Mark Zuckerburg announced last week that Facebook will be making major changes to the content that appears in news feeds. Long story short: businesses, brands and media will be getting much less exposure. For business owners this means ad costs will go up, and your reach on Facebook will diminish.
Major bummer, right?
Before you go into panic mode, let's look on the bright side. While some doors in Facebook may be closing, other opportunities are swinging wide open. I think we're going to have a lot of fun with social media and content marketing in 2018. Here's why:
New content formats are exploding.
How many of these content formats are in your marketing mix?
- Live streaming
- Snapchat/Instagram Stories
These formats are gaining more and more popularity and will likely explode in 2018. Sure, the newsfeed might not be a good marketing opportunity anymore, but Facebook still has Messenger, live streaming, Facebook Watch and other ways to reach consumers through their channel. You just have to get creative. Just like Facebook's newsfeed, these channels will eventually become saturated and competitive, so the time to establish yourself is now.
Consumers and social channels will prioritize quality content over the quantity of content a company produces.
For years, marketers were seasoned to believe that we had to churn out tons of blog posts to gain traction in the eyes of Google. The same went for social media. The more you posted, the better chance you had of getting eyes on your content. Thankfully, from a content consumer's perspective, those days are over. Google is starting to prioritize quality content over the number of pages or "keywords" a website has.
For example, instead of writing 5 200-word blog posts stuffed with mentions of the keyword "garden tools" to try to rank for the term garden supplies in Google, your time would be much better spent writing a single 1500-word post about "10 must-have tools for any serious gardener." The title phrase gives the phrase "garden tools" context and provides a more useful search result for someone searching in Google.
Personalization will continue to change the face of marketing.
In today's high tech world, people crave personal attention. Personalization is key if you want to stand out in the endless amount of emails and ads your prospects see every day.
How does personalization work?
Personalization is a strategy by which companies offer individualized messages and offers to consumers by using data gathered about them. As an example, let's say you're browsing a pair of shoes on Zappos, and then you surf over to Facebook and see an ad for the same pair of shoes in your newsfeed. Although it may seem creepy, these ads work. In our experience at Ascend, we've seen as much as 10X ROI on ad spend for personalized retargeting ads.
Another (less creepy) example is the Coca Cola "Share a Coke" campaign where the company released bottles of their soda with the 800 most popular first names on them.
What are your plans for 2018?
Does the news from Facebook change your marketing plans for 2018? What new platforms or techniques do you plan to explore this year? Let us know in the comments!