Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quality Content, Content Marketing, and Facebook's Changing Algorithms

Content is everywhere; quality content isn't. Content marketing is using content to draw prospects and customers into (or deeper into) your sales funnel. If marketing is like fishing (can you stand another fishing analogy?) then content is your bait. And the pond is littered with bait, good and bad.

Of course, you're not fishing for fish, you're hoping to hook human customers. So you should know that humans now have an attention span of 8 seconds, or 4 seconds less than goldfish (thus muddying the waters of this whole fishing analogy).

Obviously, your content must not only be good enough to attract prospects, it needs to placed properly and used wisely. For the sake of this article, we'll assume you're convinced that using Facebook to attract prospects is a good idea.*

Good Content is Good Content (and Facebook Knows It)

Facebook is always making changes. (<-- File under "Duh.")  Yet another algorithm change this spring focused (yet again) on keeping users happy. No surprise there, because Facebook does what it does in order to keep users happy. User activity (engagement) is the product that Facebook sells.

So changes announced in April 2019 were designed to improve rankings of content that users really want to see and engage with. "You'll see more posts from friends you want to see posts from," Facebook told users. The company also said those changes were not intended to affect Pages in a specific way. But ;) they have and they will.

The good news is that the definition of good content hasn't changed. The better news is that you may not need to make any changes at all, assuming your content is good and relevant to your audience. The tips below are in line with both Facebook's latest changes and good content practices in general.

  1. Be Helpful  -  Good content is good content. Good content is helpful content. Ergo, your goal is to share content that is HELPFUL to your best prospects. That might include sharing a recipe for S'mores when what you're selling has nothing to do with S'mores. Striking a balance in your content mix is the key. 
  2. Share Smart - Speaking of sharing, Facebook announced that it is placing a higher value on original content, but frankly, that's not "new" to the platform or to human behavior in general. Original content should, by definition, be more valuable to your (identified) prospects and set you apart from your competition by highlighting your unique offerings. So, don't be afraid to share (attributed) content from other sources, in keeping with a solid content plan. 
  3. Images AND Video - Video is the best content, except when it isn't.  Images still get better reach than videos on Facebook -  but keep in mind, that's a pretty non-specific statistic. Remember, the best content for your prospects is what they want and need. (<-- Also file under "Duh.") Experiment with video, both original and from other sources. Look for opportunities to schedule Facebook Live events, but don't invent flimsy reasons to do so - remember, quality content is your goal. Watch your responses (you do analyze your Insights, don't you?) and build on those that get good results for you. 

*Should I Really Use Facebook for My Business?

For most businesses and organizations, Facebook is a worthwhile channel. If you're not sure it's good for your business, or you think it is but you'd like to see a better return on your Facebook efforts, get in touch