9 Ways Content Marketing Can Save Your Doomed Facebook Page

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9 Ways Content Marketing Can Save Your Doomed Facebook Page

Facebook has announced starting January, they will be ramping up efforts to inflict even harsher punishments on brands for posting too much promotional content. Facebook’s raising the bar by including posts pushing users to enter contests or sweepstakes under the umbrella of practices worth penalizing. Facebook-baiting (blatantly asking for clicks, likes, and comments) and spammy strategies won’t cut it anymore.

Making Facebook work for businesses is getting harder each month. Facebook has been slaughtering organic post reach for brand pages, which has made getting your posts in front of Facebook users akin to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. There is some glimmer of hope though: quality, cream-of-the-crop content marketing.

Success on Facebook now requires businesses bring their A game and deliver valuable, quality content that will naturally excite Facebook users, trickery aside.

How do you rock content marketing on Facebook? Try out these 9 tips.

1. Create Custom Content Images For Social Media

I don’t need to tell you how powerful images are on social media – but I’ll tell you anyway! There’s tons of data showing how crazy people go over visual content. Recent studies have shown that Facebook photo posts get 120% more engagement than an average text-based post.

Our brains go ballistic over images. In a sea of text, pictures are what stand out and grab our attention.

Even the highest quality content won’t get noticed if it’s marketed and packaged poorly. Presentation matters. No one feels great receiving a gift delivered in a plastic CVS bag, but throw some wrapping paper and a ribbon on it, and you’ve increased enjoyment and gift appreciation by at least 70% (note: gift appreciation may vary depending on individual).

Your content marketing efforts on Facebook can be greatly improved by creating custom social media images to complement your content.

How Content Marketing Can Save Your Facebook Page | SEJ

Users love seeing these kinds of images. They are bright, eye-catching, and offer a quick headline of what your content piece is about. Think of these photos as the book covers for your online content. Now we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but if you’ve ever wandered around a Barnes & Noble, you understand how certain book covers draw you in, while others end up on the clearance rack.

Making these super clickable cover images is easy. There are many tools available online that make it easy to craft your own content-complimenting images.

Two free tools I’d recommend checking out are:

Canva: Canva lets you choose backgrounds, stickers, and 120+ different fonts to create high-quality social images. Canva couldn’t be simpler – you just click and drag the elements you want to use.

It’s easy to make images using free elements, but there are plenty of paid, ultra-targeted image elements as well if you want to crank things up a notch. You can even choose Canva layout designs based on which social media channel you want to share your image on, so you’ll never have to sacrifice to the bizarre social media cropping gods.

Share As Image: Share As Image has less customization than Canva, but it’s often faster than Canva’s feature-heavy interface. Just find a photo you want to use, open the Share As Image app within your browser, and click away. Create several different text boxes and vary text size, font, and color. The paid version lets you take advantage of free stock photos, pre-designed templates, and even add your own logo.

It’s fast, free, and easy to create these quality content cover images. Give them a try and watch your engagement metrics go off the charts.

2. Some Kind of Image, Any Kind of Image

Sometimes you can’t go through the effort to create a custom social media image to act alongside your content, and that’s OK.

Even if you aren’t able to craft a custom quality content cover image, you need some kind of visual element to draw in users, which is why you need to make sure your Facebook link preview looks good.

If you publish with WordPress, you can choose exactly which image from your linked content you want to show up in your Facebook link preview. For best results, try using a square image, as they tend to look best in the link preview box.

3. Keep Your Posts Short

You don’t need to post an entire synopsis of the content you’re linking to on Facebook.

Shorter posts tend to perform much better than longer ones. Keeping your posts under 250 characters can result in 60% more engagement! It pays to be concise.

Just stick to the basics – give a quick rundown of what your content piece is, why it’s valuable, and go no further.

4. Pay Up for Promoted Posts

The honest truth may burn your ears, but it’s time to face the facts – with Facebook giving little to no real-estate for organic brand posts, it’s next to impossible to get any results on Facebook without upgrading to paid Facebook advertising.

Promoted Posts is a great place to start. Just choose a post you want to promote, set a budget, target specific audiences, and you’re off! Facebook has some pretty great targeting options you can take advantage of.

One great strategy I recommend is creating a custom audience by uploading your opt-in email list. This means your post is only targeting users who have an existing relationship with you. This keeps your costs down and promises better engagement. Plus, whenever users engage with your paid post, their actions generate organic visibility through their Friends network.  Not a bad deal!

5. Leverage the Power of Trending Topics

In further efforts to deliver content users actually want to see, Facebook is now focusing on the timeliness of content, seeking to boost hot, trending topics to the top of News Feeds.

This means you should be making an effort to craft and share hot topic content that is news-worthy and corresponds with what’s trending on the web.

Take an example from my friend and colleague, Perry Marshall. He recently crafted a Facebook post that generated 1 million likes! He was able to achieve this by leveraging the power of a trending topic (in this case, Robin Williams remembrance). This is definitely a smart strategy and one with replicating.

How Content Marketing Can Save Your Facebook Page | SEJ

6. Take Advantage of Insider Syndrome

Post special content that’s “exclusively for Facebook fans” and you’ll likely see your content getting more attention than it might otherwise. Everyone wants to feel important – by having Facebook fans feel that they are part of a special group getting a better deal, they’ll be more likely to take advantage of your offer.

For example, if you have a downloadable white paper with “6 Strategies for Better Email Marketing Campaigns,” consider adding two more additional tips and repackaging the white paper as a Facebook fan exclusive

7. Promote Major Content on Your Cover Photos

If you have a really fantastic piece of content you’re proud of, don’t be afraid to go all out in promoting it. Create a big Facebook cover photo showcasing your new piece of content. Put that big banner space to use!

8. Drop the Sales Pitch

Facebook has declared all out war on overly promotional posts. Brands will no longer get away with posting salesy promo content. If you want to promote a service or showcase a new product, you better restrict those posts to paid ads.

Industry experts are now endlessly debating the topic: is Facebook marketing dead and buried? Some believe that this separation of promotional content from quality content that users actually want to see isn’t such a terrible thing. It’s frightening, yes, and many businesses will struggle to adapt. Some won’t be able to at all. However, the businesses that do choose to take on the task will be pushed towards more creative storytelling and experimentation.

Smaller businesses can expect to have a harder time adjusting than large companies, who are more likely to have the budget and resources to craft copious amounts of quality content.

The good news is, in creating high-quality content that will perform well on Facebook, you’ll also be creating resources that will perform well across all aspects of your marketing efforts.

9. Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Experiment, see what works, and replicate success. Once you figure out a formula that works, you’re set.

Entering the New Facebook Era

Businesses have been horrified as numbers continue to creep in  – Facebook organic reach for pages is dropping faster than an anvil on Wile E. Coyote. The writing is on the wall – users don’t want to hear sales pitches, and Facebook is making good on its efforts to improve user experience.

Inbound marketing has been in the spotlight for years, with pushy, overly promotional sales pitches already passé. Facebook is reinforcing what most marketers hopefully understand by now – users want to be educated, delighted, and engaged.

These are dark days for brands on Facebook, but content marketing can clear the way for a bright future. Never give up, never surrender!


Image Credits

Featured Image and Image #1: Created by author for Search Engine Journal
Image #2: Screenshot taken January 2015

Larry Kim

Larry Kim

CTO and Founder at WordStream
Larry Kim founded WordStream in 2007. Today he serves as company CTO and is a contributor to both the product team and marketing teams. Larry... Read Full Bio
Larry Kim
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  • Norton Loomer

    Great info here, but your first paragraph is misleading. Facebook is not “punishing” brands that post this content. They just aren’t showing it in newsfeeds. Brands are free to post this content as much as they want without penalty. These posts won’t be seen by anyone who doesn’t visit the brand’s page.

    • Larry Kim

      you’re right of course, but the brand advertiser that just spent millions of dollars over the last 8 years acquiring followers (with the reasonable expectation that they would be able to communicate to them in the future) might view the recent algo changes as being rather punitive. But yes, i get your point. thanks.

  • Leslie Denning

    Thanks for this post, Larry. I understand that the bottom line of any business is to make money, but Facebook can really make you crazy trying to keep up with all the changes. It’s nice to have some tips to make it more valuable for marketers.

    All the best,

    • Larry Kim

      Aww thanks Leslie! glad you liked it.

  • Kerry

    Thanks Larry, I think that it’s important now that all businesses that want a Faceboook presence look at how good their content is and whether they’re distributing anything useful. Great content will naturally attract clicks of course … but this should be boosted by paid posts too if you want to get noticed.

    Facebook’s advertising options are becoming increasingly useful too, so I don’t see brands leaving the platform, the biggest losers are always going to be small businesses.

    • Larry Kim

      I pay money to promote the posts with the best organic performance numbers. It’s like they give you just enough reach to “audition” various social updates, and beyond that you (generally) have to pay up. The exception is of course where you have posts with ridiculously high engagement rates (like +50%) — those will do well organically on their own.

  • Diwakar

    hi Larry,

    thanks for the nice post. And keep updating us with this type of valuable tips.

    • Larry Kim

      Thanks Diwakar!

  • Nikhil Makwana

    Thanks Larry for sharing this great stuff.

    You have mentioned one great point that we need to go with paid ads on Facebook, which make sense to reach to more audience specially targeted audience. I have observed the same and from a couple of months I am adding Facebook Paid marketing in my promotional strategy.

    More about content, I can say “Graphics Speaks about your promotion on Facebook” and adding attractive & realistic graphics help a lot to engage more users.

    • Larry Kim

      i agree. I look for unusual images or figures with highly saturated (super bright) colors. I stay away from professional stock photography.

  • Amit Kumar

    Hii Larry sir,

    A big thanks goes to you for sharing these superb ways of Content Marketing. I am going to apply these ways from right now on my facebook pages and hope it will work.

    Thanks again 🙂

    • Larry Kim

      good luck amit!

  • Sushil Bedarwal

    good information this blog is helpful for any person who use facebook for marketing and branding and by reading this blog we can prevent from any spamming .

    • No name

      Says someone who is clearly spamming…

      • Larry Kim


  • Jod

    Don’t forget to include videos into the mix! Video posts can do exceptionally well and they autoplay in the NewsFeed, which can capture’s people’s attention as they are scrolling by.

    • Larry Kim

      great idea. i totally forgot about that one!

  • Michelle

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I will be sharing your post like crazy. I can’t stand this sort of behaviour, it drives me nuts. I’m so glad FB will be doing something about it. It smacks of 1950s marketing tactics and surely, we’ve all come along way since then. Can’t say good bye to that soon enough.

  • Kayla Chatkiewicz

    Thank you for this Larry. I couldnt agree more with the visual points. Pictures are much more visually appealing rather than just some plain old text. I use canva too, and I absolutely love how easy it is to use. Since the new year, I’ve seen and felt the huge hit that Facebook put on pages. But it’s simple. Brands need to pay up if they want users to see their promotional posts. No more free advertising on Facebook!

  • sia sharma

    Great blog post Larry…facebook is important part of seo and thanks for sharing changes comes in this…field.