Nov 2019#Opinion

How to write great news pieces —Tips for crypto exchanges

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5 min

Why do traders read exchange news? Mostly to learn about any updates that could affect their activities. This includes token listings, changes in management, or technical modifications. 

We've looked at how 30 different crypto platforms go about sharing their news. Read more on our findings and recommendations.

Aim for clear, easy-to-read headlines

Traders don't have the time or desire to read all the news pieces an exchange posts. A user might be interested only in platform updates and ignore the rest. A good headline that clearly summarizes the content will help a trader decide if the post is worth reading.

Visuals (covers) also help users to quickly scan posts. Some exchanges use different icons for various types of news: for instance, a trash bin for de-listings, a cogwheel for tech updates, etc. Regular visitors don't even have to read the headline to understand if the post is worth their attention.

Place the key point at the beginning

The reader doesn't have to read through a lengthy introduction or musings on the company's values to get to the main point of the news piece. It should be clear from the start.

For example, Kraken highlights the key takeaway in italics.

While EXMO highlights it using a grey background.

As a bad example, let's look at a post on the IQFinex site about a token getting delisted. The first 2 paragraphs are about the company's values, and it's only in the third paragraph that we find out which tokens will be kicked off the platform. Values are fine, but they should serve as an addition to the piece, not as its opening.

The fact that important information should be placed above the fold is confirmed by the 2018 Nielsen Norman Group study Scrolling and Attention. The top part of the page should be reserved for high-priority content and CTA buttons. Secondary content should be located in the bottom part of the page.

Explain the importance

Make sure to explain why the information is valuable to the reader. You might describe the context, mention recent events, or provide statistics. 

For example, a post about upcoming maintenance can describe how the update will benefit users: which features will work better or how the interface will change. This way, your audience will feel more positive about the downtime – compared to just being faced with an unpleasant fact. Sure, your post will get longer – but you'll come off as open and caring.

Kraken even adds a special How does this affect me? Section to such announcements:

By contrast, Mercatox serves as a poor example: it doesn't even add a date to such news pieces. The reader has to return to the main news page to see when the post was published.

Make your posts more readable

Here's what can assist you with that: 

  1. Headings and lists. They give a structure to the text and help readers find their way around the text faster.
  2. Images – they clarify the content and make it more engaging, adding to and illustrating the text.
  3. Good formatting – we don't consciously perceive line length and spacing, font, and margin width, but these factors affect readability and reaction to the text.

Here's an example of quality formatting:

And here's a bad example:

Some older sites don't have the necessary formatting tools. In this case, you can use a blogging platform like Medium. It's free and features an intuitive editor that makes it easy to design and post news. Moreover, Medium is popular among crypto traders, and its content is easy for Google to index. Bittrex and Poloniex post their updates on Medium.

Show the people behind the exchange

This seems like a banal piece of advice in the era of behind-the-scenes content marketing. But since crypto industry is rife with scams, distrust, and stereotypes, it's crucial that you show your audience the people behind all those charts and algos. Here are a few ways to do this:

1) Announcements by specific team members.

This is the easiest and most obvious way to humanize your business. Coinbase, Kraken and Liquid all use this strategy.

2) Interviews with co-founders

3) Votes and polls

4) Corporate social responsibility (csr)

CSR initiatives help traders feel part of something important – and increases their loyalty to the exchange. Binance and OKEx are among the exchanges that have a CSR strategy and advertise it.

Be simple

For some reason, many exchanges still stick to an overly formal style, using stale phrases like 'as per our previous announcement', 'users must take account of the fact that', 'in order to maximize the benefits for users', etc. 

Why does that happen? Perhaps fintech companies view formal style as a sign of high status and respectability. But in reality, such complexities only make your text hard and tiring to read – especially since the information stream is so massive these days.

Bottom Line

If we tried to summarize all these tips into one, it would be this: save your readers' time. To achieve this, you need to combine meaningful headlines, effective visuals, good structure, and, of course, a clear text. Taken together, these elements will create truly user-friendly news.

Since 2011, we provide digital marketing services and design content strategies for blockchain projects. If you’d like to collaborate with us, get in touch

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