If you’re like most savvy business owners, you understand the importance of direct response marketing – the idea that you in your ads and other content, you need to place a “Call To Action” to encourage your audience to take the next step with you.
(If the term “direct response” is new to you: it’s the idea that instead of just building brand awareness, you generate trackable results from your ad campaigns. Your “Call To Action” (CTA for short) could be anything from asking people to download a free report to give you a call or even buy your stuff right then and there.)
Facebook however just announced the news that they’re changing the rules regarding direct response type content, starting as early as January 2015.
The reason is, after conducting a study with 500,000 people they found that users prefer to see less promotional content in their newsfeed.
It’s always been the case that your page’s “organic reach” (that is, the percentage of your fans that get to see your post in their newsfeed without any boost or other payment from you) was only a fraction of how many fans you have.
So for example, if 10,000 people “liked” your page, maybe 300 – 1,500 of those people will actually see your posts in their newsfeed.
(Die hard fans of course can always see all of your public posts, if they actually visit your page but that’s not how most people engage with pages they “liked”.)
Why is this important?
Because now Facebook announced that they’ll show even less of your content to your page’s fans organically – and they’ll particularly “penalise” direct response type posts.
For example, “buy now” or “click here to enter the contest” type of posts will get less organic reach than they have so far.
Does that mean you should give up on direct response and quit tracking the results of your efforts on Facebook? Or worse, just quit Facebook marketing altogether?
No, of course not.
But you have to get smarter about how you market.
Since Facebook still allows roughly the same percentage of paid content to show up in their users’ newsfeed, your best bet is to do any direct promotions through paid ads only. You may post them as public posts but based on the new rules, they won’t get much visibility.
However, you certainly can pay for them by “boosting” your posts or posting them as “dark posts” so that they can be served as ads in the newsfeed native environment.
So what about your organic reach?
For best results, I recommend you only post content that is informational, educational or entertaining but has no Call To Action on it, unless you’re planning to pay for serving those posts as ads.
Why is that so important?
Well it’s simple really…
Edgerank (Facebook’s algorithm that determines the extent of your organic reach) is largely influenced by the engagement (likes, shares, comments etc) you get on your posts.
Since their study of 500,000 people shows that users don’t like promotional content in their newsfeed, now you know that that’s not the kind of post you’re likely to get high engagement on.
So why take your chances and deteriorate your “engagement” stats which will then further lower your organic reach?
In your organic content (again, that’s posts where you do not pay for distribution), let’s use the space for building authentic engagement and a real solid bond with your audience.
On the other hand, you absolutely need to continue with your direct response type posts – just make sure these are always boosted or used in designated ads with proper targeting.
You’ll get better control over who sees them, how often you see them… and it’s just about the only way to get it in front of the right people anyway when you’re looking to scale.
So remember: “awareness” type branding only content, entertainment pieces and the like are good for your organic distribution, and content that has a call to action needs to be properly paid for.
If you’d like some help with implementing these strategies, give us a call at 1300 680 223.