One of the worst things you can be labelled in content creation – especially when it comes to the world of football – is ‘clickbait’. Frankly, I’m of the mind that if a website is to pull the wool over your eyes just to get you through the door and present you with sub-standard content (the two usually go hand in hand), it’s a website that doesn’t deserve a second visit.
Still, there is obviously a line to toe when it comes to marketing content. We’d all like to live in a world that means an audience will naturally gravitate to higher quality pieces but, aside from the major powerhouses in the publishing world, this isn’t always the case.
So, what are the key values behind marketing content in a space that virtually lies between the pulsing heartbeats of clickbait and giving the game away?
On the Transfer Tavern, we hit a company record of 9.78m in July 2018 by operating innovatively. Whether it be brainstorming new content strands (some of which hadn’t ever touched NewsNows RSS feed before us), drilling down into the structure of a title and making ever so slight changes to really maximise interest across a number of different clubs, it’s really all about thinking outside the box.
For example, social media reactions are a massive driver of traffic for a number of publications. Obvious, right? Bulk up on those until that content strand starts to wane.
Well, for us, it was all about approaching it differently. How can we make that fresher? With that in mind, we started to look retrospectively. By using Twitter’s advanced search tool, we were able to collect tweets from up to six years ago and look how certain fanbases reacted to certain signings, then form an opinion around how perceptions might well have changed.
One of the main gripes from both an in-house editorial perspective and the NewsNow aggregation platform is not remaining consistent from article to article. For a writer to churn content out for the sake of it and change their opinion from piece to piece is perhaps the biggest sin in this game.
Why, as the editor of a website, would anyone want their writers to change their tune on a whim? Why, as a journalist, would you want to cheapen your arguments and lessen your voice by not remaining and consistent in your view? They really are key questions for any one working in any sort of content creation or publishing.
If you keep that value prevalent at all time, your audience will benefit. Whether they agree with your opinion or not is another matter entirely but as long as you’ve remained consistent throughout, they can trust that it’s a worthy, more engaging debate.
With this industry changing all the time due to a plethora of reasons both in and out of our control, there’s really no time to be fearful. If you’re going to standout amongst the crowd, you have to be fearless in your innovation and trust your teams.
Think you’ve got a content strand no one has done before? Great, do it. Did it not work? Fine, regroup and analyse to come back stronger. Believe you’ve got the article to ruffle a few feathers? Go for it and trust your quality in making that both a compelling and well-balanced piece.
Standing still and getting stale is when mistakes start to creep in. We’ve all got to be fearless.
To find out more about working on the Transfer Tavern, please contact Martin@snack-media.com