We like to think that we’ve picked up a thing or two while working with over 300 of the world’s top publishers, but when we want to be sure, we turn to the data. We recently did an analysis of millions of articles posted on Facebook as part of our A/B tests, and we noticed some trends in the post texts used. Despite the popularity of some of these phrases, they didn’t always translate to better performance for the articles.
One phrase we found used in post texts across several verticals was “in case you missed it.” For health and science publications, using “in case you missed it” led to a 17% lift above various publishers’ average click through rate (CTR). Major scientific breakthroughs happen year-round and utilizing this phrase helps turn these findings into evergreen content. “In case you missed it” could be from last week or last year, but either way, it promises new value and insights for a reader.
Similarly, this phrase has proven successful for news publications, creating a 25% CTR lift above the average post. With today’s rapid news cycle, it’s easy for a reader to feel like they may have missed something important. The phrase “in case you missed it” urges them to stay up-to-date on current events or read an update on an ongoing story.
On the other hand, when we have seen this phrase used to recap sporting news and events, it has performed 10% below the publications’ average CTR. Sports are generally aired live and followed closely. Unlike in news or health, where people feel they may have missed something important, when sports fans miss a game, they know it and often seek out the information themselves. “In case you missed it” posts don’t add any real value for them.
We’ve found that for the dedicated sports readers, post texts that offer insights drive the best performance. Often, this includes phrases like “what did we learn?” or “do you agree with this?” Each post text has increased CTR by more than 50% across publishers within the sports space. These phrases indicate valuable takeaways from the game rather than an easy-to-google score.
In our experience with millions of articles on Facebook, we have seen many post texts like this; they can be incredibly successful in some verticals, but completely flop in others. Unfortunately, there is no one magic template for everyone. While benchmarks such as these can guide you along the way, it is crucial to continuously be experimenting.
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