Advertisers now have the ability to promote unpublished (otherwise known as “dark”) posts within the News Feeds of Fans. An unpublished post is a status update, link share, video or photo that was never meant to be shared as an organic post. Staying true to its name, it’s never published but is only surfaced as an ad. This functionality was previously made available to the ads API in July of 2012, but until recently the only placement option was the sidebar. However many people aren’t aware of them, and have never used them.
1. Grow Your Facebook Post Engagement and Fan Base
Perfect if you’re a brand or publisher and want to grow your Facebook presence. You may also want to use dark testing to mitigate declining organic reach.
Yes, Page reach is still declining for many, and Facebook suggests this trend will continue indefinitely. That means you need to protect your investment, and this is how to do it.
2. Drive More Readers for Your Website
Getting great post engagement on Facebook is valuable, but if you’re a publisher, you need people to visit your articles to build an excited, loyal reader base and generate ad revenue.
You’d be surprised how many people like and share Facebook posts without actually reading the article. If you’re a publisher, website clicks should be one of your go-to dark testing goals.
3. Drive Product and Event Sales
Who doesn’t want more revenue? Using dark tests to refine what message and hero image to use for your sales is a staple for marketers.
It works, and the ROI is clear. Facebook’s own signature success story highlights how one team achieved a 30x return on ad spend with unpublished posts for music festival ticket sales.
4. Keep Sharing Your Favorite Post Without Fatiguing Your Fans
Whether you’re a brand or a publisher, you probably have a handful of posts you really want to run as much as possible.
If you’re a publisher, maybe you have an evergreen article that performs spectacularly well. If you’re a brand, maybe you have a new product or event that need more visibility for. In either case, there are only so many times you can repost the same thing on your Facebook page before your fans get annoyed.
Dark testing lets you continually post and automatically refine your messaging without bothering fans.