BuzzFeed’s secret to creating clickable content

Written on 17 July, 2015 by Evelyn Elsted
Categories: Marketing, Web Design & Content

Snatching clicks left, right and centre, BuzzFeed has quickly become a massive influencer for brands looking to create buzz for their own online content. The site has perfectly pinpointed a style that works for attracting reads and shares. We’ll reveal some of the secrets that can help you do the same.

How buzz-worthy headlines work

BuzzFeed’s highly clickable headlines work because they ignite curiosity, nostalgia and the desire for reward. Every headline has been carefully crafted to appeal to a particular emotion and can always be related to the content. There’s no point creating a false sense of mystery, for example, and rewarding the reader’s curiosity with a disappointingly tangential news item, as this will only increase your bounce rates.

However, no matter how hard you try to craft the perfect headline it can be hard to know which one will capture public imagination. Ensure you’re not taking a shot in the dark by using one of BuzzFeed’s tricks – test different headlines for the same bit of content and use the one that most early users respond to. Platforms such as Optimizely and OpBandit make it very easy to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Use all the information you gather from these platforms and also the data from your own analytics to see what’s worked well for you in the past. Use everything you collate to create guidelines that will help you when crafting new headlines and images in the future.

Adding the right, shareable image

To help push content even further, there are few better tactics than the addition of the perfect image. Try to avoid reusing pictures over and over again and if possible, pick one that perfectly matches the tone of your piece. One you have an image, add alt tags that describe the picture, include metadata and use rich snippets to tag your image – all of these things will help it perform more successfully in search engine rankings.

Making the most of your success

Once you’ve got the hang of creating shareable images and tantalising headlines, you’ll want to make the most of them by spreading your content far and wide via social platforms and your email marketing campaigns. For social sites, use the headlines and images that are consistently getting the most attention – the items gaining traction on your site are likely to also work well on social. When it comes to email, try to keep your pieces user-centric and stick to the stories that will appeal to the people who’re already connected to your business.

It’s also very important that when you’re following in BuzzFeed’s footsteps you keep your own customers and demographic in mind. Boosting traffic is a great thing, but only if you’ll be able to turn that traffic into conversions. Don’t focus so strongly on creating viral-style content that you forget to connect with your target audience.

There’s never been a more competitive time for content online, so fire up your imagination and get creative with those headlines. Speak to WebCentral to learn more about the best ways to drive traffic to your website or call us on 1800 800 099.