Content marketing is an arms race.
The competition for attention on Facebook is intense, and seems to grow more heated every day. Just because somebody is following your brand on the site doesn't mean they'll automatically engage with your content.
Yet one of the most common mistakes content marketers make on Facebook is in focusing too much on lead generation and not enough on building a community and offering content of real value, says Chad Berndtson, director of content marketing and social media at B2B cyber security firm Palo Alto Networks.
“Lead generation—in the traditional sense of filling up the top of the funnel with actionable contacts—really shouldn’t be the driver for B2B social media,” he says. “I see a lot of content that, while it may be interesting and on-brand, just isn’t the right fit for the medium.”
Berndtson, who will speak on Facebook content marketing at PR News Measurement Conference and Social Media Boot Camp, April 20-21 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., offered the following tips for those seeking to stand out from a crowded Facebook stream.
Make it Easy
A popular content marketing device is to promise great content by leading users to a gated webpage, holding that content for ransom for the price of their contact information.
But if a user has to work hard to get to your content—if it’s not there in the stream ready to entice—you’ve already lost them.
“Think about why people are choosing to interact with you via Facebook when they have all these other ways of interacting with you,” says Berndtson. “Do you really think they’re following your page because they want to be given a link to a gated asset that requires them to give up a business e-mail address?”
Create Communities by Segmenting
Your messaging will be much more powerful if you recognize where and how your customers really want to encounter your brand on Facebook, Berndtson says.
For instance, if your company has a following on a Spanish-language page, spend some time serving up in-language content for that audience, even if it’s much smaller than your English-language following. The goal is to localize the experience and customize your content for each community.
“It’s as much about the community you’re creating as it is the organic content you can produce,” he says. “Are you blasting out content on a global page, hoping for the best? Or have you identified rich territories for engagement, and tailored and segmented to accommodate that?”
Learn more from Chad Berndtson at PR News' Measurement Conference and Social Media Boot Camp, which will be held April 20-21, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Brand communicators from Bayer, Marriott, Amtrak, New York Life Insurance Company and many more will forge the future of data- and analytics-driven PR and social media at the show.
Make It Worthwhile
In some ways, Facebook is the most powerful outlet in the world, but like any news source, it hinges on the potential for discovery. Just because somebody is following your brand doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll engage with any branded post.
So, before producing content for Facebook, marketers should ask themselves whether they’re giving customers or prospects a good enough reason to read or watch their content, and whether it’s interesting enough to make them want to return.
Follow Chad: @Cberndtson
Follow Jerry: @Jascierto