With removal of Instant Articles, VíaPaís reinvents audience engagement strategy

By Ornella Saitta



In May 2023, Facebook’s removal of Instant Articles dealt a significant blow to VíaPaís, a news Web site heavily reliant on this feature for traffic.

Faced with a sudden decline in numbers, the social media team embarked on a strategic journey to find alternatives and increase our online presence.

Prior to the Facebook upset, VíaPaís had been actively engaging its social media audience with a mix of videos and posts such as quotes, announcements, and photos. While these efforts succeeded in enhancing social media impressions and engagement, they failed to translate into the crucial Web site traffic needed for income.

A new approach

Rather than revealing the entire story, we began sharing attractive snippets — a short quote, a compelling title, or brief yet captivating copy — accompanied by a link to the full article and a persuasive call to action.

This strategy proved immensely successful, with daily posts becoming key drivers of Web site traffic, garnering around 2,000 clicks each.

The new digital strategy includes more robust video content and teaser copy that encourages people to click through to the Web site.
The new digital strategy includes more robust video content and teaser copy that encourages people to click through to the Web site.

For videos, we implemented a different strategy. First, we established a direct line of communication with the editorial staff to understand the types of news that resonated most with our audience. This insight informed the creation of engaging video content directly linked to popular articles.

The second crucial change involved hiring an editor who not only revamped the editing style for increased visual appeal but also contributed creative ideas.

The result: highly engaging videos

These videos included:

  • “5 Things You Didn’t Know About” segments featuring celebrities.
  • Event coverage, including interviews with famous people.
  • A short and fun report about an event or the day or the week, such as the elections, the TV programme everyone is talking about, or a controversy with a celebrity.
  • Street videos where hosts talked with people about trending topics.

The videos were designed to captivate the audience, and they were also strategically linked to relevant articles. They were also added to these exact articles, extending session durations on the Web site.

The impact was solid

Within weeks, these videos garnered more than two million impressions, one million clicks, and an impressive 70% click-through rate (CTR). The revamped video content not only resonated with the existing audience but also expanded VíaPaís’ reach on Facebook, reaching a broader audience.

As VíaPaís continues on this ride, the focus is on continuous improvement. We aim to enhance content quality, ensuring it aligns seamlessly with audience preferences.

We are not merely recovering from the setback but are focused on surpassing previous traffic levels, solidifying our position as a leading source of news and entertainment in the digital world.

About Ornella Saitta

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