Marketers, Media Partners Must Start Telling Better Stories
fit in to today’s “big tent full of ideas.”
media pro, James Daly, the biggest recent change he’s seen
on his job is the shift from “one-way messaging to two-way
participation.” Both editors and marketers can no longer sit
back and preach, he said. “We’re getting active feedback
from our readers. We don’t pretend to know everything. We’re
just hosting a big tent full of ideas. There are so many new ways
to tell a story.”
Director of Edutopia, a print and digital publication from
the George Lucas Educational Foundation, was one of the more enlightened
panelists at last month’s Mediabistro Circus in New York City.
it’s all about reader engagement,” agreed fellow panelist,
Paul Rossi, Publisher of the Economist. “It’s not about
using cheap clickatorial ploys to get people to respond.
Anyone can do that on the Web. Readers and advertisers come to you,
the publisher, ‘for a lens, a view that they trust.’”
community is more than just cheap content,” concurred panelist,
Paul Cloutier, CEO of 8020 Publishing, which specializes in reader-generated
magazines such as JPG and Everywhere. Each medium
has its unique strengths, said Cloutier. Print, especially the magazine,
is still the best vehicle “for telling aspirational stories
with beautiful compelling images and allowing for leisurely reader
serendipity.” The Web is more effective for fact-finding,
for telling stories requiring data, timeliness, interactivity. “That’s
very hard to do in print.”
marketers and their media partners have to do a better job of utilizing
each medium’s strengths and acknowledging each medium’s
weaknesses. Print media’s days “are far from over,”
he said, but the days of one-size-fits-all journalism and one-size-fits-all
advertising are pretty much over.
When it comes
to new ways of story telling, we’ve been getting a lot of
great feedback on our new CPA
Insider™ Video Snacks. The video snacks are a form
of podcast designed to supplement columns from Rick Telberg and
other popular AICPA e-newsletter columnists.
podcasts draw from the hundreds of reader comments and online survey
responses he receives each week. Like Edutopia’s James Daly,
Rick says the videos are shifting his role from “preacher
to trusted listener.” What’s more, in today’s
age of impersonal voice-mail and e-mail, they’re putting a
“badly needed human element” back into the business-communication
mix. Or as Paul Rossi notes, “our editors feel they can have
a real and intelligent conversation with our readers at any time.
This shows engagement.”
If your organization is not producing or sponsoring
videos, you might want to take notice. Prospects who listen to podcasts
are 73 percent more likely to buy or use a product or service
advertised during a broadcast, according to Internet
Marketing Report (IMR). IMR says when it comes to podcasts,
the shorter the better. Podcasts are particularly effective when
prospects can listen to them while exercising, commuting, having
coffee or dressing for the day.
video is rewriting the rules of appointment TV,” said Jim
Louderback, CEO of Revision 3, an Internet television network, who
presented at the Mediabistro Circus.
It’s not all teens and young male techies either. Over 30
percent of online video viewers are over age 45, said Louderback
and are almost equally split between women and men.
have to look much past YouTube to realize that online video is booming.
David Hallerman, a senior analyst at eMarketer, a research firm,
said marketers spent $925 million on online video advertising in
2007 — a small percentage of the $25.9 billion overall ad
spend online. But video is the biggest growth area, he said, and
will reach $5.5 billion by 2012—or about 10 percent of the
total amount of advertising dollars spent on the Internet.
“For a lot of marketers, video is seen as
experimental,” Hallerman said, noting that the top 100 advertisers
are already spending over 3.1 percent of their total advertising
budgets on video, up from next to nothing a few years ago. “Video
may not always be something you’ll directly make money from,
but will help increase traffic and brand awareness.”
Online Video Viewing Surges
- U.S. Internet users viewed 11.5 billion online
videos during March 2008, according to data from the comScore
Video Metrix service. This represented a 13 percent gain versus
February and a 64 percent gain versus March 2007.
- Nearly 139 million U.S. Internet users watched
an average of 83 videos per viewer in March.
- 73.7 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience
viewed online video.
- 84.8 million viewers watched 4.3 billion videos
on YouTube.com (50.4 videos per viewer).
- 47.7 million viewers watched 400 million videos
on MySpace.com (8.4 videos per viewer). The average online video
viewer watched 235 minutes of video.
- The average online video duration was 2.8 minutes.
And while the average video viewed is less than
three minutes, don’t think online videos are for the hyperactive,
low-attention span generation. Tammy Haddad, a video producer for
Newsweek and member of the 2008 FOLIO: 40 List of Leading
Media Professionals said more than seven million people watched
speech on race on YouTube—“and that was 37 minutes
long.” That audience nearly matched the average number of
viewers who tuned into the NBC’s Nightly News program, she
So whether you’re a B2B marketer, a media
buyer, an account executive or a publisher, why don’t you
join us under the big tent of ideas? There’s plenty of room
to tell your story. And as Revision 3’s Jim Louderback quipped
with this Nike-ism: “Don’t over-think it. Just do it
and have fun.” Isn’t that why most of us got into this