If you have a website and want to gain traffic, traditional advice says to make a blog, create good content and hope visitors find it either through shares on social media, email, or search engines. However, there are a couple "what ifs"

  • What if no one searches for my content?
  • What if no one shares my content?

If people neither share nor search for your content, you will see a steep drop off in the traffic to your blog post a few days after you've posted it to your website and social media accounts. The post you spent so much time and effort on will live in blog purgatory for the rest of eternity.

The good news is there are ways to ensure that the right people are seeing content you created and thereby increasing social shares, website traffic, and ultimately conversions (whatever that might be for you).

In order for you to understand how your content gets views in the first place, it's important to understand the difference between paid, earned, and owned views. This Venn diagram illustrates these views nicely.

Paid Media, Owned Media, and Earned Media

Ideally your media mix is a combination of all three, however the earned media category can be illusive at times. We're going take a closer look at how you can execute your content strategy so that you can turn owned media into earned media using properly targeted paid social media.

Enter Facebook

If you haven't explored Facebook's ad platform yet, I highly recommend doing so as this is the main focus of this post. Facebook's platform opens up the doors for your web content to be seen by exactly who you want due to their incredibly detailed and powerful targeting tools. These targeting tools are what will help us get your content in front of the right set of eyeballs.

In the past, when a blog post was created you would post it to your company's social media channels, share it to an email list and hope for the best. Recently, the issue with that has been that the system is rigged against you to get views to your content organically. Facebook especially has been throttling the reach of organic traffic and given Twitter's fast paced feed and Instagram's inability to link from posts, the world of organic social media starts looking rather grim.

But don't lose hope!

Let's Talk Strategy  

This is where Facebook's ad platform performs in the clutch, more than Kobe Bryant in the 4th quarter (think 2003-2007).

Let's say you have a blog post titled "15 Things for Kids to Do in [Your City Here]". Rather than just posting it to your social media channels and hoping parents somehow see this piece of content, why not just go straight to the source?
Using Facebook's Ad platform, create an ad containing a link to your blog post, and select targeting that reflects the demographics of who your reader would be. Continuing with our example, we'd select targeting under the "Parents" demographic and target parents with kids who are toddlers to preteens, since that's who we had in mind when the blog post was created.

Now rather than just a shot in the dark, your content will be served to people who should be interested in it and engaged with it which increases the likelihood that they'll share your content. Now all of a sudden by using paid media, your owned media is being shared and reaching non-paid viewers as organic earned media views. Who knows, you could strike a chord with your target demographic and all of a sudden you have viral hit on your hands from social sharing - all because you used a bit of targeted paid media.

The best part is your strategy doesn't stop there, you can reverse engineer this method to find what demographics you want to be reaching or haven't been reaching, create content relevant to them, utilize ad targeting to reach them, and use your content to create interest in your topic.

Note: These strategies can be applied to all social platforms, however we recommend Facebook as they offer higher CTRs and tighter targeting within paid social media. However as I mentioned in a previous blog post Instagram uses Facebook's ad platform so if you believe Instagram (which allows links in paid posts) or Twitter is a potential avenue to gain earned views, go for it!