We’re continuing our blog series on the marketing funnel with paid social, the often overlooked, but oh-so-important element of the path to conversion. Previously we covered technical SEO and content SEO. If you haven’t checked those editions out yet, start there and come back … paid social will be waiting for you.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “you have to spend money to make money.” We cater to that to some extent as publishers. Your website could be the most search engine optimized website on the world wide web, but people have to take an active action to search for something that relates to what you’re offering. (I.e. Best restaurants near me). BUT … by using paid social, you can get your content in front of people and tell them what you have to offer without requiring an action from them. You go 90% of the way … they go 10% of the way.
It continues to surprise me that publisher’s don’t have it in their budget to promote their own content on social. I scrolled through my own Facebook feed to find examples of publishers promoting new content and all I could find were subscription offers. If I haven’t been to your website before, I’m not going to subscribe to anything you have to offer me on social media. When you’re working on your 2020 budget this fall, consider spending money to at least test filling your own funnel. We’ve seen both B2B and B2C pubs do this successfully.
Tell New Users About Your Content
Most publishers are currently using organic social to drive users to their website by posting something to tease their content and linking a recently published article. Facebook’s 2019 algorithm now prioritizes content posted from friends over publishers, with a focus on “meaningful interactions.” It ranks all available posts that can display on a user’s News Feed based on how likely that user will have a positive reaction.
So, that means that your organic posts are being seen less frequently by people that like or follow you. These people are already in your funnel because they already like your page. But, they’re not necessarily seeing your content every time you post it. It almost becomes necessary to put money behind your content on social to make sure that it gets in front of both engaged and unengaged eyeballs.
Using Facebook Ad Manager, you can target multiple audiences with a post that you would normally put in your feed and drive people to your website. Driving people to your website with a catchy ad is one thing, but you need to have an email capture method on the page to prompt a user to sign up for a relevant newsletter. Ensure that you have a form on the page, a pop up that comes in on exit intent or maybe at 50% scroll down the page, and you have an opportunity to capture a new user and add them to your newsletter list.
It’s Simple … Just Ask Them to Sign Up
Facebook Lead Gen ads are also available to any user with an ad manager. They have hundreds of CRM integrations already built in, so any leads you capture can be automatically added to your database. Yes, you read that correctly, there are 27 pages of integrations waiting for you.
You can advertise your newsletter and ask for their email directly in the Facebook platform. Facebook already knows their email address, so it will auto populate it for them (who doesn’t love that convenience?!). If you can catch their eye during a mindless social media scroll with a captivating image and tease your newsletter with some catchy copy, all it will take is 3 clicks for a user to sign up. It keeps the user within their Facebook feed and doesn’t force them to navigate a page or a form on your website. They sign up and go on their merry way aimlessly scrolling through Facebook.
You’ve Generated Leads, Now What?
By utilizing paid social to drive traffic to a page with a form on it or by straight up asking for an email address, publishers can start to fill their own funnel with a little investment. After you acquire the lead is when the real magic happens. Remember when we said that audience developers are like the Martha Stewarts of the world? Once you capture their email address, introduce them to your brand with a welcome series that warms them up to the type of content you offer. In your welcome series you can tease additional newsletter sign ups or introduce them to other aspects of your brand (your guide to the best restaurants in town, etc.). And after a few friendly emails, you’ll really want to hit your revenue drivers like your membership programs or print subscription offers. And remember: It’s seriously important to warm them up to some free and interesting content before you ask them for money. What’s the saying? Treat people the way you’d like to be treated? Keep that in mind when building out your welcome series.
Reaching new users with paid social by employing these two techniques can increase your total newsletter subscribers and fill your funnel with users who are “warmed up” to your brand.
For our last installment of this series, we’ll talk about organic social and how it’s related to the marketing funnel. Interested in chatting about Paid Social more? It’s my favorite subject! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.