13 Content Marketing Tactics That Help You Win Facebook
This article was first posted to our blog on June 15, 2015. It remains relevant and one of our most popular blogs.
Facebook’s war on organic reach for brands has made it harder to score big content marketing wins on the platform – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still achieve a nice ROI for your Facebook marketing efforts without spending a ton of money on boosted posts and advertising.
If you’re struggling to keep your Facebook content visible and engagement-friendly, these smart tactics can make a difference:
1 | Video, video, video. Did we mention video?
One way to win at Facebook is to keep up with what’s important to Facebook and then modify your strategy accordingly. That means jumping into the video marketing game.
Facebook is very committed to stealing traffic away from YouTube and creating a more visually-focused Facebook experience. What that means for businesses is a Facebook environment that’s extremely video-friendly.
Not only does Facebook reward businesses that use video with immediate increased reach and exposure (in fact, organic reach for video tends to outpace other types of Facebook content by the hundreds and even thousands), they’ve made it very easy for businesses to upload and post videos and then track their performance.
The bottom line: Video is huge on Facebook. If you’re not using it, you’re leaving opportunities for customer engagement on the table. Before we move on to the next topic, here are three other things you need to remember about Facebook video marketing:
– Use native video– not links to YouTube, Vimeo or other platforms. Facebook greatly favors the use of native video.
– Keep your clips short, fun, dramatic, informative, and compelling. Include a call-to-action.
– If you’ve got limited budget or time, get more bang for your buck by directing your agency or your marketing team to produce “evergreen” videos that can be re-posted two or three times a year.
2 | Make the most out of Facebook’s tools.
Facebook has quite the mini-arsenal of free tools that can help you increase your reach, make your page look nicer, or just make your life as the Facebook admin a little bit easier. If you (or your social media agency) aren’t using them, you’re missing out. Here are 2 you can start with:
– Facebook Scheduler and Drafted Posts. Use these features to experiment with content and get content scheduled ahead of time (but don’t fall into the “set it and forget it” trap).
– Split testing and limited audience posts. These robust tools help you experiment with different kinds of content and customize your message for specialized audiences.
3 | Always think about your best customer.
Facebook audiences don’t click, like, and share content they’re not interested in. If you’re posting content that you want your customers to consume, as opposed to content that’s based on an understanding of your customer’s needs and motivations, you’ll never get very far.
4 | Schedule strategically.
Pay attention to the timing of successful posts and see if you spot any trends. Do posts that go out on Tuesdays after 7 p.m. almost always achieve good engagement, while posts on Sunday mornings almost never do? A tree falling unobserved in a forest may or may not make a sound – but a Facebook post that goes out when your followers aren’t logged in will almost definitely go unnoticed.
5 | Mine your Facebook Insights.
Another excellent tool that’s offered free from Facebook is Page Insights. Some of the analytics that are gathered in Insights don’t matter much, but others matter mightily – and they can tell you a lot of which types of content tends to do the best with which segments of your audience.
6 | Use less text and more graphics.
We’re not going to say that longer-form or text-only posts don’t work, but generally speaking, Facebook users tend to respond better to shorter sentences and eye-catching graphics.
7 | Speaking of graphics: Square text graphics still rule. So do quotes.
Like listicles, those boxy inspirational quotes we see all over Facebook can inspire some eye rolling among content marketing types. They certainly need to be used wisely and with some degree of restraint – but the fact is, Facebook users tend to love ‘em.
We like a trend we’ve noticed from the New York Times: Pull-out quote-styled text graphics that pique user interest and highlight key points in posted stories.
8 | Don’t be afraid to go off topic – strategically.
If it’s compatible with your brand personality, try posting some fun and engaging content once in a while that has little or nothing to do with your business. You might even consider making it a regular hashtagged feature that rolls out at the same time each week. Just don’t over do it- brands that overpost random content can come off as unfocused, or worse, pandering and click-needy.
9 | Borrow like a beast.
If you’re running out of content ideas or you have limited resources for social, it can really pay off to “aggregate” (which is a fancy word for borrow in this context) content from other pages. Examples of aggregate content resources include news media outlets, content from vendors and colleagues, and content from industry publications.
10 | Get out your credit card.
Yeah, we know. This is supposed to be an article about making Facebook give it up for free. But the fact is that you don’t have to spend a lot, in many cases, to get a little more mileage out of your content.
Think of it like handing a $20 bill to the hostess in a packed restaurant. You might eventually get seated without the tip, but the $20 gets you there a lot faster. When you’ve got an important post going up, often a $5 or $10 boost can make sure that your post gets to a big chunk of followers (and their friends) quickly. Once people start engaging with your content, you can let organic reach take over from there.
11 | Innovate regularly – and give your good ideas time to catch on.
Many brands miss out on opportunities for Facebook scores due to two mistakes: (1) They rarely develop and then test drive new types of Facebook content; and (2) They’re too quick to abandon content tactics before they’ve collected enough evidence about the tactic’s effectiveness.
Let’s say that a brand has a regular weekly content series, “Friday Fun Stuff”. Even if it’s popular with followers, at 52 posts a year it’s likely that as many as a dozen will fall flat when it comes to engagement. A brand that test drives a similar new feature but quits because the first two or three posts didn’t get much reach is running the risk of walking away from a potentially ROI-rich content tactic.
12 | Bring in a fresh perspective.
It’s easy to get stale when you’ve been doing the same thing for a while. So why not shake up your social media game by seeking input from some of your team members who typically don’t contribute to content marketing? You’ll get some non-viable and eye roll-worthy suggestions, but you’ll also likely get at least one good idea that you can take out for a content test drive.
13 | Give it away, baby.
Do you have an e-book, tip sheets, white papers, a newsletter, free tickets or gift cards you can offer? Make a point of regularly giving all of them away via Facebook – just make sure you get something in return, like an opt-in, email address, share, or comment.
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We speak social, all day long. Contact our Austin advertising agency to start a conversation about your social media strategy.