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12 Actionable Steps to Drive Newsletter Growth with SEO Content

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The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

At Brafton, we’ve found our newsletter subscribers to be our best, most engaged audience. These are our people. They live and breathe content marketing, just as we do. Some even partner with us to create and execute awesome content marketing campaigns for their brands.

Over the last two and a half years, we’ve placed a significant emphasis on growing this subscriber base, and we’ve achieved a 170% increase (and counting!) across 84 countries.

Newsletter subscriptions coming from organic search traffic.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking for ways to grow your newsletter list, too.

SEO blog content has been the foundation for our growth. How does it work? Simple: We create blog content that ranks highly in search, and we make it super easy (and tempting) for readers to subscribe to our newsletter once they visit our blog.

While the concept seems straightforward, the effort is anything but.

Read on to learn how to get users from your website onto your newsletter list, and why email marketing and SEO work so well together.

Part 1: Attracting potential subscribers to your site

The first part of this newsletter growth process is actually getting your potential newsletter subscribers to your website. Here are 5 solid strategies for doing just that:

1. Keyword research

Our blog has been around since April 2010. We’ve published over 7,500 articles in those 12 years.

That’s a lot of content.

But it wasn’t until we rolled out a data-led keyword research and content creation strategy in 2018 that we started seeing significant traction with organic traffic growth:

I won’t go into detail about the strategy we used to get there (you can read about it here), but I will wax poetic about the importance of keyword research and topic selection if you’re looking to grow your blog — and your newsletter subscriber list as a result.

Keyword selection is crucial.

If you don’t choose the right topics to write about, you won’t rank highly in search results. And if you’re not showing up in search, no one is going to come to your website to read your content — or to subscribe to read more from your brand.

2. Great content writing

Great content is your foot in the door with your next potential newsletter subscriber. In an ideal scenario, they come to your site, they read your content, they’re incredibly impressed, and they happily enter their email address to get more of the same from your brand directly into their inbox.

Writing great content not only gets you to appear more often in search and improves your organic visibility, but it’s also the best way to convince a reader to sign up for your newsletter.

What do I mean when I say “write great content?” Well, there’s a creative and scientific element to this part of the process, and we do it because it works:

Using the briefing process we developed, and an extremely talented pool of in-house writers, we’re able to create content that comprehensively covers all potential subtopics and answers all potential questions a searcher might have about the target keyword. In effect, we attempt to use data to create the most comprehensive content on the web for each topic we choose to cover.

This keeps us competitive and ranking well in SERPs, which means more chances for a searcher to land on our blog and subscribe to our newsletter.

3. Content reoptimization

Sometimes the content we create gets old. It becomes outdated and stale, or new competitors create better content than ours and start outranking us.

Reoptimizing a piece of content helps us attract more potential newsletter subscribers to our blog in two main ways:

  1. By reoptimizing the blog content, we improve our ranking for our target keyword and, as a result, we start getting more clicks to the page for the targeted audience searching that term.

  2. By improving the comprehensiveness of the piece by covering more topics, we rank for a larger number of variant keywords and then drive more clicks to the page.

Here’s the data from a blog post that was underperforming before we did a reoptimization on March 30, 2021, and what newsletter subscription goal completions looked like after the reoptimization, year-over-year:

An increase in newsletter subscription goal completions YoY from a content reoptimization.

Even though the increase in total subscriptions here is relatively small, this was just for a single blog post. Imagine doing this for 50 blog posts a year. At scale, it can make an impact.

4. Audio/visuals in blog content

Some people are just more visual learners than others. They prefer eye-catching infographics and video tutorials over hundreds of words of straight-up written content. And I’m not just saying this without any actual data to back up my claim.

We’ve consistently found that blogs with infographics drive more clicks to our site (compared to blogs that do not feature infographics).

Even though our blogs with infographics make up just ~3% of all of our blog pages, they generate 25% of all the clicks to our blog pages and 21% of all the impressions generated by blogs in search:

They also have a higher CTR (2.0% vs 1.6%) and a better average keyword position (22.4 vs 30.2):

Finally, they tend to generate more backlinks organically:

Blog post: The Anatomy of a Marketing Ideation Workshop (Infographic)

How does this impact our newsletter list growth?

These pages drive more clicks, rank better in search and get linked back to more often. All of these results drive a bigger audience of potential newsletter subscribers to our website to read our content and click “Subscribe.”

5. Pillar pages

When it comes to attracting an organic search audience that is highly likely to subscribe to our newsletter, one of the top strategies we’ve rolled out in the last year is our pillar page strategy.

Over the course of 2021, we published five of these long-form guides. They’re a cross between a blog post and a landing page — and they are search-targeted.

Example of a pillar page targeting the keyword “what is content creation.”

Compared to our blog content, users coming to the site to view these pages tend to bounce less, view more pages per session and subscribe to our newsletter at a higher rate (1.11% vs 0.38%):

I’m not recommending you completely ditch your blog strategy for pillar pages, but they are a great supplemental way to generate more newsletter subscribers per page.

Part 2: Improving on-site newsletter conversion (CRO)

We’ve discussed plenty of ways to improve the content on the page to attract more visitors from organic search. But what happens once they get there? How do we actually get visitors to convert from first-time readers to weekly email subscribers?

Enter: Conversion rate optimization!

CRO is all about finding ways to get site visitors from reading your blog in their browser to receiving your content directly in their inbox. (Which is the ultimate goal, of course). Read on for four on-page elements that’ll likely improve your newsletter subscription conversion rates:

6. Pop-up form

There’s a reason why nearly every site you visit on the web has an annoying pop-up form asking you to subscribe to their newsletter. It’s because it works.

There was a time when our blog didn’t have a pop-up form (back around 2017). We decided to run a test and added the first iteration of our pop-up form, which looked like this:

Here are the results we saw:

We happily kept that pop-up form in its place and never looked back.

In the years since we originally implemented the pop-up, we’ve modified how it behaves so that it’s more likely to capture a form fill. We:

  • Adjusted the timing on the pop-up. It used to come up too soon for the reader to make any real judgment on whether they might want to subscribe. We decided to go with 30 seconds, as this time is enough for the user to get the flavor of the post, but still retains most of the users (as we found they start to drop off after 45 seconds).

These may seem like small modifications, but cumulatively they improve the chances that we’re serving the pop-up form at the exact right time for a reader.

We’ve also learned over the years that the more ways website visitors have to subscribe to our newsletter, the better. Here are 3 more elements that we’ve included on-page to drive up our subscription rate:

7. Sticky sidebar

This is one of my favorite CTA elements and I think it really personalizes the experience for the reader on a blog. The sticky sidebar follows you down the page as you read, and the “Subscribe” CTA is always present on the screen. It’s not overly distracting, but it does make it super easy for the reader to subscribe at any time (even if they’ve closed the pop-up form).

There was a period when we removed this sidebar from our blog pages and our newsletter conversion rate plummeted. It ticked back up once we added the sidebar back to the page. Lesson learned!

8. Inline subscribe CTA

We started embedding a CTA directly into each blog post. Its design is meant to not be too interruptive, but it’s present as yet another way for users to subscribe.

This inline CTA is included once per blog post, around 50% down the page. We intentionally do not place it too close to the end of the article. This improves our chances of catching someone once they’ve read a significant portion of the content but won’t be missed if they don’t finish reading the entire piece.

9. Dedicated newsletter sign-up page + nav link

As a final on-site CRO element, we launched a dedicated landing page to promote our newsletter:

Like any good conversion landing page, it succinctly (and persuasively, we hope) explains what subscribers get by entering their contact information.

And if they’re not yet convinced, we’ve included a sampling of some of our best blog content for them to peruse before they make the final decision to subscribe:

Every single element on this page is geared toward prompting users to fill out the form.

We use this landing page as a standalone promotional tool both on site and through external channels (paid and organic alike).

  • We advertise the page on Google and social platforms.

  • We share a link to this page in our email marketing — so friends of subscribers can easily subscribe.

  • We even give it a prominent spot in our main navigation:

You may think it’s not worth it to add a “Subscribe” button to your main navigation — it’s pretty important real estate, after all — but it will get you more newsletter subscribers organically as users land on and navigate through your site.

And people do actually navigate to this page and subscribe this way. Since launching the page in January 2021, it accounted for 17.64% of our total on-site newsletter goal completions (in 2021) with a whopping 24.12% conversion rate.

All the on-site elements I’ve covered may seem like tiny, insignificant changes but they 1) took significant research, analysis and effort to implement, and 2) they worked.

Since adding these elements in 2021, we have doubled our newsletter subscription conversion rate:

Small changes can yield big results — and every new newsletter subscriber makes a difference.

Part 3: Enhancing subscriber engagement

Now that we’ve looked at ways to grow your subscriber list and improve your subscription conversion rate, I want to switch gears and talk about what happens once someone does subscribe — and how content is invaluable to and inseparable from newsletter marketing.

Content is what fuels newsletter marketing. You cannot have one without the other. Sure, you can technically run a newsletter that solely shares external sources, but without some sort of original content to include in the email, you’re not going to retain subscribers for very long.

As I mentioned earlier, our newsletter audience is our best, most engaged audience. We hear time and time again about how much they like the content we produce. We like to reward them with even more great content.

Here are the primary ways we’ve kept our newsletter audience engaged with content:

10. Downloadable content & webinars

By offering different types of content, like downloadable assets (eBooks and white papers) and live-streamed webinars and workshops, we’re giving our audience more ways to connect with our brand.

They can dive deeper into a specific topic in their own time with a white paper, or get their real-time questions answered with a webinar or workshop.

From a marketing results perspective, we can see which contacts are most engaged with the content we’re offering by tracking email click-through rate, downloads and webinar sign-ups. It also gives us important insights into which topics and formats work best to improve user experience, and we can double down on those content types in the future.

11. Surveys

One of my favorite ways we’ve connected with our newsletter audience over the years is through surveys.

We ask them questions like:

  • What types of content marketing resources do you want more of?

  • What’s your favorite area of content marketing to learn about?

  • How do you rate your skill level with content marketing (and other areas of marketing)?

  • What are your favorite hobbies outside of content marketing?

The feedback they provide is invaluable to our marketing efforts. It’s one of the best ways to know exactly what our newsletter audience wants from us.

If you’re ever unsure about what your audience thinks of your newsletter, or where you might be lacking, a survey is arguably your best resource for those answers. And it doesn’t need to be a complex multi-question survey either — it can be a simple “How are we doing?” button you include in each send.

12. New layout for better user experience

We’ve also changed the look and feel of our weekly newsletter over the years. And we continually work to improve the user experience with these design updates.

Our newest iteration from 2021 contains a variety of sections based on what we’ve found to be most useful for our audience:

  • A roundup of recently published blog posts.

  • A rotating featured content section where we can promote our latest infographic, job opening or employee spotlight.

  • A visual CTA to promote an eBook download or a webinar registration.

My favorite sections of our newsletter are:

Recommended reading

Here, we share industry-related content from other brands in the space. Even if we didn’t create the content ourselves, we want to provide these additional resources to help our audience stay ahead of the content marketing curve. The hope is that they get everything they need (content marketing-wise) from our newsletter, and keep opening up our emails week after week.

Subscribe CTA: “Did you get this email from a friend?”

This section links out to our newsletter subscribe landing page. It’s here to help folks subscribe to our newsletter if it’s been forwarded to them from a friend. People forward emails all the time, and this way, we’ve built in an easy way to encourage new readers to subscribe to our content. It’s a CTA that doesn’t change week to week, so it doesn’t take any effort to maintain, but it’s there to organically generate more newsletter subscribers.

And it does: We’ve found that 10% of people who subscribe via email do so on this page coming from the newsletter.

When determining the best newsletter content and layout for your brand, it’s always most important to do what works best for your audience. You may not achieve the perfect newsletter format right out of the gate, but over time, and by gathering feedback (via surveys or organically through email replies), you’ll get closer to giving them exactly what they want.

When I talk about enhancing newsletter engagement, our goal has always been the same: Be the best possible content marketing resource for our audience. As a result, we’ll get their attention and their loyalty, and possibly even their referral to a friend or colleague — and that helps us continue to grow our subscriber base.

Conclusion

Newsletter marketing has been at the core of Brafton’s marketing strategy for many years now, and we’ve found time and time again that there is plenty of reason to reinvest our efforts into this growth.

I hope the methods I’ve shared have inspired you with plenty of ways to grow your own newsletter list.

Because once you’ve got those readers subscribed, you’ll be unstoppable.

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MARKETING

2023 Facebook Algorithm Guide: Overview & Best Practices

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2023 Facebook Algorithm Guide: Overview & Best Practices

Every month, 2.7 billion people use Facebook, Meta’s globe-dominating social network. For marketers, this is an un-ignorable audience. However, reaching that audience isn’t always easy – to get content in front of a relevant user, they need to make the Facebook algorithm work in their favor.

Unfortunately, the algorithm can feel very mysterious. Why do some posts go viral with engagement while others wither and disappear without so much as a few courtesy likes?

The good news is that while the technical rules governing Facebook’s algorithm may be in a black box, there are plenty of guidelines and common-sense tips that can help ensure your content gets prioritized and seen. Facebook has published many explainers and tutorials over the past few years to break down how its algorithm ranks and distributes content to users’ Feeds.

Here’s how Facebook’s algorithm works in 2023 with ten expert tips on increasing the impact, performance and lifecycle of your Facebook content.
 

Table of Contents

 

  • What is the Facebook Algorithm?
  • A Recent History of the Facebook Algorithm 
  • How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2023
  • 10 Best Practices for Working with Facebook’s Algorithm
  • Final Takeaway

 

What is the Facebook Algorithm?

 
The Facebook algorithm is the set of rules and formulas that determine what content users see in their Feeds. Its goal is to make the posts that “matter most to the user” highly visible to that user. To do this, it analyzes each piece of content eligible to be displayed and ranks them according to a set of criteria.

As Facebook explains, the algorithm is actually “not just one single algorithm; it’s multiple layers of [machine learning] models and rankings that we apply to predict the most relevant and meaningful content for each user.”

If that sounds complex, that’s because of the sheer volume of content on the Facebook platform. There are over 2 billion Facebook users and trillions of posts they can see; the algorithm needs to be sophisticated to sort through all that content in an instant between launching the Facebook application and the population of each user’s Feed. 

 

A Recent History of the Facebook Algorithm

 

Since 2017, Facebook has been increasingly transparent about significant changes in how it ranks and distributes content. That also means the algorithm is constantly evolving. In general, those updates have favored user input, posts friends and family over publishers, and content personalized to a user’s interests… all geared toward generating more “meaningful interactions.”  These updates include:

 

  • Meaningful Interactions Update (2018) – This update signaled that the algorithm would predict which posts a user might want to interact with their friends about and show these posts higher in Feed. These posts inspire discussion in the comments and posts that users might want to share and react to. 
  • Updates to Video Rankings (2019) – This update boosted the rankings of video posts that users sought out and returned to, watched for more than one minute at a time, and were original creations and not repurposed content. 
  • Addressing Sensational Health Claims (2019) – This update applied some of the existing “clickbait” rules specifically to posts making medical or health claims in an effort to reduce misinformation. Exaggerated or sensational claims were deprioritized, as were posts promoting products that advertised “miracle” cures.

 

The past three years have seen additional updates, and since they’re more recent, they deserve closer examination.

 

2020: Key takeaway from 2020

 

In 2020, Facebook modified its algorithm again to give more weight to original, credible news sources and create more personalized advertising encounters for users based on their interactions. Additional updates this year included changes designed to comply with Apple’s iOS 14’s privacy guidelines. 

 

  • Prioritizing Original Sources: In response to users continually reporting a preference for “news stories that are credible and informative,” Facebook announced that it would make ongoing updates that “prioritize articles in News Feed that we identify as original reporting on a developing story or topic.”
  • Personalized Ads: The Facebook algorithm serves advertisements to a user’s Feed based on the posts and pages they have engaged with previously. Businesses are also given the option to share information about the actions that users take on their websites and apps so they can show the most relevant content in users’ Facebook Feeds. To balance this process of information gathering and sharing, which also lays the foundation for personalized advertising on the platform, Facebook instituted the “Why am I seeing this ad” feature and the “Ad Preferences” dashboard for users (and to address privacy concerns).
  • Retargeting Limitations: Even with expanded personalization, Facebook had to respond to the significant privacy and permissioning guidelines i=within the Apple iOS 14 update released in 2020 (Tinuiti’s Liz Emery takes a more detailed look at this topic here). When Apple users install or update to iOS 14, they will be prompted to opt-in or opt out of data sharing. While Facebook has other variables that can be used to identify devices, such as the associated email address and phone number, targeting that depends on users sharing their data at the device level is restricted based on this update.

 

2021: Machine Learning and User Control

 

In 2021, Facebook released new details about how the algorithm governing users’ Feeds works and increased the amount of control users have over what they see. 

 

  • Favorites: A new tool where users can control and prioritize posts in their Feeds from the friends and Pages they choose. By selecting up to 30 friends and Pages to include in Favorites, their posts will appear higher in ranked and can also be viewed as a separate filter.
  • Revealing the algorithm’s machine learning mechanics: In 2021, Facebook published an in-depth post explaining how the Feed predicts what users want to see. For the first time, it detailed the machine learning processes behind predicting what users see in their Feeds based on various factors, including what and whom they’ve followed, liked, or engaged with recently. These mechanics are largely still in place today.

 

Source: Facebook

 

2022: From ML to AI

 

Last year, the Facebook algorithm evolved further in the direction of user control and augmented its use of machine learning tools with more sophisticated artificial intelligence systems. These two updates went hand-in-hand. Users were given a new function on each post they saw, the “Show More/Show Less” feature. Selecting “Show More” would increase the ranking score for that post, increasing the likelihood of a similar post or a similar user appearing in the user’s Feed. The inverse would happen when “Show Less” is selected.

These per-post user inputs are simultaneously helping the AI system generalize how relevant future content will be for that user. Or as Facebook puts it, “by offering more ways to incorporate direct feedback into Feed ranking, we’re making our artificial intelligence systems smarter and more responsive.”

Facebook’s AI model generates what the company calls user and content embeddings, which help predict the types of content a person wants to see more of or less of in their Feed. Another Facebook blog post from 2022 explains that a “user embedding captures a person’s tastes, while the content embedding captures the essence of what a post is about.” 

One last update from 2022 – what was once called the Facebook News Feed is now just the “Feed.” That’s how we refer to it throughout this article, except where relevant due to historical discussion.

 

How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2023

 
That’s the state of the Facebook algorithm in 2023 – it has evolved to become an AI-powered, user-centric model designed to present users with relevant, welcome content in their Feeds. Even though Meta will admit that the algorithm isn’t perfect (and may never be), Facebook has demonstrated a willingness to modify its processes to give users what they want.

Despite the Facebook algorithm’s complexity and integration of new technologies like AI and machine learning, understanding its core functionality boils down to four ranking factors.

The Four Ranking Factors Fueling the Facebook Feed Algorithm

 
Prioritizing what “matters” to users has been one of the most consistent purposes of the Feed and all of its previous iterations. The goal of Facebook’s algorithm is to “show stories that matter to users,” according to Adam Mosseri, VP of Facebook’s News Feed Management. That aim is reflected across the platform’s many updates and tweaks to its algorithm, from more user control to increased personalization on advertisements. 

With that in mind, you should know how Facebook’s different algorithm factors work together to determine which stories “matter” to a user. And Facebook made these factors easy to understand in its published help center post.  
 

1. Inventory

 
Inventory represents the stock of all content that can display to a user on Facebook’s News Feed, which fluctuates based on user activity once scrolling has begun. This includes everything posted by friends and publishers.
 

2. Signals

 
Signals represent the information that Facebook can gather about a piece of content. Signals are the single factor that you have control over.

These are your inputs that Facebook interprets; type of content, the publisher, its age, purpose, and more.

You want your content to signal to Facebook that it’s meaningful and relevant to your target audience.
 

3. Predictions

 
Predictions represent a user’s behavior and how likely they are to engage with a content piece. Will a user watch a video to completion? Will they select the “Show More” feature on the post?

Predictions take authentic engagement like comments, likes, and shares from real profiles into account.
 

4. Relevancy Score

 
Relevancy Score is the final number assigned to a piece of content based on the likelihood that the user will respond positively to it. It also accounts for whether a post is “clickbait,” whether it links to a low-quality webpage, or if it’s misinformative in some way.
 

10 Best Practices for Working with Facebook’s Algorithm

 
So how can you tailor your content to ensure a high Relevancy Score and a strong enough ranking to appear in your target audience’s Feeds? Most of the following tips will be common sense if you currently produce content for social audiences, but many are specific to the sophisticated Facebook algorithm. 

Here are some guidelines and best practices for keeping your content meaningful in Facebook’s eyes, based on our research, Facebook’s recommendations, and Matt Navara and Paul Armstrong’s coverage of Facebook’s News Feed webinar
 

1. Keep posts relevant to your audience

 
Your content should always be relevant to your core audience — the people you want to build a community around. If your content is relevant to a user, the Facebook algorithm is likely to interpret that content as “meaningful,” a key consideration in ranking. 

Stories should be compelling enough for a user to want to share with family and friends. Content should be informative and interesting… and, of course, accurate. 

Products, education and lifestyle imagery, should reinforce your post’s meaningful and informative nature and build on your identity as a brand answering to a specific audience.

 

2. Engage readers and encourage interaction

 
Facebook’s News Feed algorithm favors content that fosters positive interactions between your followers and others.

Any piece of content, from products to education to entertainment — should provoke conversation. Remember that conversations can’t be one-sided; you want your audience to respond, but you must also respond to them when possible. 

You want your content to prompt people to stop their scroll, interact, and share. Interaction is a crucial weighting factor for the Facebook algorithm, so all your content should be tailored to maximize engagement.
 

3. But don’t use clickbait or engagement bait

 
 
Remember all those “like if…” and “share if you are…” posts?

This is considered engagement baiting; it doesn’t add value or interaction for users. It may not entirely be clickbait, but the Facebook algorithm will penalize it as though it were. 

Avoid asking people to “please comment, like, and share.” Your content should inspire them to engage without having to ask.

Facebook penalizes brands that encourage comments, likes, and shares on organic and ad posts. Keep this in mind when developing content for Instagram and Facebook.

 

4. Expand your post reach with employees and brand advocates

 

Because the Facebook algorithm gives preference to posts from users’ friends, families and the pages they interact with, your company’s Facebook page will have naturally limited reach. This is where enlisting employees and brand advocates can have a real impact. 

Facebook represents your widest audience, but to reach them, you need to engage the audience closest to home. Encouraging your work team to share your brand’s content with their networks broadens the reach of the post or piece of content and your brand. Directly engaging with Facebook users who are already devotees of your brand and asking them to share content with their friends and family can have a similar effect.,
 

5. Or put ad dollars behind content with organic momentum

 
 
The new Facebook algorithm values content that performs well organically, and you can build off that momentum by boosting or promoting that content with ad dollars.

Content that already has strong organic traction means lower CPCs which, combined with ad dollars, can act as a snowball effect for your content.

Identify opportunities for ads based on organic post engagement and tap into Facebook Ads Manager tools by leveraging these posts in ads.

Conversely, don’t waste ad dollars on poor-performing organic content. It will have higher CPCs and cost you more while offering less in return.

“If a post performs well with engagement, likes, and shares, there’s an opportunity to place additional ad dollars to drive that performance even further.”

— Nii Ahene, Chief Strategy Officer at Tinuiti
 
Portrait of Nii Ahene
 

6. Create compelling, original video content

 
 
2019 was the year that Facebook began leaning into its video offering in earnest, and it hasn’t stopped since. Today, the video formats available on Facebook have expanded to include Reels and Stories (shorter clips), Video on Demand and Live video. Reels, in particular, is Facebook’s fastest-growing content format “by far.” s video continues to be the top-performing content type across all social media networks, focusing on video should be a central part of your Facebook marketing strategy.

For your video content to perform best in the Feed, Facebook recommends that it be original, capture the audience’s attention, spark engagement, and inspire users to seek additional video content from the same source. 

To create original and authentic Reels, Stories and full-length videos, make sure they capture your brand’s voice and avoid duplicating content. To retain attention, ensure your creative and copy is optimized towards mobile viewing (i.e., shortened copy, readable overlays, shortened headlines). And to generate engagement, encourage discussion and genuine interactions (but like always, avoid engagement bait).

 

7. Inspire audiences and evoke emotion with storytelling

 

Just as videos should be original, engaging and attention-grabbing, so should any content you post on Facebook. Understand the kinds of stories that resonate with your audience and craft your posts to tell those stories in an exciting way.

You can create connections with your audience through authenticity, interactivity and accuracy. But the surest way is by listening. Ask for feedback. Learn their interests. Take cues from their activity on other platforms. When you know what your audience cares about, you have a better chance of inspiring them… and a better chance of rising to the top of their Feeds.

 

8. Post authentic and truthful content

 

Facebook says that “authentic stories are the ones that resonate most” and that users want to see accurate information. After the controversies surrounding “fake news” and the spread of dis- and misinformation on the platform in recent years, the company has made promoting truthful content central to the Facebook algorithm’s function. 

To signal that your content is genuine and accurate, write clear headlines free from exaggeration or sensationalism. Use well-sourced, reliable information, and avoid sharing content from sources you need clarification on. And above all, don’t lie or try to mislead with your content.

 

9. Schedule content when readers are likely to engage

 

The Facebook Feed is no longer chronological, but timing can still impact post performance within the algorithm. You want to post content when your audience is likely to engage with it, which is likely in the evening or overnight, but it can vary widely by the user. There is some research exploring the objectively ideal time for posting, but the ultimate best practice is understanding your audience and when they are most likely to be on the platform. 

 

10. Learn what works by tracking content performance

 

After you’ve published your content, remember to use Facebook Insights to track the performance of your content. This will help you understand how your different content pieces are performing in terms of engagement, which is the key ranking metric. 

Facebook also offers a variety of tools designed to help you measure both organic content and paid ads. Choose the best tools for your brand, and track performance regularly. Learn from your own Insights data and the tools you use, and optimize your content from there.

Final Takeaway

 
The Facebook algorithm is sophisticated and constantly evolving. There are few shortcuts and no way to “hack” it. But the steps outlined in this article can help make the algorithm work for you and help you get your content in front of the Facebook users who need to see it.

Want to work with our team of Facebook experts? Reach out today!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in April 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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MARKETING

Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam

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Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam



Alex Atzberger: Now that you’ve stepped into the CMO role, what are you looking forward to?   

Shafqat Islam: It’s amazing to take on this role at both a category creator and leader. How many brands can be a leader in almost every category–think Experimentation and CMS–that we play in?  

And we have so much to look forward to and build on. We have an exceptional team of marketing leaders and practitioners. They are fiercely intelligent, optimistic, and care deeply about what our products can *do* for our customers. Not just for the people who will encounter the marketing, retail, and product experiences that we support, but for the people who build them. As somebody who has both built products and been deeply immersed in marketing, I love the perspective that our team has.  

Alex Atzberger: What makes Optimizely unique?   

Shafqat Islam: First off, we’re category creators in experimentation and content management, both CMS and CMP. Marketers know this, and analysts know it, as something like 7 major analyst reports will tell you.  

Martech is a crowded field, so it’s true that there are a lot of firms whose territory overlaps with some of ours. But show me another company that can handle the entire content lifecycle like we can. Or show me another company that can do both feature flagging and experimentation.  

We also have a legendary legacy in the martech world. Before I joined, I knew that A/B testing and Optimizely were synonymous, and that the company’s roots go all the way back to the origins of the practice. And that’s something that is like common folklore in marketing and technology.  

And more than anything, the 1500 people who work here are world-class. 

Alex Atzberger: Being a CMO talking to other CMOs and marketing leaders is an advantage. You know the customer. But you’ve also built tech products. How does that affect your work now?  

Shafqat Islam: I’ve spent the majority of my adult life building products for marketers. So I’ve been lucky to spend so much time talking to CMOs and marketers in almost every type of company all over the world. As the founder/CEO of Welcome, my approach was to solve marketer challenges by building products. But now as CMO, I get to use the products we build.  

We’re practitioners of all of our own solutions, so in addition to the natural empathy I have for marketers, I am also close to the job’s unique challenges every day. There’s nothing like that to keep you sharp and keep you close to the customer.  

As a product builder, I knew we must always speak to business outcomes. But as CMO, I love that we aren’t just talking about the solutions – we’re living them, too.  

Because I was an entrepreneur for so long, I also bring another unique view – my willingness to take smart risks. I love to try things, even if (especially if?) the results are sometimes surprising. When it comes to experimentation, there are no failures, only learnings. 

Alex Atzberger: What are the biggest challenges you’re hearing from our customers, current and future?  

Shafqat Islam: Growth, especially given how tough it is out there for so many industries. The stakes are very high when it comes to creating experiences that will win and retain customers. That’s what all of our customers–especially the retail heavyweights-are thinking about.  

And marketing and technology leaders need to do this with leaner budgets. Efficiency matters a lot right now, and that means not only reducing the costs you can see, like the price tag attached to software, but also the costs you can’t see right away, like how much time and money it takes to manage a set of solutions. With that said, in tough times, I think the strongest brands can not just survive but also thrive. I also think when others are fearful, that may be the time to invest aggressively. 

And in the background of all this, there is still the ever-expanding list of customer touchpoints. This is simultaneously an exciting challenge for marketers and an exciting opportunity. More data means more effective storytelling– if you can use it right.

I also hear marketers when they say there’s a need for a shared space for collaboration among us. The role of the marketer is expansive, and it’s only getting more complicated. Building a community where we can come together and appreciate our shared goals is difficult, but I’m optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction.  

Alex Atzberger: What is next in our space? What will marketing and technology leaders be talking about six months from now?  

Shafqat Islam: Looking around now, it’s clear that 2023 will be the year that AI-generated content goes mainstream. We’re just starting to see the uses and the consequences of this. There’s already buzz about ChatGPT and its capabilities, and platforms are already making space to integrate AI functionality into their offerings. It could be an exciting way for users to become better equipped to create and share high-quality content.  

Customers also have gotten very used to personalization. Every screen they see daily is personalized, whether it’s their Netflix account or social feeds. So, when I see a site that isn’t personalized, I kind of scratch my head and wonder, why? With personalization now the norm, expectations for digital creators are sky-high.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign

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What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign

Want to maximize the potential of your social media campaign? Then you must ensure to choose the right brand ambassador for the job. Having a good ambassador will increase your social media reach and boost sales. But, selecting the best ambassador can be tricky.

This guide will show you the key steps to consider when selecting the perfect brand ambassador for your social media campaign. From assessing their influence to ensuring their content matches your brand’s mission. This guide will give you the insights you need to make the right decision.

Understanding the role of a brand ambassador

A brand ambassador acts as a company representative, promoting the brand’s products to a specific audience. They are selected for their influence and ability to communicate the brand’s message. Their primary goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement with the audience.

To achieve this, an ambassador shares the brand’s message and builds connections with the target audience. They help to establish trust and credibility for the brand by personally endorsing it through their own experiences. Also, they provide valuable feedback to the company, allowing for product improvements.

Tips for choosing the right ambassador for your social media campaign

1) Assess the credibility and influence of potential ambassadors.

One of the first steps is to ensure they have a very active social media presence. Make sure they have many followers and a high engagement rate. Check the number of followers they have and the type of posts they share. This will give you a good idea of the content they generate and let you know if they are a good fit for your campaign.

Make sure their posts are relevant and appropriate for your brand. If their content is not a good fit, you may want to reconsider hiring them for your campaign. This is important if your brand has a particular message you wish to convey to your audience. If their content is not in line with your brand’s values, it could have a negative effect on your brand’s image.

2) Analyze the compatibility between the ambassador’s content and your brand’s mission.

It’s common to think that a famous ambassador would be a good fit for your campaign. But if their content is not in line with your brand, they are not an option. You may want to go further and check the interaction between their posts and followers. If the interaction is very high and followers actively participate, this is a good indicator of the quality of the ambassador. This will show how much impact the ambassador has among their followers. The interaction of the followers with the ambassador’s posts is important, as it is a good way for them to get to know your brand better.

3) Make sure the ambassador is present on the right social networks.

If your brand uses more than one type of social media, you should ensure the ambassador is present on them. You can choose an ambassador who is active on most of the major social networks. But, you must ensure they have an appropriate presence on each platform.

For example, it may not be a good idea to select an ambassador who is primarily active on Instagram for a Facebook-centric campaign. Remember that followers on each platform are different, and it’s important to reach your desired audience. If the ambassador you choose is present on the right social media platform, it will be easier for them to reach your audience.

4) Set expectations and establish the terms of the partnership.

Once you have selected an ambassador and they have agreed to collaborate with your brand, set the terms of the collaboration. Set clear expectations and tell the ambassador precisely what you want them to do. This includes specifying the type of content that should be posted. It is also important to outline the kind of connection that should be fostered between their followers and your company.

Also, be sure to establish payment terms and any other essential partnership details. For example, if you want the ambassador to promote your brand at a specific event, let them know so they can prepare.

5) Consider brand ambassadors who have experience participating in events.

A brand ambassador with experience working at events and comfortable interacting with customers can be a valuable asset to your campaign. They will be able to promote your brand and products at events and help to build a positive image for your company.

Find a brand ambassador who is professional and comfortable in a high-energy environment. This will ensure they can effectively represent your brand and engage with customers at events. Hire an event staffing agency to ensure the event runs smoothly and let brand ambassadors focus on promoting the brand and connecting with the audience.

6) Complete the selection and onboarding process

Make sure you select an available ambassador with the right skills for your campaign. Verify that the ambassador’s availability matches your campaign schedule.

It’s a good idea to start interacting with the ambassador on social media. It will help you establish a strong relationship, making promoting your brand more accessible. Show the audience that they have rallied behind your brand and thank them for their support.

7) Follow-up and evaluation of the ambassador’s success

Once the campaign is over, follow up with the ambassador to test its success. Ask the ambassador if your promotion has been effective and get their feedback on the campaign. This is an excellent way to improve your campaign the next time you run it. It will also help you identify areas where you can improve your social media strategy.

You can test the success of your social media campaign by looking at three main factors: reach, engagement, and conversions. By considering these factors, you can determine the success of your social media campaign. Also, you can identify any areas that need improvement.

Conclusion

Brands use brand ambassadors to increase engagement and sales of their products. An ambassador has a large following and regularly interacts with your audience. When selecting an ambassador, consider factors such as their social media presence and the ability to communicate your brand’s message. Taking the time to choose the proper brand ambassador will ensure the success of your social media campaign.

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