WHAT SPREADS ONLINE?
A Training Companion by the SecDev Foundation
In your groups, find as much information about your target audience, such that you could create a plan for reaching out to them:
How do these websites and content differ from traditional media? What can news outlets learn from them?
Using Alexa find the most visited websites in your country. Why do you think they are popular? What might these sites do better?
Download the Exercises
BELOW ARE THE VIDEOS WATCHED DURING THIS TRAINING SESSION
GOOGLE - YEAR IN SEARCH 2014
A ONLINE POST LENGTH CHEAT SHEET
Type of Content
Tweets with fewer than 100 characters enjoy a 17% higher engagement rate.
Posts with 40 characters or less receive 87% higher engagement rates than lengthier posts.
Aim to contain Google+ headlines in a single line for optimal exposure.
Reading online is different from print. Viewers prefer shorter paragraphs. Use larger fonts and fewer characters in opening paragraphs to draw readers in quickly.
Domains should be easy to remember, and even easier to type out. Avoid using hyphens and numbers.
Hashtags are meant to assist in sorting information, not overload a post. Keep them simple. Avoid spaces, special characters or numbers at the beginning
The average open rate on subscription emails is a lowly 4%. Emails with subject lines containing 28-39 characters do the best, at a meager 12.2%
Email Subject Lines
When articles are shared on social media, long titles are often chopped down to a shortened version with an ellipsis. Avoid the loss of impact and keep titles to 6 words or less. Keep in mind that only the first 3 and last 3 words are usually read.
The optimal LinkedIn post varies between 21-25 words.
The majority of articles read take 6 minutes to peruse, or consist of approximately 1600 words in total.
The top 50 YouTube videos average in length over around 2 minutes 54 seconds
On average, most consumers listen to a podcast for 22 minutes – which also correlates to the length of time an adult can sustain attention and retention.
A GLOSSARY OF TERMS
bounce rate - the percentage of visitors to a website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page, usually the home page.
call to action – a marketing term defining an instruction to the viewer that provokes an intended and immediate responsive action.
demographics – the quantifiable statistics of a given population such as age, gender, profession, geographic location, income level.
home page – the main or first page of a website, typically serving as a table of contents for the site as a whole.
landing page – a single web page that is accessed in response to clicking on a link, which is deliberately put forward through emails, social network links or in search returns. Landing pages should have analytics embedded and be set up with a clear call to action to engage visitors.
link bait – online content designed to attract attention and encourage those viewing it to click on associated links and/or create hyperlinks to the originating site, with the aim of improving that site's position in search returns.
SEO – short for Search Engine Optimisation, is the deliberate tweaking of websites such that they appearing hiring in organic search engine results.
psychographics – the grouping of people who share personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.
target market – a particular group of consumers at which a product, service, or content is aimed.
trigger – an anchor to which a concept or brand can be associated, such that when that trigger appears at a later time the brand or concept also comes to mind with it. Example: that horrible Budweiser commercial where the guys great each other and say “What’s up?” http://bit.ly/1ukE1E0 - anchors the beer to not just watching a game, but also greeting friends.
Berger, Jonah. Contagious: Why Things Catch On. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.
Hogshead, Sally. Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation. New York: HarperBusiness, 2010.
Heath, Chip and Dan. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. New York: Random House, 2017
Reuter’s Institute Digital News Report 2014
The Psychology of Sharing: Why Do People Share Online? Customer Insight Group, The New York Times
THIS TRAINING WAS DEVELOPED BY THE SECDEV FOUNDATION
THE SECDEV FOUNDATION
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