We all know that Facebook is a powerful content platform, but more often than not our content fails to make the impact we desire. Unfortunately, we earn limited shares, few likes, and even less conversions, even when promoting our greatest content.
Frankly, it’s a matter of approach. It’s not Facebook’s fault. It’s our fault. We constantly create content and then think of how we can promote it.
Do you hear the problem? We create content and THEN we think of how we can promote it. By fundamentally changing our approach to creating content, we can achieve tremendous ROI.
Facebook allows us to boost our post and target a new audience via “Interests.” So, if we know this is what’s available to us, how much more promotable could our content be if we think of our audience before writing?
Click 'Boost Post', toggle to 'People you choose through targeting' and click 'Edit Audience'
For example, let’s say I am an ad agency. We have been writing blog content for years, but have always struggled to gain traction. It’s not that our content is bad or that we can’t write. Honestly, we just can’t get any traffic. We are doing SEO, but it’s just not generating the metrics we want.
Does this sound like anyone you know?
Well, what if we did something different? What if instead of writing content and then struggling to find a reader, we decided to do research on what targeting was available and then write something specifically for that audience?
So, we determine that our audience is interested in Mad Men (available to target on Facebook via interests), Don Draper (available to target on Facebook via interests), and Adweek (available to target on Facebook via interests).
We also decide that based on our accounting most of our accounts are men between 45-55 in the US.
Based on this audience data, we can alter a post titled "3 Popular Advertising Tricks" to an article more like:
“3 Reasons Don Draper is Better at Advertising Than You.”
See how the target audience added another dimension to the direction of the post?
It’s not that your writing is bad. Your promotion is the problem. It’s like if you made a really good steak only to find out that you are having a vegetarian over for dinner. It’s not that the steak wasn’t any good. Your guest just doesn’t eat meat. Find out what your guest eats before they get to the table.
Step by step guide for creating promotable content on Facebook
Now that we have framed the approach, let’s take a moment to analyze how you can use this approach for your own content.
Step 1. Identify your audience’s interests
What is your audience interested in? Let’s say you’re a plumber in New York. You know that your audience doesn’t care about the new snake that let’s you clean their drain twice as fast. In fact, our audience is rarely interested or share the same passion we have for our own industry. If they did, they’d be your competition ;)
Instead of writing about our industry, let’s write about something our audience is interested in and that we can target. Do all the housewives (or househusbands) watch Ellen when you are servicing the house? Are they the ones calling you? If so, let’s write an article that they care about: “Ellen and Plumbers Might Have Something Crazy in Common”.
Need help generating catchy titles? Check out this awesome tool.
Be creative. If your title is dull, your article is probably pretty dull too.
Step 2. Write something that you yourself would actually read
I struggle with this. I look back at a lot of the content I have created and I grimace. I can’t even read it without yawning.
Trust me, if you can’t finish your own article without thinking about watching “Friends” nobody is going to read your content.
First and foremost, if you are B2C business start creating awesome content that is locally relevant.
Here are some topical ideas to get you mind going that are also easily promotable via interests on Facebook:
- Lists of things to do in your area, for example "Weekly Calendar for Food Trucks in Your Area"
- FAQ or Terms sheet if you are in a complex industry. (You might even pull the knowledge graph in Google)
- An article on the drought would be great! Maybe, “How to Save 20 Gallons a Day”)
I believe you are starting to get the idea. If you want to promote content on Facebook or on any social media channel for that matter, you need to be able to identify your audience's interests and jolt them into taking an action.
Step 3. Analyze results and RE-PROMOTE
The following is a breakdown of how our time is often used when creating content:
- 25% Planning
- 69% Creating
- 5% Promoting
- 1% Analyzing and Re-Promoting
Uh oh. This is a problem. It’s like we spend all our time practicing and never even play in the game.
We have been putting our power hitters Promotion and Analysis on the bench. It’s time to unleash the beast and start allocating more of your time towards promotion and analysis.
A great way to judge the quality of your promotion is by using Facebook’s Relevance score (here is a great article explaining how it’s contrived.)
After promoting posts for our clients, we have created a scale to measure how well we have analyzed our audiences interests and created content that was promotable to available interests:
• Poor <5
• Good 5-7
• Great 7-9
• Exceptional 10
If we want to increase the percentage of articles that were earning high relevance scores and thus had great metrics, we needed to reallocate our time. Below is a suggested allocation of time when creating content:
• 20% Planning
• 30% Creating
• 20% Promoting
• 30% Analyzing and Re-Promoting
By focusing the majority of our efforts on Analyzing and Re-Promoting, we are able to spend a small portion of our budget on initial promotion and gathering data. We can then analyze that data and spend the majority of our promotion budget on re-promoting the content and maximizing our results.
Whether you are a small business owner or even another digital marketing agency, it is time that we start to rethink our allocation of time and start to amplify our content using the promotional power of Facebook.
I look forward to your insights in the comments below and hopefully this is only the spark for an even deeper conversation below.