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social media how toCould you use more traffic to your blog?

Have you considered Facebook ads?

To get the most out of your Facebook marketing efforts, Facebook ads can help drive quality traffic to your blog content.

In this article you’ll discover how promoting blog content can help maintain your Facebook reach.

use facebook ads to promote blog content

Discover how to use Facebook Ads to promote your blog content.

Facebook Changes

Many marketers rely on Facebook reach to measure whether their efforts are paying off. Reach is the number of Facebook users who see a page’s published posts—and it’s been steadily declining in 2014 due to Facebook algorithm changes.

Businesses that are new to Facebook marketing assume that the majority of fans see their posts, and it comes as a shock when they learn that’s not the case.

More than 70% of all companies across 104 industry designations have had a decline in organic reach of 30% or more in the past year.

facebook reach stats

Reach has declined this year due to changes in how Facebook shares posts in the news feed.

Keep reading to see why reach is diminishing and what you can do about it.

Crackdown on Like-Baiting

In April 2014 Facebook announced that it would try to improve the quality of content in the news feed by showing fewer like-baiting page posts (posts that ask fans to complete specific actions).

facebook link bait

Facebook penalizes posts that ask fans to complete a specific action.

Essentially, Facebook penalizes like-baiting posts and they won’t show up as much in fans’ news feeds. This change was aimed at stopping pages from trying to game engagement by asking fans to comment in a way that isn’t natural or authentic.

No More Like-Gating

Many pages like-gate their content by requiring users to like the page before they can access special content like offers, discounts or giveaway entry forms. Facebook banned this practice in 2014.

facebook like bait cover image

Pages can no longer like-gate content.

From Facebook’s developer blog:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Since many businesses have used reach and likes as primary measures of Facebook marketing success, these Facebook changes were significant. But instead of viewing them as restrictions, I see them as an opportunity to integrate other parts of your marketing plan and develop more accurate ways of evaluating your success.

#1: Update Your Marketing Tactics

Your blog, not Facebook, should be the foundation of your online marketing. Consistent, quality blog content—whether articles, video or even infographics—is much more important than whether your Facebook reach has taken a dip.

Change your mindset and make Facebook a support tactic—use it to increase exposure for your blog content. Once visitors click through to your blog, you can use your lead capture tactics as a better measurement of your marketing success. You’ll have the added benefit of increased blog traffic and Facebook fan reach.

sme facebook post

Use Facebook to post valuable content that links back to your website.

When your content is a valuable resource (without being overly salesy), it provides the foundation for the next step in your new Facebook marketing plan: amplification.

#2: Amplify Content With Ads

Facebook ads provide a tremendous opportunity for any business to promote content directly to their ideal audience.

Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor enable you to overcome organic reach limits. You can precisely target the demographics that are most important to you by setting audience parameters using location, job titles, interests, income levels and more.

facebook ad target options

Use Facebook ads to share your content to drive traffic to your blog.

If you haven’t been using Facebook ads to promote your content because you don’t want to pay to play on a free platform, it’s time to get on board.

Most marketers are willing to spend money to gain value from other ads (e.g., Google AdWords) or social management tools. Paying for Facebook ads has the same value (possibly more). Besides, Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive, considering the benefits of specific targeting, added reach and content promotion.

I recommend you use ads for two types of Facebook posts: specific content tied to your overall marketing tactics (e.g., blog articles) and existing published Facebook posts that already have excellent engagement.

When you advertise updates about your blog content with the intent of driving traffic to your site, use the Send People to Your Website advertising option.

facebook ad types

Facebook Ads Manager ad types.

If you have a post that already has quality engagement, you can extend that engagement by promoting it with an ad that’s targeted to your fans’ friends and others who may be strong leads.

For example, look at the image below. This small business shared photos from a recently completed project and the post received some initial comments and likes.

popular facebook update

Extend traction by piggybacking ads on popular updates.

Based on this positive momentum, the company decided to use Facebook ads to amplify the update and reach even more of their ideal audience. Their ad resulted in further comments, engagement and tremendous reach.

If they had linked the update to a relevant blog article or product page on their site, it’s likely they would have seen a bump in traffic after advertising the post.

#3: Attract Attention With Video Ads

Facebook is placing a priority on native videos. Native videos are uploaded directly to Facebook, as opposed to being shared from a third-party site like YouTube. Facebook has found that native videos have a higher interest for users, and that those users are actively engaging with them.

In my own informal tests I compared native video posts to posts with shared video, as well as all other post types (text, link and photo). I found that in terms of reach and engagement, the native videos did better—I saw a 30% to 200% increase in reach and had more comments and views.

facebook video ad creation

Facebook added a video feature to its ad options.

To encourage page admins to use native video, Facebook has rolled out video ad tools and features for pages. You can use these new tools to your advantage as another way to reach more of your fans and drive traffic to your blog.

When you upload a video to Facebook, you have the option to include a call to action at the end that links to a URL. This feature uses native video’s powerful extended reach to drive viewers to the web page of your choice.

Here’s how it works:

On your Facebook page, click Photo/Video and load your video. Click on the Add a Call to Action link that appears.

facebook video ad call to action

Call to Action option when uploading a video to Facebook.

Select the button wording that works for you and type in the destination URL (where you want people to go when they click). You can edit your settings before you post.

facebook video ad call to action button

Your CTA button shows up at the end of your video.

After someone watches your video on Facebook, the CTA button shows up. If the viewer clicks it, they’re taken to the URL you specified.

Conclusion

While some businesses may be upset about the newest Facebook updates and changes, many of us are not. These changes prompt marketers to reevaluate how they market.

I encourage you to move to an updated plan that integrates your blog’s quality content with Facebook sharing. Your increased blog promotion leads to more traffic and overall engagement. That kind of interaction is a much better measure of your online marketing success than Facebook reach alone.

What do you think? How do you feel about Facebook’s updates and changes? Are you looking beyond Facebook reach to measure your success? I’d love to know what you think. Leave your questions and comments below.

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