The principles at the core of content marketing haven’t changed, even in light of some big changes to the Facebook News Feed. As Mark Zuckerberg explained, the News Feed updates are intended “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.” Some marketers may be worried that their relationship with consumers will become more fragmented because it’ll be more difficult to reach them with organic Facebook content.
However, let’s reiterate one important point: The principles at the core of content marketing haven’t changed.
With that clearly in mind, here are some ways to enhance content marketing strategy, even if changes to the Facebook News Feed seem to pose an initial challenge.
Just because the Facebook News Feed won’t be prioritizing content from businesses and publishers, that doesn’t mean marketers should walk away from the platform. In an FAQ-style post, Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, said, “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
Mosseri means that Facebook won’t completely wipe out all business and publisher content; he instead implies that marketers should focus on creating valuable content, defined by Mosseri as posts that “prompt conversations between friends.” This means marketers need to do something they already should be doing: being more thoughtful and strategic about the content they post. Not only is this a good reminder for marketers, it’s also a huge win for companies already focusing on building better customer experiences.
What type of content are we posting now? Are people engaging with it?
Which organic posts have the most engagement — and why?
Are we posting content that urges or encourages interaction — without directly requesting interaction? (Tip: Avoid “engagement baiting” content that directly asks people to tag friends, like posts, or add comments. This may harm how your content is prioritized in the News Feed.)
Are we focused on engaging with other people’s posts, or are we only pushing out content?
As Mosseri said, businesses may see dips in engagement with their organic posts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the changes are all negative. This gives marketers the opportunity to step back, analyze organic engagement on Facebook (perhaps within the past six months or year), and reevaluate which posts have historically performed the best.
Mosseri says that “posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed.” This gives marketers a better focus on which types of content they can create in the future that might still perform well in the News Feed, even amid Facebook updates.
Deep down in their hearts, marketers know that social listening is a must if they’re going to expand their following and amass brand advocates. Even so, many marketers seem to be missing the mark. By listening to what your customers tell you on Facebook and also having a dedicated person or team ready to respond to comments when needed (especially for customer service inquiries), marketers can begin to pull out trends and use them as a foundation for future content initiatives.
It’s not enough just to post an image with a caption and watch what happens. That’s only one type of social listening. Instead, consider the ways that these different types of social listening can influence the content you distribute:
Customer care social listening
Competitive social listening
“Life events” social listening
Content social listening
Influencer social listening
Marketers have grown accustomed to audiences seeing posts in their News Feeds, even as Facebook has continually updated its News Feed algorithms. However, the only guaranteed way to reach the exact people you want to see your messages is with paid promotion, and that is becoming even more true with these changes.
Check out these four tips to get started with social media advertising.
According to Digiday, “Organically speaking, influencers rank better than brands in the news feed, and deprioritizing news can be favorable for influencers.”
As the Facebook News Feed shifts its focus to content produced by people, instead of businesses and publishers, this is a prime time for marketers to expand their outreach to influencers. While getting influencers on board with a brand’s message may include paying them, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, building mutually beneficial partnerships around good content is enough of an incentive to convince influencers to help spread a message, tag a brand, use a particular hashtag, share links, and more.
In a market filled with limitless podcast options and vlogs, streaming on Facebook Live might sound daunting. There are so many questions. What type of content should we post? Will anyone see it? How will people know that we’re going live?
Mosseri says that “live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook — in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.”
If marketers do intend to start live streaming, there are a few key tenets of content marketing they should follow:
Know the audience.
Create a strategy first (mainly, be sure to ask why the company should consider live streaming).
Be consistent with frequency to set expectations for consumers.
This is a given for most marketers, but it’s an important reminder that Facebook is only one channel that makes up a well-rounded content marketing strategy. One of the best things marketers can do to enhance their reach is continue to distribute relevant content to their followers on channels where consumers engage most.
This could mean that marketers have an existing monthly email newsletter with high open and click-through rates. If that’s the case, why not ask followers to update their Facebook preferences by clicking the “follow” button on your business page? Why not synchronize the same content across multiple channels, including email, organic Facebook posts, and paid promotion?
No matter where marketers turn, there are nearly limitless options at their disposal. We’ve always had to adapt to the churn in social media marketing. This is yet another opportunity to get creative and find ways to break through the clutter by building a smart content marketing strategy.