A contact of mine passed on details of this excellent piece Marco Saric posted on LinkedIn: "30 Marketing Lessons From The New York Times Innovation Report". I'm posted a cut back version. You can read the full post here.
Here's what it says:
The leaked New York Times Innovation Report reviews the publication’s digital strategy, asks big questions and recommends steps to take to keep up with the shifting digital landscape on the content cluttered internet and the distracted mobile world. The Times might be the world’s leading news organization but the report shows that they lag behind new online publishers like Buzzfeed (ironically first to break the report) and Huffington Post.
The 96-page report was published internally on March 24th 2014 and is a must read for anyone in online content publishing and marketing. I recommend you take a look now. Lessons and recommendations from the report are useful for any content publisher. In case you are busy and want a quicker executive summary, these are the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) content marketing and blogging lessons learned from reading the report.
- Your home page is not the key.
- “If something is important, it will find me” behavioral trend.
- You don’t automatically get an audience, you have to go find your audience.
- Create a promotional strategy and impact toolbox for each story ahead of its publication.
- Use email as a communication channel to reach readers directly.
- Use a CMS tool that allows you to focus on innovating features instead of minor fixes.
- Have a best practices checklist before publishing a piece of content.
- Tag and structure content in order to help readers discover content.
- The recirculation effect.
- Publish content when people are online.
- What is the value of your comments area?
- Don’t undervalue replicability.
- Experiment quickly and constantly to discover new solutions.
- Don’t run your mobile experience on autopilot.
- Use Op-Eds and other user generated content as low cost way to expand your site and deepen loyalty.
- Pull back the curtain and talk about the process behind your work.
- Be both a daily newspaper and a library.
- Mine your content archives.
- Resurface evergreen content in useful, timely, relevant and shareable ways.
- Do content curation and aggregation.
Data & Learning
- Collect user data.
- Read like your readers.
- Analyse the impact of your efforts in order to learn and improve.
- Failures are important learning opportunities.
- Track the media landscape and rethink your competition.
Timeless Principles Of Online Work
- Build your company out of legos, not bricks.
- Kill off mediocre efforts that do not work.
- You need to have a long-term vision.
- Recruit the right digital staff.
- “Product first, department second”.