Recently, Jon Loomer, a Facebook marketing coach, asked a question and one of the responses piqued my interest. The question is as titled, “Can you effectively market on Facebook without a blog?” The short answer is that it depends. The long version involves answering a key question: How does Facebook (social media) fit into your strategic goals, like sales? To answer the key question above, you will need to define your marketing funnel. I will use a common marketing funnel to guide you through.
A popular Facebook Marketing funnel
One of the most popular Facebook Marketing funnels comprises 3 mini-goals:
- Gaining a relevant Page Like
- Attaining an opt-in Email Sign-up
- Closing a Sale
This funnel does not include retention, which usually requires a different strategy.
Goal 1: Gaining a relevant Page Like
Page Likes are easy and cheap to attain. Key to building an effective Facebook marketing channel is to make sure that your Page Likes are highly relevant.
Even so, Page likes are still relatively easy and cheap to attain. Page Likes for most industries cost anywhere between $0.20 to $1.00 each.
Conversion, however, is unlikely to occur right after a Page Like, because you have only attained permission to show your content to your fans on their Facebook news feed, not shove products into their face.
A Fan’s Page Like is only permission to show your content to earn their trust, not shove products in their face. (Tweet this)
Goal 2: Attaining an opt-in Email Sign-up
Before achieving your sales goal, you need to first convert them into email subscribers. This step is a lot harder than simply promoting your Page for relevant Page Likes.
In fact, most successful Facebook marketers prepare a comprehensive strategy to convert existing fans into email subscribers. This is loosely called the “Engagement Campaign” or “Engagement Phase”. The content you post spearheads this process, supported by regular engagement with your fans and word-of-mouth campaigns spanning contests, sweepstakes, questionnaires, and so on. The goal of the “Engagement Campaign” is to earn trust of your fans, so that they will sign up for your email newsletters.
To push for email sign-ups, most businesses incentivise the process by offering freebies such as e-books, webinars, and other kinds of helpful resources. These businesses often see high conversion rates because they’ve earned their fans’ trust and offered their fans something valuable for some time. They also make email sign-up offers highly visible by creating Facebook Tabs and customised Facebook Page Cover Photos which direct the user to sign up for the email newsletter (see below).
I’m not a fan of incentivised sign-ups because usually that would attract the kind of people who sign up only for freebies, and they’re never converted. Such people are unavoidable when you offer freebies.
But the other school of thought believes that incentivised sign-ups also attract the kind of people who would otherwise never have signed up because they border on whether you provide real value to them. These people might feel comfortable with just seeing your posts when they appear on their news feed and they don’t realise that they have a need for your product or service. Incentivised email sign-ups then bring them a step closer to realising this need.
Goal 3: Closing a Sale
Perhaps the toughest step in your marketing funnel is to close a sale - and this relies heavily on email marketing. I will not go into detail here because that’s not the main subject of our post today - but remember that email marketing is still about telling your users what is in it for them, even when you’re promoting your product or service. You need to make the benefits OBVIOUS.
Content is King.
Having understood how a marketing funnel works (your funnel might differ, but the same concepts apply. So see if it makes sense for your business), you can probably see how a blog will be important to enhance the marketing process. In pushing for email sign-ups, content plays an extremely important role. Without a blog, you need another source of content.
For a photography, interior design firm or another firm in the creative industry, they could do away with a blog by producing solely visuals or a portfolio to share on Facebook. For a business in the self-upgrading and coaching industry, they could upload and share their presentation slides via Slideshare. You still offer the same kind of value which other businesses do on Facebook.
As you see, you do not need a blog to market effectively on Facebook. Another option that many businesses explore is to post non-branded relevant content. These posts usually come from industry websites, news media, or other professionals’ blogs. While doing so is relatively simple and less resource heavy, you are unlikely to get much out of these. Without offering content that’s unique to your business, you miss out on informing your fans about your business and getting them familiar with your brand. In fact, when you post non-branded content, you are building traffic for others. Hardly any of these bring you $$$.
Branded content: Content created by your business about your business.
The Verdict: Can you effectively market on Facebook without a Blog?
But you notice that eventually these alternatives mean you need a content hub. And a blog is the most common form of a branded content hub today. The bottom-line is that you need a content hub, but not necessarily a blog, to market effectively on Facebook (and on other social media platforms).
Having a content hub also offers you many benefits which are already very well-known such as SEO benefits. But the most important one for me is an added conversion channel. You can generate and nurture leads using content hubs, where you can create really useful content that first acquaints your fans with your brand, then as time goes by and they rely on you more for useful tips, you earn their trust and eventually you get to convert some of them into customers. Some of them might not see your content regularly on Facebook given the reduced organic reach, but if they develop a habit to visit your blog or website for useful content, then you would have increased your chances of closing an extra sale.
Questions? Happy to answer them if you comment below!
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