Posted by Amanda_Gallucci
The past year, major publishers have run the full gamut from listicles with clickbait headlines to well-researched, in-depth storytelling. Each format worked for different audiences and contexts, and as publishers repeatedly tested new types of content, they found several winning combinations.
By taking a look at the strategy behind why some of the most popular content styles of 2014 performed so well, brands can learn to repurpose and utilize these formats for their own content.
The local snapshot
Whether taking the form of a list, interactive map, or article, content that focused in on a certain segment of the population, or compares and contrasts diverse segments, made up some of the most widely shared and discussed content.
The New York Times created a map that represented America’s palate by showing the most searched for Thanksgiving recipe in every state: Thanksgiving Recipes Googled in Every State.
Why it works
The more closely content is personally tied to the reader, the more they are invested in it, so content that is focused on a particular area or demographic has a high appeal to the people in that group. People feel one of two ways about this type of content: either they find it to be a spot-on representation of their community, or they starkly disagree with how they were perceived. In both cases, the opinion is strong and people want to share with others about either the content’s accuracy or their reasons why the author didn’t get it right. Moreover, content that pits different places or groups against each other further increases a person’s desire to defend their loyalty to their group, as well as strikes up curiosity and conversations when people are genuinely surprised to find out how different they are from others.
How to spin it
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