A new study shows that brands publishing sponsored content on Facebook see more return on their investments.

Facebook must strengthen its marketing capabilities to appease its investors and show that social media content can generate premium leads. Brafton reported back in June 2012 that 44 percent of survey respondents never click on Facebook ads. However, a new study from Nanigans suggests that these marketing spots can produce worthwhile results.

In the past year, the social giant has made great strides to perfect its marketing features, adding customizable ad options and highlighting new analytics tools. Brafton also reported that Facebook introduced a new metrics tool in January 2013 aimed at helping business professionals understand how their featured stories and ads perform across the web. In light of recent Nanigans data, marketers might want to reconsider the power of branded content published on Facebook, especially as the platform unveils new tools to make brand building easier.

The source evaluated more than 975 million Facebook ad impressions in the United States to determine if Facebook acts as a powerful lead generation tool. Sidebar ads performed poorly, with only a 0.04 percent clickthrough rate. However, the CTR for promotions published directly to newsfeeds are 46 times higher (1.87 percent). More, brands also saw content ROI increase by 14 percent for Promoted Stories and Ads. Nanigans noted the cost per click of newsfeed ads are one-third less than the price of Facebook domain ads.

Businesses advertising via Facebook should focus on social media content for the newsfeed, rather than sidebar ads. Nanigans shows that people prefer to engage with brands through more organic ad types. Consumers increasingly click on native links, highlighting demand for promotional content, not straightforward ads.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.