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Content Radar: More Than a Million WP Sites at Risk

We rounded up five content marketing news items from this past week. Here’s what you need to know:

More than 1 million WordPress sites defaced

If your WordPress site doesn’t have automatic updates turned on, you may be allowing hackers to access and deface the site. After WordPress announced a patch in version 4.7.2 in late January, analysts saw an increase in sites being compromised on sites where owners didn’t have automatic updates turned on. In some instances, sites have been defaced more than once by rival hackers.

It’s safe to say that if you don’t have automatic updates turned on and still have not manually updated to version 4.7.2, your WordPress site could still be at risk.

Use emotion to improve your ad copy in search

An insightful article on this week discussed how you can improve the performance of your Google ads by better understanding psychological principles of behavior. Among other things, the article discusses how promoting a limited time frame to click or buy can result in the same kinds of impulse clicks and buys that people make when buying candy at the grocery store checkout counter.

The article also discusses the importance of value-based language — specifically showing potential customers how their lives will be better if they click on your display ad. Using emotion in content marketing isn’t new, but it does appear to be underutilized in Google ads.

Get ready for some of your Facebook followers to be annoyed by your videos

In a 180-degree shift from what it announced last year, Facebook has decided to begin autoplaying the audio of videos in users’ news feeds. In 2016, the social giant claimed that more than 80 percent of users reacted negatively to having audio autoplay.

So why the shift? According to Facebook, as people have become more accustomed to watching videos on their smartphones, these people also expect that audio will play at the same volume at which their mobile device is set. Facebook claims the testing it has done with autoplaying sound has resulted in positive feedback, therefore the company will slowly roll this functionality out to more people. As you create your own videos, you might do well to keep this adjustment in mind and perhaps even do research among your own Facebook audience to determine how they feel about this development. The results could cause you to make different decisions about how you package videos on Facebook.

Most Snapchat users open, watch branded content

Though Snapchat is thought by many to be the most difficult social channel for brands to leverage, results from a recent survey performed by Snapchat analytics firm, Snaplytics, shows that more than half of Snapchat users will watch branded stories.

Perhaps even more encouraging for content marketers is that of those who open brand stories, more than 85 percent will watch the full story. According to the study, most brands publish about three Snapchat stories per week, with most of the stories averaging 11 snaps or fewer.

Want people to see your Instagram content? Find ways for them to engage

At the recent “Machine Learning @Scale” event, Instagram engineer Thomas Dimson dropped a bit of knowledge about how a better understanding of the channel’s algorithm could help you get your content in front of more followers. According to Dimson, Instagram’s algorithm gives preference to content in your news feed when it comes from “people you care about.”

And how does Instagram determine the people you care about? According to Dimson, the following factors are influential:

  • People whose content you like
  • People you direct message
  • People you search for
  • People you know in real life

Simple enough. But the truth is if your Instagram audience isn’t seeing your content, it’s probably because you aren’t giving them a reason to engage. And if you aren’t giving them a reason to engage, then Instagram might not be the right place for your messages.

Chad Buleen

About Chad

Chad Buleen is an award-winning journalist, the manager of social messaging for a large international nonprofit, a digital media enthusiast and father of four. Follow him on Twitter .

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