Category Archives: Content Distribution

Marketing + Content = New Audience

Most of you know I work for a mid-sized newspaper company, and like most newspapers, we’ve been undergoing quite a bit of change lately, forcing me to think about how the marketing department for the “online division” provides value to the organization.

Media, it’s consumption, and as a result marketing to people has become fragmented. Therefore capturing and fulfilling the expectation (need) of a new audience is different. Yet somehow the “Newspaper Online” operational structure and product structure reflects that of “Newspaper”.

Why is this a square peg in a round hole scenario? Well, it’s scalability (thinking large) vs. agility (thinking small). It brings back the theme of applying “New Marketing” to “Legacy Product”; which results only in a “Big Mess”. It no longer works to be everything to everyone anymore.

To attract a new segment we need to think small. Where are these people, what are they doing? With the resources, effort and focus on citizen media, as well as the concern in gaining market share, this is more important than ever.

Also, success is not only defined by the “big number” (pageviews). Measurement of success for new audience includes engagement (pages consumed and time spent) and loyalty (who is coming back).

Attracting new audiences is not all about the technology or platform involved, it’s about outreach and building teams that can do the following:

– Conversational writing, listening: The content becomes the marketing, and vice versa, it’s a two-way conversation.
– Group interactions, events, mingling, networking
– Guerilla marketing


New audience development is about the cycle of the user experience online and offline, with the common goal of creating value for the audience: getting them there and keeping them there.

Back in the saddle; btw, PTS!

There are keys to any successful blog; remaining on topic, be informative (yet interesting), update frequently, and stick to a schedule. I’ve lapsed on those last 2 months for a variety of reasons – of which I apologize profusely. But let’s move on from that.

I was catching up on the 200+ blog posts in Google Reader this morning and one stood out to me that I could relate to completely. Sean Polay, a colleague of mine at Ottaway Newspapers reminded his content folks to “Pimp the good stuff!”, or as he affectionately coined the phrase, “Pimp that shit!” Or nicely put: “PTS!” Gotta love that.

How many times have we gone through the trouble of creating really great content or tools, only to have to shrivel up in no man’s land because it didn’t belong in a specific content category? Or simply because of lack of communication between departments? Or how about the times we’ve gone through the trouble of promoting a feature offline only to have no clear direction on how to find it once on the site? Sitewide search is helpful, but not necessarily the slam-dunk solution.

So do yourself and your audience a favor, and PTS!

I’m being stalked – in a good way

Last night I was shopping online, and headed to Busted Tees to get my sister’s boyfriend a shirt he’s been wanting. I went ahead and ordered it (as well as 2 other gifts – it was free shipping for 3 shirts, I’m a sucker), checked out, and went on my merry way to see if anyone has become a fan of MaineToday.com’s business page in Facebook. On the way there I hit my profile, and look what I saw on my mini-feed (see the last item):


No kidding. I was floored. This is not a big retailer with oodles of money, they basically promote themselves on sites like Collegehumor.com and the like. How the heck did they do that? I’m not a fan of their business page, and they didn’t ask for a Facebook profile. I didn’t click from an ad on Facebook. My only guess is they matched up email addresses somehow … I am so mystified. But it caught my attention, and they are doing something beyond what I thought was capable. Now everyone knows what I got at Busted Tees. At least Steve isn’t on Facebook, he’s a MySpace junkie.