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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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  • DonnaGilliland

    Mike, great information, as usual. Facebook Ads are on my 2015 ad spend.

  • Great post as always, Mike.

    I have a couple of questions. Please help me out:

    1. Can Facebook ads be tied to users signing up for a website’s newsletters? So can FB ads be based on CRO instead of mere click throughs on the article?
    2. Is there any way to integrate Aweber or Mailchimp currently on a Facebook page so that people can sign up for newsletters through FB like before?

    Thanks in advance. And Merry Christmas 🙂

  • शेलेन्द्र

    I recently started using call for action button. It’s a great tool to bring reader to your blog.

  • Great post! I see a ton of reach engagement from our Facebook Video posts and even get a decent number of click throughs from them. You can use this in conjunction with your blog posts by just filming a quick and easy video talking about the key points of the article and what people can expect.

  • Thanks Donna! That’s a wise move on your part!

  • @Vishal to answer:
    1. Yes, Facebook ads can be used to grow your email list and you can track the sign-ups from the ads. You need to create a conversion pixel and add that pixed to the submission success page on your email newsletter uses.

    2. Many email services offer a Facebook app for their email sign-up. If they don’t you can offer use a service like our TabSite software. We have a Form app for Facebook where it creates a tab. It allows for Aweber and MailChimp integration.

  • Yes, I love the call to action button in my video posts! I create short videos that talk about and link to my new blog posts and it helps drive fans to my website.

  • That’s exactly what I do and recommend Craig! Thanks!

  • Gauri Maini

    Mike I have been using FB adverts for a while now. I only ever use the manual bid for click option, which allows me to target the audience I want and I pay only when someone clicks on the advert. As of two days ago FB has removed the option. In fact they did that and unfortunately, in my case, ” over wrote” my setting changing it to “pay for impressions” leading to a huge budget blow out. Thankfully I noticed something was amiss – i.e., no paid engagement and budget being used up!!! and stopped the ads. You may want to to do an update on this because I am not sure I can use advertising if I only have the option for optimised bidding, which is essentially paying for ads being served.

  • DWS

    Wow – SME has become nothing but a ad revenue generating newsletter. Every story is either written by someone who benefits financially (or who’s company benefits financially) from the post or, in some cases, SME newsletter headline posts seem to be written specifically for a SME partner (i;e; Facebook in this case) because of some sort of sponsored blog post agreement. There really isn’t anything new here or earth shattering that I bet most of the SME audience doesn’t already know about. It’s just another post to drive more facebook ads sales. The rest of the email (except for the Pinterest marketing piece which SME has run like 20 times it seems) is used to promote SME’s annual conference. SME has forgotten why people flocked to them in the beginning and subscribed. Sadly, There is very little value left in receiving your newsletter.

  • Orit

    I tried using Power Editor and found it so complicated to follow I eventually used a normal FB ad, got my account hacked and my bank account was emptied.. Will probably get it back from FB as disputing it but what a hustle..
    If you can have a step by step Power Editor guide would be very happy to learn. Thank you

  • Great post! It gave me some great ideas for 2015! I already have a monthly budget for FB website click ads set up and I’m looking forward to using them and seeing what happens.

  • I learned something I may implement soon. Thank you!

  • Hi DWS,

    Thanks for your comment and your concern. Each article we publish on SocialMediaExaminer.com is mandated to be commercial-free and non promotional. That’s our rule and we have MANY editors who review each article to make sure that is the case. We have never generated revenue from our blog posts. They are all pure editorial. And for the record, Facebook is not a sponsor and we have never received a penny from them.

    Our site also has no advertising except for our own events which of course is what funds all that we do here.

    Now to our newsletter, we DO have paid sponsors who promote ebooks in our newsletter. While it is a small part of our revenue, it does help with some of the costs for running our site.

  • Sayantan Mukherjee

    Yes,i need that too.

  • Siva Prakash Shanmugam

    thanks for the update bro it is really great info

  • Pingback: How To Use Facebook Ads to Promote Your Blog Content | MarketingHits.com()

  • Pingback: 5 Facebook Tips for Beginners | AddThis Blog()

  • Thanks Mike. Can you elaborate on steps for the conversion pixel and adding it to the submission success page? I’m a novice so all the knowledge I can get will help…

  • Thanks Mike. Can you elaborate on steps for the conversion pixel and adding it to the submission success page? I’m a novice so all the knowledge I can get will help…

  • Rose

    All true, but I would be careful with video: too many of those in the timeline these days. If I see one I skip them no matter what’s on it.

  • Hello Gauri. Your experience seems unusual. Bidding is now in the Ad set area and in that area I have ability to manually set a bid for a click and of course to set a daily limit or campaign limit. My view attached. Others like @AndreaVahl of the SME team may have input for you as well.

  • Take a look at this post noted in the image below for some starters!

  • Excellent! Glad to hear that S.J.! All the best to you in 2015!

  • Great to hear!

  • Glad to hear that!

  • Quick question: When I create a video ad on Facebook, the limit is 15 seconds. Does that limit apply when I want to boost a post that is a video? Thanks.

  • Thanks for your input and perspective Rose. Statistics on video engagement from Facebook’s research say that at this time most users are not like you and they do watch videos. I understand your preference and Pages definitely should not plaster the feed with videos.

  • Facebook Ads manager will prompt you to use the “Get Video Views” ad option. This ad tool helps you reach targeted users with the video and there is no 15 second limit.

  • Gauri Maini

    If you see on the top of your view you will see that you are being charged for every time your ad is served. This is despite the fact that you have chosen how much a click to your website is worth. I know for a fact that this option has changed in the last two days and that I have been charged for impressions,not clicks

  • Sorry, I pasted the wrong image. You need to select “Clicks” not “Clicks to Website” and then it is not CPM.

  • Gauri Maini

    Gotcha! Thanks. This has changed recently though. I am disputing the charge on my account for impressions 🙁

  • Thanks Mike for all the updating on Facebook. It is an ongoing challenge to keep up with the constant changes and your information is invaluable!

  • Owen Hemsath

    Which ads do you use for blog posts- ads manager or promoted posts?

  • Glad to assist Anita!

  • I use the Ads Manager most often. All depends on who I want to reach. I typically want to share first my blog post with my community so I can use Web Custom Audiences to reach those who have been on my site, or my email list with custom audiences. I then also like to share a post (using Ads Manager) targeting a larger circle of those who like related content and so would likely be good targets for my content.

  • Owen Hemsath

    Great, thanks. I ask bc i want to promote my blog posts and wondered if “boosting” the post or usimg ad manager would work better. Youre saying to boost it, right?

  • Sure Profits

    Excellent piece. It is a long post and very resourced. I have never thought of using ads to promote my blog posts. I have advertised my FB posts. This gives me ideas that I can now use as part of an overall strategy for improving traffic to my blog. You gave pictures of Pinterest and Instagram but I did not make the connection?

  • The conversion pixel would need to be added to ONLY the page that appears after the user submits their sign-up.

  • I use the Ad manager more.

  • The Instagram pic for example was of a Facebook post that offered help and support about Instagram. The intent was not to talk about Instagram in the article but to show how you can drive traffic to your website with help and resource posts.

  • Has anyone else seen the social share bar dramatically increase Facebook likes just by people liking the FB content ad, but not actually sharing/liking on the blog itself?

  • Hi Johnathan, you might want to ask this question in our LinkedIn group: Social-Media-Marketing-Networking-Club-5088154

  • Worth recommending for. This is really useful to those who wants to promote their ads. Looking forward for more stuff like this. Cheers

    try this one too buyrealmarketingdotcom

  • Thanks for the tips! I will try these to boost my traffic!

  • Radar Marketing

    Great!!!! Very Informative. . Thanks for update.