Though the phrase “content marketing” is a relatively new term, the concept has been around for years.

After the social media boom of 2006 – 2012, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube, Pinterest were exploding onto the Internet, which suddenly wasn’t just for looking up the weather anymore. Plus, with the invention of Google, Bing and other search engines a few years earlier, finding content on the Internet had never been easier.

More than 1.71 billion people now log onto Facebook each month, so naturally, brands are learning how to capture their audience over Facebook as well. Here’s what small businesses should keep in mind when using Facebook as a content marketing platform.

Using the natural communication life cycle to establish your campaigns 

One thing many companies, especially small businesses, tend to struggle with is creating a sustainable ad campaign. They may not realize that Facebook is a huge generator of small business leads, or that social search is becoming an important component of SEO. What that means is that companies without a social media presence are being consistently ranked lower in search results; it’s like a negative mark in Google’s algorithm.

When you do use Facebook, however, here’s what to keep in mind: your success isn’t just dependent on how many times you post per day, or how many cute kitten photos you have in your album. It’s about following a natural life cycle of communication, from creating, to connecting, to engaging, to analyzing.

First, you need to create content that people want to read or watch. For Facebook, the most strategic content contains visuals like photos, videos or gifs (moving images) alongside text. Connecting with your audience is the next most important step. By contacting social influencers, journalists, and others who already command a wide audience, you automatically increase your own. Engage with your audience from as many different angles as possible, respond quickly to online queries and requests, and make sure you have analytics in place to measure those results.

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