The News Rewired conference in London on Thursday 6th December 6th was a chance for different types of journalists to gather to hear from each other about the challenges and innovations in the industry – as such it was only natural that there was a content marketing presence there…
It was a fascinating day where technology, engagement methods and ethics were all discussed at length. There was a real range of attendees too; academics sat side by side with editors, reporters and designers, but there was also a significant marketing presence. With its engagement metrics and monitoring techniques, marketing professionals have an important part to play in modern digital journalism.
It seems like there are so many shared challenges ahead for content marketers and journalists alike; here are five key takeaway points from the conference:
Publishers are advised to go simple when putting their content out on mobile screens – this prevents technology getting in the way of data display. This issue was raised by a number of experts, such as keynote speaker and Journalism++ founder Nicolas Kayser-Bril (@nicolaskb).
A poor user experience can really put people off in the long term, even if the content is good. Essentially it is not enough to say ‘content is king’. Responsive design websites and adaptive templates can help that excellent content shine – don’t let rigid structures get in the way. Reddit Edit founder Benji Lanyado (@benjilanyado) exemplified this with his free-flowing Interactive Stories project during the lightning round.
The social-sphere is having an ever-greater impact on traditional methods – however, sorting through what is of value and what is not can still be a real challenge for journalists and brands. Filters and social tools were big talking points here; the need to claw through all the data to see the truly important stuff. Catriona Oldershaw (@catrionatweets) from Synthesio made the case for paying for such listening tools over relying on free services, although Breaking News’s Dave Wyllie (@journodave) argued the benefits of social chaos running free on his screen.
The popularity of data presented in a visual way (infographics) should not be ignored – it’s a great way to grab the reader’s attention and is easily shareable. Data is the word on everyone’s lips right now, but many publishers do not realise how inexpensive and accessible it can be to turn stats into lovely images.
Hunger for great content
In spite of the challenges that journalists of all kinds face, a major theme that (pretty much) everyone seemed to agree with is that great stories – relevant to an audience, presented in attractive way and written well – have not gone out of fashion. The world, thankfully, still loves great content. With so much talk about the technology driving journalism it was Mark Little (@marklittlenews) from Storyful who drove home a more emotive message in the final session of the day about the power of a good story.