The four key steps to online media success

1. Content

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Quality content remains key. As does consistency. Google tools like Trends, News, and Ad-words can help you stay at the cutting edge, while an ear dedicated to your social media channels will reveal exactly where you need to pitch the tonality of your products in order to stay relevant to the colloquial and communicative styles of your audience.

But where content once shifted from print to digital, and in turn from digital to social, we are now witnessing a third evolution in the development of media towards a more shareable, visual and short-form offering. This means that the very nature of content itself needs to change, encouraging for example journalists to use less prose in the main body of their work, and more in subsequent conversations about it with readers directly on social media. 

2. Embedding

Notice how I have gone for ‘embedding’ here rather than ‘multimedia’, because I think it is important to distinguish between the two. As a media owner, it is vital to get your own content onto your own pages and attract eyeballs to it there, rather than simply thinking in terms of farming content out. Platforms like Vine, YouTube, and even Google+ have been specifically designed to help you redirect your own content back through your own site – think in terms of pulling audiences in, rather than pushing content out. 

3. ‘The Push’

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Expanding digital distribution has become big business, not least because the growing myriad of online marketing platforms makes for enticing reach/frequency reading. However, before you push the button to promote your media online it is worth remembering that in an age of social media transparency, a PR approach – not a marketing one – works best. Users will very quickly block obnoxious or intrusive brands not only from their feeds but from their lives. This includes Media brands if they feel they are being sold content to too readily, or too blatantly. Be conversational, be reactionary, and be engaging.  

4. Analytics

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Finally, we hear a lot about BIG data and that is undoubtedly important, especially in segmenting down audiences and the like. But what about small data? Daily and weekly glances at your readership rates, traffic figures, individual article performances, Twitter spikes, Facebook Likes and so on will immediately reveal what’s working and what isn’t. 

“If any hand says that this hand in front of me is not a hand, then so much worse for the theory.” (Immanuel Kant). It isn’t about ‘failing quickly’ it is about succeeding quickly, and using regular bite-sized bits of intelligence will allow you to do this. The key to day-to-day analytics is to get in, get out, and get applying them so that you leave as much time as possible for creating quality content and promoting it. 

And therein lies the formula. The four key steps to online media success!

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