So, you’ve written some great content on that blog of yours, but the low page views are making you want to put down the pencil and never write a word again in your life.
Well before you go ahead and sulk off, it’s time to have a think about exactly what you’re doing to get those page views in the first place.
It’s all well and good sharing it across your social profiles, including it in your monthly newsletter and ensuring it’s optimised for search; but the truth is, the world is saturated with content. So, how are you ensuring your content is getting in front of the intended audience?
The next tool you need to add to your arsenal is social advertising.
You may think this is a tactic primarily used for encouraging purchases, but social advertising is an essential element in building up brand awareness to those that really matter to your business.
Let’s be honest, your current strategy is barely cutting through the noise, so let’s at least give social advertising a try and see just where it takes you.
This step-by-step guide will give you the practical actions you need to take, in order to amplify your content to your audience.
Step 1 – Pick Your Content
Before we can even touch on the technicalities of social advertising you need to decide which of your beautifully written posts, or videos, you are going to share with your audience.
There are a number of ways you can do this.
One way is to have a look at which of your current posts are the most popular, as this is a clear sign that your audience are interested in this type of content.
Look at the average time on the page rather than page views, as a low average time generally means the content is indigestible. (ie you bored them!)
A second way to look at your content, is deciding which you think would be of most value to your audience that you’re trying to attract. You may have a few ideas under your sleeve about what you wish to publish, but think about this in the shoes of your audience. What would really help them out?
Step 2 – Make It Friendly
Now you know which piece of content you’ll be sharing, it’s time to get rather honest with yourself. Is it the best it can be?
There’s nothing worse than investing money into something which later turns out, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Like buying a house and then finding all the faults.
It works exactly the same way with your content. You could put all your money into social advertising, only to find your blog wasn’t formatted correctly, or it didn’t read easily on mobile.
Vet your content. How does it look on mobile? Can it be formatted or broken-up in a better way to make it more digestible? Can you cut down that essay and get to the point quicker?
Remember that when it comes to content, there are no prizes for word count, all that matters is getting people to read it!
Here’s a small check list to run past your content;
- Is the title engaging?
- Does the introduction draw them in, or are you yabbering on?
- Is it broken up with subheadings, bullets or numbers?
- Do you have social sharing buttons?
- Have you included relevant imagery?
- Does it really need to be THAT long?
- How does it look on mobile?
By enhancing your content and being critical of it, you will find that the smallest adjustments will dramatically improve the engagement.
And what was a rather sad looking average time on the page, will transform into an almighty big green arrow that turns the frown upside down.
“60% of marketers focus on blogs in their work” – State of Inbound 2016
Step 3 – Choose Your Platform
Your content is looking fresh and you feel ready to spread this out to the world.
The only question that remains; which social media platform do you push it to?
This isn’t an easy question, and it all depends on the type of content you’re pushing and who you want to see it.
As you will know, each social media platform has data on its demographics of users.
With this data, you need to decide where your audience are, and how you’re going to engage with them on this medium.
This infographic by Tracx, reveals the latest social media demographic statistics for 2017.
Of course, the elephant in the room is also cost. How much it will cost you to advertise on each platform differs greatly – and in the end this may be your deciding factor when it comes to where you advertise.
Facebook is by far the best value for money due to the mass data they hold on their users.
Whereas other platforms are more costly, and less targeted.
To get a real idea of the cost involved in each this piece by the Financial Times dives into the costs of each platform so you have a general understanding of exactly how much you will be spending.
For the sake of this piece, we’re going to stick with good old Facebook, because their advertising results still cannot be beaten.
Step 4 – Create Your Audience
Once you know your platform, it’s time to create your audience.
Not all social platforms hold a lot of data about their users, for example Twitter has less information than Facebook, because to sign up to Twitter you do not need to enter as much personal data as Facebook.
Therefore, we’re going to utilise Facebook Audience Insights to find our target audience.
Before we begin this task, I want you to really think about who your audience are.
Answer the following questions to create a persona profile;
- What is their age?
- Which generation are they from?
- Where do they live? Or what areas would they live in?
- What do they potentially do for a living?
- What level of education do they have?
- What’s motivates them?
By building up a profile of your audience you begin to understand their needs and desires, and ensure that your brand and content is going to align with what they are looking for.
Now that you have these details, let’s now enter them into Facebook Audience Insights.
Thanks to the data that Facebook holds on your audience, you will be able to see which other pages they interact with, and where they are most likely to live.
From this you can then select interests that they may have.
As shown in the example above, I have added in interested related to things that may be happening in their lives such as a charity and brands that they may follow, such as Asda.
Once you feel happy that you have your audience set-up, save it.
75% of marketing leaders report that social is generating ROI – Global Marketing Research
Step 5 – Create Your Ad
Now we’ve got our content and our audience, it’s time to marry the two together.
Creating ads around content that is on your website can dramatically improve your lead generation, and help you to find potential customers who perhaps have never heard of your product or on the cusp of needing your services.
The ad itself is a simple step-by-step process that anyone can follow, but there are a few rules I would follow. Such as;
- Ensure you select Traffic – after all, that’s want the aim of this campaign is. To drive traffic to content.
- Remember to use your saved audience.
- Test it only for a week – I would never look to spend hundreds of pounds on an amplification campaign. Especially if it’s not returning the desired results. Therefore ensure when you’re in Budget & Schedule, you set a small daily budget and let it run for a week to see if it has ground.
- Make your ad content mobile friendly – Facebook will automatically give you a preview of your ad on mobile now, but ensure that your headline and text really draw the audience in to take action.
Once your ad is live you can then begin to track exactly how it’s converting.
If you really want to take it to the next level and optimise your social ads, try testing out all the variables.
On ads, you can change so much; content, imagery and not forgetting the audience. So, take some time to play around to find the right combination that drives traffic.
When you have your sweet spot, you’ll be seeing a positive return from your efforts. And that awesome piece of content will be doing all the work for you.
“Amplification is an endless experiment in what works for you, in your market,” Barry Feldman