Getting people to share articles is crucial to the success of news websites. Sharing increases the reach of the article as well as increasing the chances the article will get a backlink. Both help Google rankings as well as getting more eyeballs on the article and, crucially, eyeballs on ads.
Writing clickbait titles is one strategy that news publishers have used in the past to increase article shares. There is a general clickbait weariness among internet users, however. This means clickbait titles often cause more harm than good, particularly when the content on the page falls well short of the promise in the title.
Here are six other creative ways that avoid clickbait, while increasing the chances of your articles getting shared.
1. Offer Incentives
Incentives could be of many types. One example is offering a month free access to your paywalled content or some special paid report that your team produced. Another example could be that you include the users who shared content within a certain period in a draw to win a certain branded gift or a free advertorial about their business. These two examples would cost you nothing and yet will incentivize readers to share more of your content.
2. Be Controversial
Opinion pieces get shared more since they are not typical reporting, unique, and branded with the journalist’s name/political affiliation. This is all about making your articles stand out in what can be a crowded marketplace.
You can ask your journalists to write standalone opinion pieces or contributors to do so. You can even try to include quotes in standard articles, while making sure that the quotes are opinionated and, potentially, controversial.
3. Tag People on Social Media
Covering events in your news publication gives you a fantastic opportunity to get shares. All you need to do is take the time to tag the people who appear in images/videos or who are mentioned in the article on your social media channels. Many of them will share that article once they know it exists – simply because it features them. Even their beloved ones, colleagues, or followers (if they have any) might share your content – increasing the potential for it going viral.
4. Make Content Short
Most people don’t read long-form content, at least not on their mobiles. You have two options to overcome this. The first is to make content shorter, where possible. Let’s face it – this is often possible simply be stripping out repetition in an article as well as superfluous content.
The second is instead of making the content shorter, add a summary of the main points at the very beginning. [check out Magnet’s automatically generated summary service]
5. Add Videos to Articles
People love videos and will often share them more than they will share text articles. So, you should add videos to your content as often as you can.
This doesn’t have to be anything too technical or over-produced. Even basic videos of a journalist explaining the story, a commentator giving an opinion, or an interviewee answering a question, will work.
6. Engage with Your Audience
In general, digital marketing is not a one-way street. If you want people to engage with you, you need to engage with them.This applies to news publishers as much as it does to other types of content production.
As a news publisher, you even have additional options available to you. For example, you can quote one of your readers in a new article using a comment they left on a previous article. This will increase loyalty and shares.
I want to end this by stating something we always repeat at Klangoo: Sharing content is one of the most significant indicators of a user becoming a loyal user.