What comes to mind when you hear Facebook content marketing? Videos, ads, viral pictures, discounts, special offers, very special offers, very very(very) special offers? It’s always shouting at the top of its lungs from your timeline. The question is: does this even really work?
Considering the fact that social network advertising revenue has grown from $17.85 billion in 2014 to $41 billion in 2017, mapping out a thoughtful Facebook marketing strategy sounds like a rock-solid plan.
Business Insider reported, “Social is driving much bigger increases in retail traffic than any other online channel […]. Facebook continues to grow its lead as the dominant social commerce platform. Facebook accounts for 50% of total social referrals and 64% of total social revenue. The site’s changing demographics could make older consumers a strong target for retailers leveraging the platform.”
Now disassociate yourself from any other picture, promotion post, or viral video, and look deeper at the marketing tool — powerful, omnipresent, and socially imbued. Yes, it’s all about that Facebook content marketing strategy, which has become a crucial part of any business, big or small. But with the only one key remark: it has to be conducted thoroughly and done well.
It’s official. It’s even more like unwritten law. Facebook ads: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.
Let’s discuss why all small eCommerce and retail businesses make stupendous attempts to master the art of content on one of the biggest social media sites, and how not to drop into the category of legendary failures.
Run Grade-A Competitive Analysis
There’s so much to learn from your competitors, from what they’re doing well to what they’re doing not so well, and then all the stuff in between. According to Entrepreneur a competitive analysis is a critical part, because, “With this evaluation, you can establish what makes your product or service unique — and therefore what attributes you play up in order to attract your target market.”
First of all, look at what pages your potential buyer persona is following on Facebook. When you see any brand such as yours (especially those who are confident enough to mark off their products as the best ones), note them down.
There’s no need to gather everything. The more, the better doesn’t actually work here. For example, you need at least five strong competitors to understand how they engage clients to get them to come straight to them and make an order.
By the way, pay attention to the reviews and comments your competitor’s audience gives. In this way, you’ll be aware of the weak and strong points of their brand, the pain of your potential clients and their wishes which you (and your brand) can make fulfill.
When the analysis is ready, make a story
Smart brands are moving away from, that whole “Buy Now” messaging. Instead, they are choosing a story that gets out a message, the mission, and the value. It’s a work on building relationships between you, your brand, and your community to which you talk and interact.
Be interesting, inspirational, share your news not for just for the sake of sharing, but for telling something substantial. You know, social media posting very often turns into artificial attempts to create an interesting post. Don’t do that. Stay honest. Trends are good, but nothing works better than sincerity in words you’re transmitting. A story is you.
Just for a moment, imagine you’re an artist painting a picture. Every brushstroke has a particular intention. The same applies here. The pictures you choose, the words you use, the message you associate with your brand are the components of a masterpiece where every piece of content is a brushstroke and you’re the creator.
Don’t Get Scared of Ads
Advertising, like its format, is also a part of content strategy. As said before, stories sell. Therefore, if you want to make a really good ad, make sure that:
- Your audience is divided into different segments.
- Your targeting strategy, format, and the creativity is customized to each of your segments.
- Your marketing message is written in a narrative form.
- Your ad is a part of your big brand story.
DPA, which are Dynamic Product Ads, are one of the most frequently used elements for e-commerce. The “why” here is pretty simple: in today’s digital economy the practice of offering something for free in exchange for data is a thing. The Facebook algorithms analyze the information people give access to, and then, use it to sell targeted ads.
Here’s what actually happens: 1) a person X visits a website; 2) a person X brows a few products; 3) a person X is following by advertisements all over the web.
Such kind of “game” is known as retargeting. And in this game, Facebook’s DPA allows you to reach old prospects who viewed your products in the last 180 days, to then convert them into your customers. To speak in basic terms, “Facebook dynamic ads automatically promote products who have expressed interest on your website, in your app, or elsewhere on Internet.”
It’s a best-case scenario of displaying a carousel ad of the same product or similar one our person X has previously seen somewhere on a site. Call it a “sweet-reminder.” In an ideal universe, the “your-customer-chasing abandoned cart” will lead to your potential client an impulse to click on the ad. The happy ending for you in this case is a completed purchase.
In simple terms: dynamic targeting generates a special and unique ad for each customer.
Games of Performance: Video vs Image
What to choose: Videos? Images?
Sorry, this is a kind of Shakespearean question. There’s no right answer. Except for one — testing.
Let’s say that “video marketing” isn’t a new word for today, but it’s still one of the most popular and powerful formats for Facebook advertising. Especially true when we talk about engaging our audience, promoting different products, and more. Your ROI may drastically improve, but bear in mind, the result really depends on a type of video or picture that you choose.
If people get your message out in the very first minutes in the video, they won’t click away before they understand what your ad is all about.
The HubSpot team ran quite an interesting test, playing with different images and videos. Ultimately, it turned out that both videos and images aren’t always a win-win solution. As they say in a Radiohead’s song, “Start again begin again.’.
For example, if you have chosen a pic from stocks, it would be unlikely to win a video teaser with a hint of what your store could offer. Or, on the contrary, with an optimized image, like a screenshot from a video tends to get more clicks at lower price that the listicle video.
The brutal task lies in optimizing everything for your content marketing for online retail and e-commerce business.
Speaking about a video for your product, no matter whether it’s a bag, a pillow, a pair of high-heel shoes or any other thing, go with square. Since a landscape version loses a square one.
A golden rule for ads with images; you must remember that too many words in an image reduces impressions. Here’s the reason: a human eye can’t capture a sentence which is longer than 5 words in a long-way timeline.
It goes without saying, be clear. A-L-W-A-Y-S speak to the point. Answer yourself: What do you do? What do you sell? How can you get it?
People should have an idea of what they will get after clicking.
The conclusion that can be drawn is that everything depends on the audience. Very progressive young people don’t mind arty posts or even something of acid dadaism style. But, if your audience consists of mostly middle-aged people, the language and the pictures have to be of another sort.
To understand the level of your ad performance, use Facebook reporting tools. Based on the results, you’ll have the idea of what is better for you: a video or an image. The statistics you get, influence the decisions you make, and thereby improve the results of your post engagement.
Have doubts? Just test it out.
Just One Thing to Remember: Mobile Lifestyle
Well, as it happens a small device has encroached on the world. There are people who spend a lot of their time scrolling their timeline on the Facebook app. According to Business to Community, mobile e-commerce CTRs is much higher than desktop, which is emphasizing the importance of having a possibility to “interact” with your ads from a smartphone. “During last years’ holiday shopping season, a third of all online purchases came from smartphone users. Not even Black Friday was immune to mobile fever, as nearly 40% of sales on the traditionally brick and mortar shopping day came via a mobile device. That’s up almost 10% from the previous year’” – Justin Smith for OuterBox says.
The Bottom Line
Without a Facebook content marketing strategy, you probably will be missing a high volume of sales. Your products can be endlessly perfected, but who cares if you don’t talk about their value and beauty in a proper way?
People will fall in love with what you do if you place a firm focus on effective content. Easier said than done. In reality, you need to spend days and nights developing an effective Facebook marketing strategy. Then test it out. And then rearrange it. With a smart approach, your business will be well positioned. If it’s well positioned, you’ll get more clients and more purchases. This can only be accomplished by producing properly-optimized content in all areas.
If I were to clump everything in a single line, “The variety is marketing’s chip clip: it keeps things from getting stale.”