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Posts Tagged ‘Upworthy’

Upworthy: Paid Content Brings More Clicks Than Editorial

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…even if it’s sponsored

Yesterday we posted on a Contently survey finding that sponsored content (NOT general “content marketing”) usually elicits groans, irritation and a feeling of being “deceived” among average readers. The survey even found that such material often damages the credibility of the pubs in which it appears.

And yet, one of the hottest viral content sites on the Internet now claims that its sponsored posts drive more traffic than editorial.

You won’t BELIEVE what happens after the jump…

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The Math Behind Viral Content Doesn’t Add Up

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Everybody wants to create that piece of “super-sticky”, high-quality content, right? We get it; as bloggers we want to write posts that get attention from unexpected sources, even if that attention sometimes amounts to “what is this fu<&ing bullsh!t?

Reuters econ reporter and general gadfly Felix Salmon has done the math on the viral model, and he warns content creators not to put all their eggs in one basket. There’s a lot of fancy algebra in his post, so we’ll summarize it.

First, remember that Upworthy and BuzzFeed wouldn’t exist without Facebook, because that’s where they get their exposure.

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In Which CNN Proves That Clickbait Headlines Don’t Always Work

Today in Misreading Media Trends news, lots of people got mad at CNN this morning for this tweet (in case you missed it amidst all the stories about a certain drag-racing Canadian pop star):

This is messed up for several reasons, primarily that it’s a dumb and insensitive way to lure readers into clicking on a story about a horrible tragedy.

Our own Shawn Paul Wood recently shared his own not-so-secret rules for writing great headlines, but CNN seems to have misinterpreted #4 on that list: “Pique curiosity.”

Yes, the open headline demanded a further look into the story and yes, the Internet outrage will fizzle out soon enough as it always does. But there’s a lesson here: Upworthy-style “you know you want to click” tactics aren’t acceptable for a somber story from a legitimate news organization, because in our humble opinions the backlash isn’t worth the short-term traffic bump.

Be honest, though: did you click?

The 10 Biggest PR Winners of 2013

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Toast of the town

Yesterday we gave your our list of 2013′s biggest losers, so now it’s time to go positive (in keeping with #4 on this list) with the biggest winners of the past twelve months.

Through some combination of skill, good fortune and great public relations, these ten had a pretty good 2013.

Here’s to the promise of a new year; be sure to let us know who we left out.

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Top 10 Social Media Wins of 2013

Next round of likes is on us

The next round of “likes” is on us…

We already shared the worst of social media in 2013, so here’s to the best…or at least our own approximation of it.

OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER IS OBVIOUS: Yes, this list is highly subjective and you’re going to see some repetition/glaring omissions. But such is the nature of year-end clickbait, no?

Here, then, are the stories that demonstrated what social media meant to us and our industry in 2013.

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Does Everyone Else Hate These Facebook Changes As Much As We Do?

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We’d say he’s laughing with us, but we’re not laughing.

Notice anything different about your brand/blog/client Facebook page recently? Uh huh. Take a look at these reach numbers:

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Versus statistics for the same page just a couple of weeks ago:

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Yeah, the numbers are small because whatever. But that’s a pretty big difference, and we have a sneaking suspicion it can all be attributed to Facebook’s new algorithm. A recent report from Ignite confirms that brand pages have suffered a 44% decline in exposure in the last nine days alone.

How’s that “tinkering with our revenue streams” experiment going, Mark? Let’s take a dive into the big blue rabbit hole…

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#LoveAlwaysWins In All Out’s Pro-Gay Sochi Olympics PSA

All Out describes itself as a merger of two non-profit organizations created to “…build a world where no person will have to sacrifice family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or whom they love”. They do it by using social media to change minds and ultimately challenge the law in the 76 countries where it’s currently a crime to be openly LGBT.

So think of it as a gay-centric Upworthy.

Today our sister site AgencySpy featured the two-minute PSA that forms the crux of the org’s latest campaign, and it’s worth a teary watch:

So how will it work?

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Hollywood Stars and Advocacy Groups Tell the NSA: ‘Stop Watching Us’

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a civil liberties organization that has scheduled a protest tomorrow in Washington, D.C. over the National Security Administration’s data collection (aka “spying”) activities.

We’re interested primarily because we don’t know that we’ve ever heard of a cause that somehow managed to unite not just Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Cusack, the ACLU and Upworthy founder Eli Pariser but a whole slew of hyper-partisan political groups ranging from the left wing Demand Progress to the right-wing Freedom Works and the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute. It’s a pretty impressive list.

The EFF even managed to snag Ben & Jerry’s. We can’t imagine parent company Unilever approves, but at least the after-party will be delicious.

We’re not sure what the protest will accomplish, exactly, but it’s a testament to the organizational powers of the people involved. It also reminds us that you really can engage thousands of people if you’re “marketing” a cause they believe in.

Also: it’s good to see Wil Wheaton again, because Next Generation was obviously the best Star Trek series. No debate.