our clients: video + engaging, intelligently-designed copy = $ on Instant Articles.

But again, you really have to stick to the formula. Low pagespeed, no Facebook pixel installed, and poor design will all work against your goal of getting better CPM.

How Facebook's Audience Network Works

Collectively, we've all told Facebook more than we probably should have. We haven't learned to lie to Facebook. So the platform knows a lot about us: what we like, what we hate, what disgusts or delights us, and on which days.

Facebook is going to kill Google, because it won't be long before the social giant takes its Audience Network to mobile and desktop to outperform Google with ads that aren't embarrassing. What's important for you is to focus on creating and building an audience that resonates with your content. Repeat visits, loyalty, and engagement are everything in today's social world.

It Won't Work for Everyone

We're still not totally positive about why one out of twenty sites get really terrible CPM on Facebook Instant Articles, with some even dipping below $1. It's rare, and to be honest, it's usually connected to a problem surrounding either being in a developing country or having content in a foreign language. More commonly, it's a problem with original content that just doesn't attract high engagement.

How Long Should Your Test Last?

One month of commitment could change everything for your business, and is often enough time with Instant Articles to know if it's the right space for you.

REMINDER: You have to really do it properly to see meaningful results from Facebook Instant Articles. At RebelMouse, we offer configuration, implementation, and strategy services to make sure you see ROI from your efforts.