Monetizing your Instant Articles- Answering the Million Dollar Questions

In the digital age, content creation is one of the most sought after ways of generating revenue. Bloggers, writers, photographers, videographers and many other content creators are creating content across various platforms and monetizing them successfully. The Facebook Instant Articles is another platform for content creation that is gaining massive popularity. Several content creators from across the globe are adopting Facebook Instant Articles as one of their content creation platforms. If you are new here and don’t understand what this is about, check out our Introduction to Facebook Instant Articles.

The most important question that plagues the mind of most of these content creators is:

How do I monetize Facebook Instant Articles?

Articles, blogs and other text-based content are generally monetized by one of these two ways:

  • Direct-sold ads
  • Branded content

The good news for all content creators is that Facebook allows you to monetize your Instant Articles in both the ways. More importantly, Facebook lets the publishers and content creators retain 100% of the revenue generated from the ads on their content.

Let us take a closer look.

Direct-sold ads

Advertisements are one of the primary sources of income for all content creators and publishers. Direct sold ads in digital content have been working wonders for the large publishers till now. Facebook’s Instant Articles provides you the same level of flexibility and revenue to incorporate your direct sold ads into your content.

Publishers can use video ads, animated ads and banner ads that have been sold by their teams. The publishers are entitled to retain 100% of the revenue generated from these advertisements. The “Ad” element can be utilized to designate the ads to their respective positions inside the articles. The ads will be served from the designated URL. The ad will be rendered under the sponsored heading thereby letting the reader know that it is an advertisement.

Branded content

Branded Content is nothing but sponsored content about a particular product/service. Media companies, publishers and influencers publish branded content as a way of generating revenue from their content.

On Facebook, any verified page with the blue tick mark can publish branded content. Publishers should make sure that the branded content adheres to the branded content policy of Facebook.

Instant Articles advantage

Verified pages are already using branded content as a great source of revenue. Why should they adopt Facebook Instant Articles to publish their branded content?

A fair question for anyone to ask. Facebook answers this query with an article styling toolset that allows you to uniquely stylize your branded content for fast and interactive Instant Articles experience. Given the high click and share rate of Instant Articles, it would provide an advantage for publishers to start using Instant Articles.

The following are some of the advantages that Instant Articles are providing for branded content:

Article Style Editor

This tool allows the designing of visually appealing branded content in your Instant Articles. Facebook also comes up with a promise of several additional features to this editor in the coming month that includes support for several new colors, text and spacing features. A real-time preview tool that allows an instant view of edits is an interesting addition that is in the list of Facebook’s promised updates.

branded content

Native support for marketer’s logo

Whenever you mark a sponsor’s name on the Instant Articles, it automatically populates the sponsor logo from their Facebook page. This leads to a very native experience to the reader. The marketer’s logo is added near the Instant Article byline providing a clear view of the logo to the reader yet not compromising on the native feel.

Let the world know that you are partnered with your sponsors

You will be allowed to tag your sponsor on the title of the branded content thus letting the world know that you are partnered with a particular brand. The name of the brand will appear on the title of your branded content post using a “with” tag. This feature that can be used as follows to increase user reach.

branded content1

For the large brands and established influencers having a verified Facebook page, branded content is already a well-established revenue source. Facebook Instant Articles provides yet another efficient addon to get more people to view and interact with branded content.

Apart from the well-established revenue sources of direct ads and branded content, Facebook is providing another innovative revenue source for publishers to monetize their content. The Facebook Audience Network is an advertising solution that allows you to make use of the targeted advertising of Facebook to generate income from your content. The Facebook Audience Network is the “Adsense” of Facebook. This analogy helps you understand the basic concept of Facebook Audience Network.

Some of the interesting advantages that Facebook Audience Network has over ads on any other network is:

  • The CPM and fill rate is quite high (as of now)
  • Targeted advertising system of Facebook allows the display of  relevant advertising that is classified according to user demographics and interest.

To enable Audience Network on your Instant Articles you need to follow the below steps:

Step 1:

Go to the Facebook page from where you want to publish your Instant Articles and select the “Settings” optionscreenshot-www.facebook.com 2016-08-31 00-19-39 Step2:

You will be able to see the following screen, click on the Instant Articles option on the left.

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You will find Audience Network option as shown below.

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Step 3:

Click on Audience Network and you will be able to see the following screen

audinece network step 1

By clicking on the checkbox you will be accepting Facebook’s policies of Audience Network as the authorized person of your company/page. Please click on the link provided to see the Facebook policies. Select the checkbox and click on “Get Started” to proceed.

You will get an instant approval notification from the team and it will land you on a page like this.

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Step 4:

Click on “Your Dashboard” and you will be able to see the following dashboard.

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Step 5:

Click on “Add a Domain” to enter your domain name in case you want to activate Audience Network on your website outside of Facebook.  To continue with Audience Network for Facebook Instant Articles, Click on “Create Ad Placement”

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You will see the following popup screen.

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Step 6:

Please enter a meaningful name in the Name text box as we will need it to track analytics of the unique ads in Instant Articles later. Facebook provides three ad formats for you to choose from.

Native

Native ads allow you to design the ads that fit your content best. These provide the best user experience. Good native ads make the advertisements seamlessly fit into the content. When the ads are very native, the chances of a reader clicking on the advertisement is drastically higher.Click here to know more about native ads.

Interstitial

This type of ad is generally used to display full page ads inside your android applications.  They’re typically displayed at natural transition points in the flow of an application, such as between activities or during the pause between levels in a game. Click here to know more about the Interstitial ads.

Banner

As the name suggests, banner ads are static ads that can be displayed on the Instant Articles. This is the most common kind of advertising prevalent today. Creative designing and attractive ideas have proved it to be a beneficial form of online advertising.

Step 7:

Today let us go with selecting banner ads, as it is the most simplest to setup. You can always come back and change it later. Fill up the fields as shown above and click on “Save”.

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You will see the following screen:

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At the bottom of the screen, you will be able to see the Placement ID. You can click on the “Get Code” button to get the java code to integrate the ad with your page. For all the WordPress users who have followed our step by step guide to install the Instant Article plugin on your WordPress blog, there is an additional advantage. Since we have used the official WordPress plugin for Instant Articles, all we need is the Placement IDscreenshot-developers.facebook.com 2016-08-31 15-22-07

Step 8:

Copy your Placement ID into your clipboard and log into your WordPress blog.

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Step 9:

Click on the “Instant Articles” on the bottom right of your screen (as shown above). The Instant Articles settings page will appear.

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Towards the bottom of your screen, you’ll see the Ads section.

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Step 10:

Here select the Ad type as Facebook Audience Network and paste the Placement ID that we copied to the clipboard, on to the Audience Network Placement ID field. At the bottom of the page, you will find the Ad Dimensions field. Select the dimension of the ad that you want to display.

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Once you have filled up all of the above details, click on “Save changes” on the bottom of the screen

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Congratulations! you have successfully added advertisements to your Instant Articles. Now let us move one more critical step in the process. We should provide our payment information to Facebook so that we can get paid.

Money matters

Step 11:

To provide the details for paying out your ad revenue, follow the below steps. Go back to the Facebook Audience Network dashboard and click on the payout tab. screenshot-developers.facebook.com 2016-08-31 16-31-47

Step 12:

On the page that appears, click on “Register a New Company” .screenshot-developers.facebook.com 2016-09-01 16-53-22

Step 13:

The following popup will appear. Fill in the details

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Step 14:

Once you have filled in the details, click on continue. You will move on to the next tab.

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Step 15:

Again, fill in the details and click on “Continue” to move on to Payment Information. You will see the following screen.

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Currently, Facebook uses two ways to pay the publishers, PayPal and direct bank deposits. You can choose whichever one you prefer from the drop-down list. Facebook also provides an option to create a new PayPal account.

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Tip: If you are from any country other than the U.S, you can opt for direct bank deposit. With PayPal, you might lose a considerable amount of money in currency conversion.

Step 16:

If you select Bank Account, you will see the following screen

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Step 17:

Enter your bank details, accept Facebook’s conditions and click on Continue. You will move on to the next step

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Step 18:

Enter the admin for your page/company. As the above message says, the admin user will be able to manage the company information and will be able to attach it to the to the application to get paid. Click on the continue button. You will get a message from Facebook notifying you on the completion of the process.

Congratulations, you have successfully completed the process of setting up ads on your Instant Articles and getting paid. The payment process will be initiated after the verification process is done from your bank/PayPal.

In a gist!

If you have followed this exhaustive blog post up till this point it means two things. You are a really patient person. You are really interested in monetizing your Instant Articles. So to all the really serious followers of Instant Articles and to those impatient readers (like me) who jumped to know the climax before the title, let me tell it all “in a gist”:

  • Facebook allows publishers to monetize your Instant Articles
  • Publishers are entitled to retain 100% of the revenue that is generated from the content
  • Publishers can also make use of Facebook’s targeted audience mechanism by enabling Audience Network
  • Audience Network is the Adsense of Facebook
  • You can select the type of ad that you want to display and the size of the ad in your article and Facebook will fill in the ads and pay you for that

Instant Articles is yet another Facebook feature that allows you to monetize your content effectively. Every publisher big and small should utilize this tool to his rightful pay for the hard work that goes into creating valuable content. Go ahead and create your Instant Articles and monetize them effectively. Add your questions/comments in the comments section and let’s discuss.

To know all about Facebook Instant Articles, download our free e-book: Complete guide to Facebook Instant Articles

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