Facebook’s clickbait crackdown shows power of authentic content
The latest move – explained by Facebook research scientist Alex Peysakhovich and user-experience researcher Kristin Hendrix in a recent blog post – aims to take out the spammy obstacles that are blocking users from enjoying the authentic content they’re crying out for.
According to the blog:
“We categorised tens of thousands of headlines as clickbait by considering two key points… (1) if the headline withholds information required to understand what the content of the article is; and (2) if the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.”
Facebook is responsible for driving over 40% of traffic to publishers. Many have come to rely on the social media engine to promote their content and their services. Brands that continue to pursue quick wins from clickbait content are about to get a rude awakening.
If that sounds like you, it’s time prostrate yourself at the altar, beg forgiveness for readers’ wasted hours and figure out how to publish content that’s original and engaging for more than 5 seconds if you’re ever to reach content heaven.
Interactive content is about to activate
The next generation of written content will use additional interactive techniques to appear more personal, according to business rag Forbes.
Reader expectations are consistently on the rise, leading to something of an arms race between content marketers. The current model is boring, according to most users. On set of content for all readers is not enough, so brands are starting to scramble for a way to stand out.
The latest attempt to add flavour to such vanilla content is to use interactive methods. Quizzes, calculators, flowcharts and polls all help marketers better understand user intent. Then they can send them on a unique content journey (or at least a path less trodden).
This could reach an almost conversational level; the content presented to the user would be based solely on answers to successive questions. This would result in a seemingly different endpoint every time. This way the user gains a greater sense of ownership over the journey, and a feeling that their preferences had been taken into account.
For content marketers, this would mean writing out multiple versions of content for each website. Each individual would have a customised ‘journey’ rather than an aggregation of typical user preferences.
Why you should optimise context not content
In an insightful new article from Business2Community, author Raphael Paulin-Daigle explains how content creation should be less about responsive design, and more focused on understanding the context it is likely to be consumed in.
You can tell a lot about a person’s intentions by knowing whether they’re making a momentary site visit during their morning commute, or settling down with a laptop for a lengthy evening read. Similarly, if you dig a bit deeper into your referred traffic stats and actually click through to the sites that your visitors arrive from, then the purpose of their visit might just become clearer.
There are plenty of other variables that can help add context to your content strategy too. Take local reviews site Yelp, for example. Open the app on the west side of Manchester at 7pm; it will automatically populate your listings page with ideas for dinner in the city. At lunchtime on the east side you’ll see something completely different. All this tailor-made content requires is the time of day and your geo-location – simple, yet effective.
If you want to go the whole hog, you carry out your own qualitative research and conduct surveys to find out more about your buyers’ behaviour.
Collating such a broad range of information will give you a decent idea of where your customers tend to be in the sales funnel when they visit your site. Knowing this can help you fine-tune your content to pitch at just the right level, pulling them through the funnel with finesse rather than battering them through with the blunt instrument that is catch-all content.
Email marketing has personal problems
Content marketers are failing to fulfil their potential when it comes to personalisation in email marketing campaigns.
According to GetResponse’s most recent ‘State of Email Marketing by Industry’ report, over 40% of content marketers send the exact same email to everyone on their mailing list. If that weren’t bad enough, a measly 4% of content marketers are using behavioural and/or survey data to target recipients and provide them with a bespoke message.
The report concludes that the majority of marketers deploying email marketing techniques are doing so at a very basic level.
Some trigger-happy influential bods were quick to sound the death knell for email marketing, the method undoubtedly has staying power. Content marketers must give their audience the level of personalisation they’ve been craving. They can then enjoy the fruits of a marketing method that can generate the same ROI as SEO, as well as improving open and click-through rates by 26% and 97% respectively.