The Pandemic Approach For Publishers
It's no surprise that the world has gone digital. Is it to save the trees? Unsure. With the quarantine holding us within the walls of our homes, the internet is at its peak. While there’s a visible shift in the readership from paper to screen, there are a few layers of complications creators have to peel through.
While going online would seem like the smart move right now, an exclusive digital approach comes with its perks and pricks. Inarguably this is a platform that can be capitalized.
Some of the repeated questions are - how do you attract young readers? How much social media involvement is right? Do you ask your readers to pay? If so, what's the right price tag?
Social media plays a significant part in bringing in traffic to the website. The pandemic had us chained if we didn't have the internet. However, it isn't all angelic. It’s a rough chart depending on your expertise in the platform.
Challenges on social media :
1. Keeping it real
Your content is out there for masses to consume and thanks to the user empowerment, all this content goes through scrutiny and appropriation. Fake news is spreading like wildfire. Because your content is directed to the mass, the exploitation is also at the same scale - how do you keep fact-checkers glued?
2. Do you have enough readers?
How many followers does it take for a successful social media account? How many likes, retweets and shares? There are 321 million new netizens in 2020, and 3.80 billion in total. With a number this huge, how do you ensure you have the right number.
3. Understanding the value that can be associated with social media platforms
While social media platforms like Facebook go on and off on the popularity wave, it could be challenging to keep track of which platform to commit to. With ‘in-short stories’ feature from Facebook, the news is selling like hotcakes. For a media house, this is yet another space to roll out revenue from.
4.Content that works depends on the genre
Investing in a good entertainment story doesn't take much thought, however not every story sells. The audience generally leans on to the genres they’re most comfortable with. This would mean that it’s the genre that drives the story and not the other way around.
5. Keeping up with all the social channels
The world seemed to be shaken by the loss of TikTok. We watched facebook become less relevant. All this to say that there will always be new social networking platforms and they will engage audiences. Doesn’t uploading every content on various platforms get exhausting? How do you get all the social platforms wired to your software?
6. Readers are spoilt with free content
Asking the torrent generation to pay for information, unsurprisingly, does not work easily. With more revenue diversification, digital publishers can afford free content for users. Perhaps we’ve taken John Lyly too seriously. Readers have an easy defense, how do you justify your aim at their wallets?
7. Having a dedicated team for social media curation
If you’re a smaller organization on the digital market, you probably don't have a whole dedicated social media team. With smaller organizations, the responsibilities are shared. Do you hire out help? How much do you invest in a PR team?
1. Revenue diversification
Publishers are in the middle of the modern consumer journey. The continued uncertainty with COVID 19, diversification is necessary. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, to niche networks within these platforms, the world is your oyster.
2. The demand for content has skyrocketed
With a pandemic lurking in the air, people have streamlined their attention to content like never before. With more netizens joining the family, higher subscriptions, and startups, content is blooming.What better time to go digital?
3. Promote as a brand, engage as people.
While brand voice is crucial, on social media you get to engage at an individual level. Be it a response from a writer or the editor, users engage more with people and not with brands.
4. Data is power
Facebook and Instagram are helpful to build your database of audiences. With social media handles, one of the key highlights is how clear your reader-base is to you. You have a list of tangible accounts that serve as functional targets. Lead your social media followers onto your website and use every new feature that seems to hold attention.
Facebook and Instagram act as the best wingman to find that niche audience. From IGTVs for reporting to inshorts, you have access to ‘n’ number of tools. Investing in social media can get you the reader-base you’re aiming for. Bless the recommended feed section which is always a perfect opportunity to move onto the regular feeds.
5. Have an easy interface on your social media account
All you get is a gaze, make it worth it. Netizens aren't looking for puzzles, keep your designs user-friendly. While scrolling through social media, users are often waiting for an intriguing element. To redirect readers to your website, one needs to prepare a good tease. More importantly, the journey to your page needs to involve minimal clicks. Perhaps a link in bio or a direct from-the-post redirection would work.
6. Customize your campaigns
Paid social media campaigns can help you win the jackpot if it’s presented the right way. Using the platform to present the users with what they care about can help you drive your customers to your site. Segment your audience and create tailored content for your users.
All this to say that social media isn't going to do it all, you must work with it to reach the maximum potential.
The VICE for instance has very many human interest stories on their site. With hook leads running as their posts, readers can't help being intrigued. Grab the reader's eye and lead them to your site.
While there is no easy way to dominate the social media world, staying open to the trends and listening to your readers can be revolutionary. Netizens aren't looking for the breaking news, they're looking for news they can trust and understand. Create a presence, so dynamic that the followers have something to look forward to.