Learn how to use content to improve the performance of your campaigns
From the earliest days of social media, content has been positioned as being the key to a brand’s image, communications and storytelling. The best way a brand could insinuate itself between status updates and photos of your friends was via content that was engaging, shared and strong enough to get you to stop scrolling for even a second. Although the same obviously holds true today, the business model has changed a bit, and paid social has taken on a more important role in news feeds.
We were starting to think (wrongly) that paid social and content marketing were two separate entities, operating independently of each other. In reality though, it pays to employ these two methods in parallel, rather than seeing them as completely separate.
The arrival of Facebook ads and the evolution of the algorithm
With a newsfeed that looked very different than the one we know today, Facebook made its start on the ad scene by introducing a tool that allowed for a groundbreaking degree of precision in demographic targeting. Naturally, this drew a lot of interest from advertisers and agencies alike.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2018: Facebook announces that available ad space will be reduced in favour of prioritizing posts from your friends and the pages with which you interact the most. The goal being to leave more space for quality content, that generates interest and engagement.
The competition for the little space that remains will be stiff, not only in terms of bidding, but also in terms of ad quality and targeting, which will sometimes have to be narrower in order to maximize return on investment (ROI).
Take advantage of content strategy
Technically, one of the biggest benefits of a solid content strategy for paid social is the ability for a marketer to collect traffic data and convert it into highly qualified audiences for future campaigns. As long as a pixel has been installed on the sites in question, you can create custom Facebook audiences targeting visitors from the past 30, 60 or 90 days (or more), and in turn use that to generate broader audiences with similar characteristics to these visitors. Same goes for those who engage with your videos, events and even your Instagram account.
In the Audiences tab of your Business Manager, once you’ve selected your page, click on Create Audience, then Custom Audience. All the options will be there for you to choose from.
A prospecting campaign that pushes engaging content can be a real springboard for future remarketing campaigns, as well as for lookalike campaigns that can allow you to target people with the same demographic attributes as those people who engaged with your content.
Content picks up where paid leaves off
No matter what type of products or services you’re offering, a good content strategy will allow you to start a conversation with your target customers, and deliver useful content that responds to their questions and needs. This is critical for any company with a long sales cycle. The real estate industry is a good example. In addition to starting the conversation, the high-quality content that will be produced and shared on your site will also have a positive impact on SEO.
If you’re striving to connect with your audience over the long term and maintain an active community (fashion industry or new tech), it will be essential for you to retain audiences, and establish loyalty and (best case) an emotional connection. The storytelling your brand does through its content will be the key to having a long-term relationship with your potential customers.
As was done for the revenue, look for the conversion rate and the average order evolution to evaluate if you’re doing things right and optimizing both variables. Does the average order value rise? Does the conversion stagnate? A deep analysis of order repartition (number of sales according to their average value) is a good way to understand the company’s market.
As significant as these metrics might be, it’s also important to look into your customers’ carts. This will give you a better timeline of the buyer’s goal. For example, a company starting B2C e-commerce might want to choose a B2B-oriented company. And vice versa.
In summary: content allows you to position yourself better, integrate better prospect targeting into your ad strategy and better retain people once you’ve reached them.
And the loop is closed!