Best Practices to Avoid Having Your Content Flagged as Clickbait

To help content publishers avoid being flagged as clickbait, Facebook has listed some guidelines that publishers can follow. However, these are general guidelines; for affiliate marketing content publishers, things may feel a bit different. We've taken a look at some of Facebook's best practices and added affiliate marketing tips and strategies (as well as some best practices of our own) to ensure that your content stands out for the right reasons. 

  • Meaningful Content
    • When you create a piece of content you should be thinking about who your audience is. Facebook encourages content publishers to "focus on understanding the audiences they want to reach," and in affiliate marketing this is crucial. You need to have a firm grasp on not only who your audience is and what value this content brings them. 
  • Something New and Informative
    • Having a valuable, independent, and well-articulated opinion helps establishes your credibility as a fresh voice and builds trust for your readers. Facebook notes that they're "always working to better understand what is informative to each person" and that "those stories will appear higher up in [user's] feed." Thinking one step further into an affiliate marketing mindset, that higher placement means your content is doing its job of having original, unique content and can encourage readers to make a purchase through your content.
  • Information Accuracy
    • It's not enough to get your content out first to the masses, you also have to be right when you publish it. If you're a content publisher who focuses on the latest trends of an industry (fashion and technology are two good examples) and your content is first but wrong, you won't have return readers or a good placement on Facebook. Facebook notes they take inaccuracies seriously since "false information is harmful to our community" because "it erodes trust." Trust is a valuable asset to have with your readers as a content publisher, especially if you're trying to compel them to purchase a product you recommend or a brand you partner with, so make sure your content is credible. This goes for personal opinions and reviews as well; back up your claims with careful, in-depth evaluations to prove that you've put the time and effort to be accurate and trustworthy. 
  • Headlines That Work
    • We've talked a lot about the idea of clickbait headlines, but there's a reason why people can't resist clicking on clickbait. HubSpot notes that studies show "curiosity is a cognitive form of deprivation from realizing you have a gap in your knowledge. And when you have that deprivation, you're gonna try really really hard to reverse it." Does that mean you should make every headline, or even some headlines, clickbait-focused? Absolutely not. Take the time to craft compelling headlines that give the reader a desire to learn more while also being upfront about what they'll learn.
    • If your content is well-written, informative, compelling, and interesting, it should be no problem to get a reader excited to read it. A good strategy is to remember that you don't just want readers to click on your article, you want them to read through and be compelled to do more afterwards, whether that is to click a link to make a purchase of a product you recommended, shop a brand you shared your love for, or simply be informed about the latest products they may care about. Action for affiliate marketers doesn't stop at the click of a headline, so give them a reason to click it and keep going afterward!
  • Avoid Spam
    • This seems like it should go without saying, but we can't stress the importance of avoiding spam content enough especially in affiliate marketing. The last thing you want is for your readers to click your content and think you're just posting affiliate links with thin content to try and get them to convert. That will make readers feel they're being tricked and will likely get your content alienated. There are two ways to avoid this.
    • First, have meaningful content. Second, disclose your content. Don't be afraid to share that you partner with a brand in affiliate marketing, and absolutely disclose if a blog post is sponsored by a brand. It's not only the law to do so, it's actually beneficial to you; consumers aren't all that bothered by sponsored content as long as the content is good, so worry less about how your reader might respond to the disclosure and focus more on giving them a reason to enjoy the content regardless. 

These are just some of the content publishing best practices you can leverage to ensure that your content stands out and isn't confused with clickbait. When in doubt, always consider the reader: who they are, what they care about, and why they clicked on your content. Be honest and upfront, from headline to content to disclosures, and always aim to have something unique and interesting to share. 


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