According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now more Americans working for online publishers and broadcasters than for newspapers.
While this only adds fuel to the “print is dead” fire, we don’t need to clutch our precious Sunday Editions of the New York Times to our chests just yet. Virtually all print publications have strong digital presences, as we see in our monthly publisher rankings and analyses.
Digital publications may be easier to launch than print, and are already operating as natives in the space. But whatever the reason, this trend shows that it’s more important than ever for media professionals to stay savvy of what’s seeing success online.
So what should media professionals remember in the ever-evolving digital landscape?
Discover the Content That Matters
Content is still king. As we’ve seen with the New York Times’ most-shared content, there is a place for lengthy, in-depth content on social media and across the web.
(data from NewsWhip Spike)
That said, it’s vital to know your audience and their needs. While video may be the current big thing, the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2016 found that video news isn’t as popular outside of the US. Across 26 countries, only 24% of respondents accessed online news video in a given week, compared to 23% last year.
It comes down to knowing what content your audience is hungry for. For example, LittleThings is one of the biggest publishers on Facebook. After discovering a video that had the potential to go viral, they re-published it, propelling it from 200,000 views to 2.5 million views the following day.
By already knowing the type of content that will thrill their audience, LittleThings wastes less time searching and sees stronger results.
We’ve also seen more brands and agencies creating digital newsrooms to deliver the content that’ll grow their audience and build credibility.
Brands like MasterCard, Reebok, and Nissan are using their core content themes to find and produce the stories that will increase their reach and brand reputation. And they’re not afraid to explore new ways to do it.
Monitor the Emerging Ways to Deliver Your Story
Digital news has surpassed all other forms of news consumption. More than half (53%) get their news via a smartphone, plus half of Americans adults get their news from Facebook.
So in which ways are they consuming this media?
Looking at engagement of the top 10 publishers on Facebook over the past year, we saw a decrease in interactions for all non-video content. A Facebook executive recently announced that in the next five years, your Facebook Newsfeed could be all video. Facebook videos are creating 13.2 times the amount of chatter year over year.
[fb_pe url=”https://www.facebook.com/natgeotvau/videos/10153655687852006/” bottom=”30″]
(National Geographic has also been playing around with Facebook’s 360 video feature)
This is manifesting in a number of ways, such as vertical video. We predicted that vertical video would become more prominent this year, and we’ve seen more and more publishers adopt it, including most recently, National Geographic.
Facebook Live video, and instant video platforms like Snapchat, have become increasingly important. We’ve seen that Live videos, whether they’re of something serious or an exploding watermelon, drive a lot of eyes and interactions.
[fb_pe url=”https://www.facebook.com/candaceSpayne/videos/10209653193067040/” bottom=”30″]
This simple, now famous, video is the most watched Facebook Live video currently, with over 157 million views.
It pays to be flexible, try out new mediums as appropriate for your content, and monitor how well they work for your audience. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and stay ahead of the latest social media trends.
Analyze What’s Working and What’s Not
There a variety of ways to measure views and reach. With so much content being shared on social, social media metrics are essential to see what’s driving genuine interest and interactions among your target audience.
We’ve talked to publishing experts about how they measure success on social. They spoke to us about how social metrics can fuel audience building efforts, inform content strategy, and provide analysis for how experimentation is working out best for your audience.
The publishers, agencies, and marketers that rely on us use NewsWhip Spike to scope out the important stories in their industry that are getting people buzzing. They can distill by location, custom time, topic, and specific social media metrics to find exactly what their audience cares about.
(A 12 hour view at NewsWhip Spike shows the stories getting the most attention right now)
Meanwhile, NewsWhip Analytics provides a comprehensive bird’s-eye view of your content, your competitors, and the best in your industry or in content creation.
(A look at Facebook performance for content from major sports publishers over the past week)
Without data to inform your content, you’re shooting blindly into the dark. With data, the light switch is flipped on, and you can find what’s going to be a hit with your audience.
Keep Experimenting, Keep Changing
Luckily, none of us are going the way of the dinosaur, so long as we stay aware of the evolving digital landscape.
By knowing the content our audience desires, experimenting with new mediums, and analyzing our content’s performance, we can keep ahead.
(Spike’s real-time alerts makes discovering relevant content fast and easy)
Whether we’re producing content for a digital native, traditional publisher, agency, brand, or anything else, evolving and staying savvy will win the day again and again.