From the Fields
I implore you to read and seriously think about this piece. All of us, journalists and content marketers alike, know the importance of the email newsletter. And we're using it according to the established fundamentals of content marketing. But here's a quote from the article that taps into where I think a new future will open up this year:
"The company has begun to embrace the idea that an email newsletter can be a product unto itself."
You may know of Nir Eyal from his great book titled "Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products," but his blog is fantastic as well. In this piece, he writes, "the purveyors of online news profit most when we feel at our worst."
Let that sink in. From the standpoint of a reader, what do you click on most? What do you anticipate reading most? It's important to truly understand that inner perspective if you are going to create content others will want to read.
You've heard about, and here's a deeper look:
"New subscribers should add at least $30 million a year to the company’s coffers, as long as the Times can hold onto them."
You should be thinking as much about maintaining subscribers as you do about attaining them. <-- I'll retweet anybody who tweets that quote along with the web link to this issue of Content Land.
The future of content creation will demand collaboration. We must all, in our own humble ways, be thinking about how partnerships can amplify our content strategy:
"The Guardian will bring its news expertise to the partnership, and in turn will be able to access Vice’s video production skills with content distributed to its millennial-skewed global audience."
I think it's always been a thing (since journalists have used video recorders), but it's going to increasingly become a thing. As so many content creators automate or otherwise create inauthentic content that forces a distance between their readers, this kind of "come with me" content will thrive.
The lesson? Answer these two questions:
Have you studied up on creative nonfiction? Are you finding interesting areas to insert your human self into your company's content?
In his year-end memo, Fred Ryan tells his employees at The Washington Post:
"The great work of our newsroom was supported by The Post’s world-class Engineering team, which developed new products to better serve our readers."
The lesson: Content is not enough. It takes an empathic team of diverse talent to make content shine.