A friend and colleague of mine posted the following on Facebook last Friday:
“Potential new client just said this: Magazines are great but we really want to have online coverage. Magazines have a short life span and everyone is reading news online nowadays and it lives forever. Please focus on that.”
Did that just happen? Are clients really now preferring placements in Buzzfeed, Mashable and other online “publications” rather than more traditional outlets like The New York Times, USA Today and Good Morning America?
The tide may have shifted more than you think.
I have no hard data evidence to back this up, mind you, but I believe more clients ARE thinking this way.
Online placements = more shareable
Goes without saying, right? A quick click, and readers can share online placements with thousands of friends and family. Pretty tough to share an article in the most recent hard copy of Shape Magazine. I mean, unless you plan on cutting it out and sending it to a friend via U.S. Mail (which, I have done in the not-so-distant past!).
Online placements = more searchable
Interesting post over on Jay Baer’s blog got me thinking more about this. How, in a simple search for Google’s recent Alphabet news, more “op-ed” blog-post like posts came up on page one vs. hard news stories from major mainstream media outlets. Online placements in non-traditional outlets like Buzzfeed and ReadWriteWeb are inherently more searchable than mainstream news articles. Weird–but, may prove to be true.
Online placements = better traffic drivers
Sure, having your brand on Good Morning America is going to drive a spike in awareness for your brand. No question there. But, it’s just that. A spike. And, worse yet, it’s usually a spike that’s tough to measure. And, a spike that may or may not result in sales and traffic to your web properties. At least with an online placement, you have a better chance of generating that traffic via links and other items (bios, if it’s a bylined article, for example).
Online placements = More credibility (believe it or not)
Think about today’s Millennial. They don’t watch Good Morning America. Hell, they’ve probably never heard of GMA! And, hard copy magazines? They’ve never opened one. But, Buzzfeed? Yeah, they read that. Snapchat? They may use the Discover feature to access news. Report after report has shown us Millennials aren’t accessing traditional media as much as their Gen Y and Gen X colleagues. So, if you’re targeting a younger audience, an article in the USA Today might not mean nearly as much as an article in Buzzfeed. Yes, I just wrote that sentence.