Following Mark Zuckerberg’s personal post on Facebook’s recent newsfeed changes, the social network’s share price fell as much as 6.1 percent.
With Facebook’s key advertising space for brands reverting back to its original purpose (actual, personal news from friends and family), the brand marketers who have relied on in-feed advertising to drive traffic and revenue must now reconsider how to engage with audiences through this pillar channel.
But more than anything, organisations must recognise this as an opportunity to take back control of their audiences, audience data, and engagement strategy. With GDPR on the horizon, there has never been a more opportune moment to build a proprietary customer database, find innovative ways to connect directly with consumers, and truly own your customer experience.
This is the beginning of the next era of owned media versus rented audiences. Marketers can build the right foundation through the following approaches:
A one-to-one relationship creates mutual trust and respect, and is proven to drive engagement that is more meaningful to consumers and to brands (read: revenue). Organisations utilising the full depth and breadth of their data better understand each individual user and tailor content for a more relevant, contextual experience.
For us, this means moving beyond ‘engagement bait’ that can erode relationships; and building and activating relationships that matter.
As organic reach decreases on Facebook, the importance of having a central hub of content increases – but not just the traditional homepage, section, and article pages.
Publisher websites must be designed to convert traffic into known audiences, and this means learning from retail, ecommerce, and other industries. Quality content, SEO, overlays, and connectivity to email and mobile messaging must be in the mix.
Ads over articles
Instant articles will no longer be… so instant. With a shift to engaging a known audience, publishers will still be engaging and spending with Facebook, but in a different way.
Targeting and converting Facebook users into email subscribers is where we will see money being spent, all in a way designed to give brands the opportunity to own the data – and the experience.
An integrated approach is more important than ever. Content delivered across mobile, app and email must be coordinated for every individual in real-time, as audiences shift sessions and channels. Creating a seamless experience for accessing breaking news, daily media, and evergreen content will solidify your relationships and your revenue streams.
Facebook has thrown curveball after curveball, but this change has the potential to be truly significant. That said, brands now have a real opportunity to take audience development into their own hands, rather than continuing to rely on social media platforms for support.
– by Marielle Habbel