It’s pretty easy to craft a good Facebook post for paid promotion, but it’s hard to turn a good post into a great one.
But what makes Facebook sponsored posts irresistible? How can you radically improve your posts to get more engagement from your target audience?
In this post, I share 7 rules you should follow to create a great sponsored post on Facebook.
Rule #1: Focus on what really matters
In order to create a successful sponsored post campaign on Facebook, you should focus on your content and audience first.
It’s not enough to make your Facebook post look nice. You have to go deeper and provide something that resonates with your audience.
We tend to focus more on tweaking our post’s appearance (title, image, description), while paying less attention to being more relevant.
It is like an iceberg: we focus on what is visible while forgetting to pay attention to what’s under the water. We all remember what happened to the Titanic.
Relevancy is the foundation of every social campaign, but you also have to make it look great to entice your target audience to click.
If we look at the main ranking factors of the Facebook News Feed, you will see that most of them are connected to relevance:
- Interest: user’s interest in the post creator (Are you relevant to the user?).
- Post: post’s performance among other users (Do others find it interesting?).
- Creator: performance of past posts by the content creator (Does it provide value to the audience?).
- Type: type of post users prefer.
- Recency: Posts are relevant at a certain time and they will be less relevant a day after.
Rule #2: Make sure your content provides value to your target audience
You can make sure you provide something your audience wants to read if you have detailed and validated buyer personas.
Once you know them, the next step is to create epic content that addresses their problems or needs.
Here you can find some examples of epic content on Inbound.org.
Epic content makes you stand out from the crowd and provides incredible value and experience for your readers.
Unfortunately, we can’t be sure if the article we wrote is going to be a big hit or not. It will turn out after you hit the publish button and start promoting it.
By sponsoring one of our posts, we want to amplify its reach and get more people who will share, like and talk about it.
In his book, Jonah Berger suggests including some of the following elements to make contagious content:
- Social Currency: People want to seem smart; make them feel like insiders.
- Triggers: How can you make sure that people are frequently triggered into thinking about your content?
- Emotion: When we care, we share. Make sure your article triggers positive emotions.
- Public: The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it.
- Practical value: Useful things get shared.
- Story: Build a story people want to tell.
Rule #3: Craft clickable headline variations
When I got in touch with Jeff, he suggested I pay significant attention to my post’s headline and to create at least 5 title variations. I recommend you to do the same.
80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will actually click on it.
Great content deserves a great headline. Once you have great content, you have to make sure that your headline creates a curiosity gap and triggers emotions. No one will click on an ice cold, boring headline.
If you want to raise your headline to the next level, check out this detailed guide by Buzzsumo.
Keep in mind that harmony between the title and content is essential for engagement and conversion. Facebook measures the time spent on a page. If a user bounces back a few seconds after they arrive on your website, that’s an indicator that you might have a clickbait title and your content doesn’t provide much value to the audience. The News Feed algorithm will adjust your post’s ranking accordingly.
Check Google Analytics to see how your traffic coming from your Facebook sponsored post performs.
From the left menu, select Source/ medium:
Add a secondary dimension by selecting “Page”:
How much average time does a user spend on specific content?
You can also use heatmaps to see if your readers read your content or not.
Rule #4: Test your headline
If you’re not sure if your headline is good enough and you also want to optimize it for Google’s SERP, you can use tools like CoSchedule’s headline-analyzer to score your headlines.
After you get your headline’s score, scroll down a bit and see how you could further improve it.
Rule #5: Amplify your post at the best time
Facebook has a built-in feature that shows your current follower base’s activity. It’s a good indicator and gives an estimate but not enough to capitalize on newsworthiness.
If your audience engages with your content within a short period of time, it could be considered a hot topic by the News Feed algorithm. It will get a better ranking and a higher reach since it is probably more interesting for a short period of time and less interesting later. This is the perfect time to boost that post.
The marketing team at FourFourTwo figured out how to capitalize on newsworthiness. They ran a 90-day experiment and paid increased attention to real-time engagement of their Facebook posts.
They monitored how their smallest, most loyal audience reacted to their content. If shares of a given article surged within a short period of time, they immediately put some money behind that post and started a sponsored campaign.
Following this method, they were able to get 3 times more likes on Facebook, which generated eventually 1000 additional subscribers per month. They radically optimized their campaigns’ performance by reducing customer acquisition costs by 77% and cost per clicks by 45%.
Rule #6: Write an irresistible description
The text field of your post works like a teaser. Its goal is to support the headline and make your target audience want to engage with your post and visit your article for more details.
Here are some tips for the description field:
- Keep the description field short and sweet. Short post descriptions get the most interaction.
- After pasting a link and once Facebook has pulled in the image, the title and the short description of your post, delete the link from the text field. It just looks much better.
- Tag related pages if appropriate. It is better if you mention them within a sentence like the image shows below. By tagging other pages, you can further extend the organic reach of your posts.
- Use emojis; being funny works almost every time.
- Asking questions could boost engagement by 23%.
Rule #7: Focus on the image
The featured image of your article will be pulled in by Facebook if you paste its link to the post’s description field.
Articles with working Facebook image meta tags get three times more shares than articles without these meta tags.
Image Source: Ok Dork
Canva Design School recommends the following image types for a Facebook post:
- Visual representations
Some additional tips you should keep in mind:
- Always use relevant images (don’t use photos of cats if the post has nothing to do with cats)
- Use colored images (they increase people’s willingness to read the article)
- Make sure you have the right to use a specific image. Check out license types here.
Before you start tweaking your Facebook posts, take a step back and have a look at the big picture of social media. What really matters to your audience? How can you make sure that your post reaches your audience?
You have to be relevant first and then figure out how you can make your posts gorgeous. Your content has to be relevant, and its appearance has to be irresistible at the same time.
If you follow these rules, you will be able to create 3x better sponsored posts and more efficiently amplify your message on Facebook.
Guest author: Tamas is a marketer working with startups and tech companies. He also builds digital products and shares his experience on his blog (https://iamtamas.com).