As a BtoB publisher, you already know that readers are social animals and that in order to keep up with reader behavior, your content must make it into the social media. You also know that the ever-shifting advertising models are going through a critical transformation: it’s more about time spent than clicks.
But, how do you create incentives for your staff to interact with social media and to enhance ad performance, without encouraging clickbait - luring readers to an article or ad, but delivering little value?
First, let’s take a moment to talk about clickbait:
You likely know that it usually takes the form of sensational headlines (not plastic fishies) and the primary motive for using it is to entice readers to click on the link and hence arrive at a certain webpage, thereby delivering the clicks required for advertisers.
You also probably know that there is a strong movement against clickbait that includes baitshaming. Even though most people in the publishing world will argue that clickbait is nothing new (it’s been around since the days of newspaper boys shouting headlines on the corner) it’s also important to recognize that clickbait wields more power in the saturated world of the Internet and is increasingly viewed as a deception among readers. People don’t want to waste their precious time on empty promises. In BtoB publishing especially, they are looking for a relationship of trust with reliable sources; they are looking for useful information and meaningful, productive engagement with a community of professionals.
So, when you are incentivizing social interaction among your writers and editors, don’t lose sight of what your readers ultimately want.
Give some time to instilling these concepts in your team along with your shifting incentive and compensation strategies. By doing so, you’ll help avoid clickbait casualties.
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