Full Sale Ahead: Give Marketers What They Want
While the long-term goals may be about sponsorship sales, many short-term benefits also exist. Social media can:
• Create user-generated content, which is both extremely close to the reader's interests and almost free to create. If readers help you create content, you can create a lot more content on the same budget.
• Motivate the top thought leaders in your market to contribute content through your brand. When thought leaders post on your social media platforms they are making spontaneous editorial contributions that require less supervision and expense.
• Provide informal research to help identify trends in your market. Want to know what your readers are thinking? A well-constructed social media program can reduce external research expenses.
• Create content that builds traffic for your website. Search engine optimization experts charge a lot of money to help you build website traffic. But adding some blogs to your website can help build your traffic as well.
Finally, Dan McCarthy, CEO of Network Communications Inc., has a great definition of social media: "Social Media Tools are simplified publishing tools for content creation and distribution."
Simply put, if you don't use social media to invite content participation in your market, someone else will. There may already be a blog roll website, forum, wiki or private networking site in your market started by an individual or company. If you are to protect your position as the leading content provider in your market, you need to cover these bases.
Question #3: Are you in the business of distributing information or data?
Trick question. Hopefully the answer is both.
Data is the new frontier for publishers. In the past, the core publishing business model was using content to attract eyeballs, and then charging for exposure to those eyeballs. Try this new formula: Publishers use content to attract data, and sell the data to the same marketers and advertisers we have always served.