19th March, 2018
How would it be if an article spoke about 50 different things at the same time?
Interesting? Appalling? Cacophonous ? Utterly confusing? I leave that to you.
In the modern context however, consumers want to read everything quickly. On the downfall, the subject may not be comprehensively absorbed neither by the publisher nor its audience.
Added to it, what is interesting is that the audience loves to read actual news than ‘viral’ news. They simply don’t like being told what they must know! They just want the gist of the article in the simplest way possible and move on to something else.
According to Al Ries and Laura Ries who authored the famous ‘The 22 Immutable laws of Branding’, in order to have a consistent reader base who don’t switch article after article, website after website, it’s crucial for them to have an association which makes them associate with a website.
Buzzfeed’s inception was in the Year of 2006 while Mashable on the other hand was created in the year of 2005. Both are based on the “listed articles” or “listicles” format and have produced a plethora of content.
Here, the Law of Consistency comes into the picture where you need consistent content to keep the visitor visiting your website time after time. The law of consistency says “A Brand is not built overnight, Success is measured in decades, not in years”. To keep up with the same, many listicle websites would pour out content, many of it absurd, pointless and frivolous -a dime a dozen!
The law of euthanasia says that “No brand will live forever, Euthanasia is often the best solution”. While Buzzfeed is still producing content, it is facing a steady decline.
No wonder why Mashable was sold to Ziff Davis in the last month of 2017 for $50 million was termed as a “fire sale” by various publishers. It ranks a shocking 1,014 on the Alexa website ranking platform dropping 179 places from before.
Buzzfeed ranks 178 on the same platform while dropping 17 places from where it was before . The readers of both the websites are mostly USA centric
How long can you make a reader stay with ‘relatable quizzes’, ‘favourite TV shows’, ‘favourite band’.
You need a captive reader to be constantly and consistently engaging with your website. And the readers, today, are alas, not as captivated or enthralled of the platform,
If the topics are the starting with something like ’29 most’ ‘100 most’, ’13 times’, ’11 reasons’ are what pull your readers in to read your article, I personally believe it to be kind of sad. Websites like Buzzfeed and Mashable are like Viral news itself. They rise from nowhere, gain the world’s attention, and after a while, we replace them with something “newer”.
I guess, you can never forget:
“Content is King, But the Customer is King-Kong”