Discussing the importance of cultivating an audience, Steven Van Belleghem, Author and Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker at the upcoming Digital Growth Summit – The Next 10 years in News.
Faster than real time news
Let’s go back to 2010. Back then, when we talked about the future of news it was all about being authentic and fast. Those were the two buzz words you heard over and over again. Now it’s 2021 and we can absolutely say the news industry succeeded in being fast. Today the news is almost faster than real time. Hours before an official statement the world already knows what will be said. And when an unexpected news event occurs, there is always someone who made a live video so the world has an almost instant view on events as they unfold. However, the price for this speed race was very often authenticity and quality. All too often, the number of clicks and views is the most important KPI.
Now, we have reached a point where it has become impossible to be faster, so what will the differentiator be for the next decade?
Convenience is a commodity for an audience
Today, we live in a world where digital convenience is no longer a differentiator. Instead it has become a commodity. If you have it, fine; if you don’t, success is hard to come by. The most successful news apps are not just those with the best and fastest items, they’re also the most convenient apps. That begs the question: after speed and convenience, what criterion comes next for an audience?
Let me share two strategies with you: partner in life and having a positive impact on society.
Partner in life
Instead of sharing news item per news item, can you become a partner in people’s lives? Can you become the consumers’ information partner? A partner-in-life strategy is no longer about your planning and priorities but about offering the right information to the right person at the right timing in the right format. The context (mood, location, available time) will define if, how and when somebody has a need for information. Constantly adapting to this context will help you strengthen the relationship. Being an information partner goes beyond bringing news. Imagine you know that someone is going on a business trip to Istanbul: maybe you can already offer content and news related to that trip. In this case it is not just about speed but also about finding the right timing. It is not just about bringing news, it is about offering relevant information.
Positive impact on the world
Here is a question for 2030: will news companies ‘simply’ bring the news or will they leverage their influence to create a positive impact on society? News has a major impact on our overall perception. The way a story is brought to the market can define the overall perception of a large part of the community. Simultaneously, regular news broadcasts fail to reach a sizeable portion of the population that finds its information on unreliable social media accounts and other fake news sources.
I’m sure most journalists and editors are actually working on this positive influence as we speak. But how high up is this parameter compared to the views and the clicks? If there is a trade-off: do you choose the financial KPIs or the KPIs that will have a positive impact on society?
The offer your audience can’t refuse
Now, how can you translate the conclusions from the past and these two new strategies into an offer people can’t refuse? If you succeed in bringing value to all four dimensions people value today – a quality product, digital convenience, partner in life and adding value to society – you are close to creating an OYCR. If you succeed in harnessing this value in a common storyline and one experience for your audience then that is the point where you create an offer people can’t refuse.
Curious to hear more? Steven will be joining our upcoming Digital Growth Summit on the afternoons of 27th and 28th September. Register now for your opportunity to see Steven speak and ask him your questions on the next 10 years in news.