When blogs became popular – back when the Internet was only made up of a few hundred thousand Web sites – the idea of “sticky content” was born. As the number of Web sites and blogs Change Your Diet: Salty Content Is the New Stickygrew at an exponential rate, the demand for eyeballs increased. The goal of the content game became keeping visitors on your site, and if possible converting them to a subscriber.
Sticky content refers to content published on a Web site, which has the purpose of getting a user to return to that particular Web site or hold their attention and get them to spend longer periods of time at that site.
But the Internet landscape has since changed, and sticky content is losing. In the past decade, the worldwide Web has grown into billions of Web sites, and thousands more are being created daily. Networks, like Twitter and Facebook, have evolved into the next generation of news sources where millions of people are finding content that interests them without having to look for it. Recently, search engines, like Google and Bin,g have also begun to integrate social feeds into their algorithms to determine relevant search results.
Sticky content loses because memorable content and subscribers do not drive your search results or discoverability.
In today’s Internet, sticky content loses because memorable content and subscribers do not drive your search results or discoverability – nor does sharing your content all by yourself. With the growing selection of content choices available and large sites packed with data, people may never even find your site with SEO. The content itself needs to not only intrigue the visitor, but also generate new visitors in the vast sea of websites. This new type of content is the better, tastier salty content.
The content itself needs to not only intrigue the visitor, but also generate new visitors in the vast sea of Web sites.
Salty content is more effective in today’s worldwide Web environment. People can easily consume it and most importantly are enticed to share it. Salty content gets visitors to use their many social networks to push your content to their own audiences, giving you exponential reach that increases site traffic. It also feeds the search engines flavorful posts from your Web site, which increases search rankings.
Salty content is highly sensitive to the visitor’s own ideas and frame of mind, which makes it difficult to master. To be effective, salty content has to speak to a person’s ideologies. Also, unlike sticky content, it is sensitive to the available time visitors have to view your content and takes into account the fact they are inundated with many content choices. Instead, it increases time on site by being thematic. A palatable series of salty content tempts visitors to explore multiple pieces of content on a similar subject. This behavior is not unusual. Despite people reportedly not having time to digest long-form content, they spend hours watching subsequent YouTube videos and Netflix episodes. Salty content captures the person’s attention and must be well-crafted to pull them in. It is a true test of your storytelling abilities.
Salty content can be long form. In this case, it must be broken into bite-sized pieces that are easier to digest. In written pieces, this means shorter paragraphs and breaking up sections with imagery. In the case of video, the content must have ebb and flow in the story arc that creates suspense for the next scene. Dramatic and humorous content alike use this tactic. Just be careful, the longer your content, the higher risk of diluting its saltiness.
Salty content captures the person’s attention and must be well-crafted to pull them in.
There are social networks that have embraced the concept of salty content as well. Vine and Tumblr are prime examples. Both networks encourage a microblogging level of content that is easily consumed by visitors in a timely fashion. Secondly, they both incorporate sharing features that give content exponential reach (“revine” on Vine and “reblog” on Tumblr). The most popular users on these networks have embraced thematic salty content; they generated series of pieces that speak to the person and leave them wanting more.
Content creators can no longer rely on the shortsighted strategy of “stickiness.” The Web has become too large and users have shorter attention spans. Only focused, thematic, and shareable salty content will drive new visitors to your Web site.
It’s time for your content diet to change! Start cooking up salty content.
For inspiration, here are a few a examples of salty content:
- Steamfeed.com – This has content broken into distinct categories, common themes, and well-designed pieces.
- AsapScience on YouTube – This team has found a working formula and has a great series of salty content.
- 12most.com – This site has a great theme and broken it into multiple categories.
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