Silicon Beach Fest: What Facebook admins can learn about content marketing

SiliconBeachFest_contentmarketing

When it comes to content marketing, many Facebook page admins are still figuring out what works. Speaking at Silicon Beach Fest on Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif., panelists from Demand Media, Experian (which manages a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer in Alchemy Social) and Outbrain discussed how brands think about developing and marketing content, as well as how Facebook can play a role.

Even if you’re not in the business of writing blog posts and coming up with ad campaigns for your brand, there were some Facebook-relevant takeaways from the session for any level of Facebook page manager.

1) Define your goal clearly

One of the pitfalls that panelists identified was broadening your approach so much that there was no measurable benefit. Julie Campistron, the Executive Vice President of Studio and Content Solutions for Demand Media, said it best:

With social, there are many ways to measure. If you want referrals back to your site (the approach) is very different if you want comments and very different if you want shares. If you want all (three), you’re going to fail. Usually, if you want to drive traffic to your site from social channel, it’s going to have to be a teaser. Shareability and commenting are different in how Facebook’s algorithm functions. That’s something that you might want to prioritize.

On Facebook, page admins need to identify not only the specific reason why they’re on the site (whether it’s to drive traffic to the website, to drive sales or to just increase brand awareness) and hone in on that. If you have a page or a campaign where you’re trying to achieve everything, it’s more likely that none of the objectives will be satisfied.

2) Think like a consumer

Many marketers on Facebook often forget that users didn’t join Facebook solely to engage with your brand. They joined to keep up with friends and relatives, as well as experience interesting stuff. While a “like” isn’t worthless, it doesn’t always mean that the Facebook fan is a devoted fanatic of the brand, waiting for the daily update from the page.

As Christine Fleming, Demand Media’s Senior Director, Content Strategy, said at the event: “No one cares about your brand as much as you do.” She noted that brands should ask themselves before posting if this is content that users really need.

Brandon Bergmark, Head of West Coast Sales at Outbrain, stressed that content marketers need to have the consumer in mind when they publish anything. When informational content comes from a brand, many users know they’re being pitched to, Bergmark said. He recommended that brands strive to become the expert in their field on social platforms (and blogs and their own websites), so they can have top-of-mind recognition when a customer has a question:

If the brand is talking about a topic that they’re experts in — like Colgate talking about gingivitis or Experian talking about how to protect your credit — that’s they’re business. If they don’t know that, they would not be in business.

Readers: What other tips would you add?

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