Marketers will lose Facebook sponsored stories, which means they'll need other social content to reach new followers & build brand awareness.

Marketers who use sponsored stories to keep brand messages in front of Facebook audiences will need come up with a back-up plan fast, because the social network is ditching sponsored stories on April 9th. Not familiar with this kind of ad? They’re the posts that remind users which Pages their friends have previously ‘liked.’

While some may be disappointed to see this offering go, it’s a reminder of the internet’s ever-changing nature. Marketers can’t rely on one type of social content to increase brand follower counts and invite engagement. They need well-rounded strategies that include organic content to generate results over time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Facebook’s ad offerings are shifting. The social network has been overhauling its sponsored offerings throughout 2013, and a spokesperson for Facebook told Mashable it decided to ditch Sponsored stories because the best part of this format – social context – can now be applied to other ads.

“Since this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a standalone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see,” the spokesperson reported.

After the April cut off, any campaigns that weren’t switched over to another format will be transitioned to Page Like ads. Over time, Facebook will continue to pare down its ad offerings to include only the most relevant and effective formats. Marketers must be ready to adapt as these changes occur, using organic strategies as the backbones of their social marketing campaigns.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.