We may be on the lookout but fake news still penetrates our hardened Internet attention defenses. This is an unmitigated disaster for media producers and consumers, but a gold mine for marketers, especially those who hold content near and dear.
Fake News’s impact is proof that in an oversaturated world, creators with even low-quality content can get their message into the New York Times…or convince the free world’s media that WhatsApp has been hacked.
Here’s the things. Google algorithms are winning the war on black-hat SEO’ers. Now it has to deal with black-hat content creators.
This information dissemination meltdown brings with it a real education for content marketers.
Here are six marketing lessons that Fake News drives home. But please, use these insights for good, not evil.
#1 Lead Right
Social media is jet fuel for fake news rocket ships. 60% of all shared links are never clicked (even by the people who shared them). Headlines are about micro-content consumption, dictating article success on the merit of 6-10 words.
Balkan teens churning out alternative facts spend their time grabbing other articles, true or false, and writing sensationalized headlines. Which can work for even amateurs; Upworthy built a content empire by rewriting and A/B testing headlines but two of their most explosive articles ever had the headlines written by interns.
White-Hat Content Lesson: Content matters. But the micro-content you lead with – headlines, open-graph info and metadata – are your content’s calling card.
#2 Inherited Credibility
Web design is converging.
Think of the ubiquitous startup video with a video background, transparent menu with outlined call-to-action button. News sites are no different, creating baseline standards that set expectations and associations. Look at a fake news website. It feels real. We know anyone can rip off a design to inherit credibility from an existing schema…but it’s still effective.