A couple years ago, The New York Times issued an outstanding digital report on the goals they needed to strive for in this new age. One particular takeaway that stood out for me was this quote: "Our readers are hungry for advice from The Times. Too often, we don't offer it, or offer it only in print-centric forms. In the past, we might see a feature on yoga, running or meditation—who's doing it, what's it about. Today the Times believes that people want to know how, where and when to do it.”
This can definitely translate to B2B. "We expect that the bigger opportunities are in providing guidance rather than traditional features," the report says. In covering their niches, reporters must think engagement and involvement. Knowing about investing, farm products or construction isn't enough anymore. There's enough data to tell a reader more—why they should care and how they can act.
But it’s something in that first paragraph that flashed before me again l ...
One-question surveys, in the style of the Net Promoter Score, are becoming a trend with some of the bigger publishers today—especially in regards to their content. Digiday reports that Business Insider Prime members are asked how "valuable" the article was. The Athletic readers are queried, "What did you think of this story?" And a couple years ago, Mic readers saw a widget at the bottom of the article that asked, "Was this story worth your time?"
As I was watching the coming attractions a couple weeks ago in a local, independently owned movie theater, the owner popped in the back after The Post and shouted out if people wanted him to get that film. A resounding "Yes!" went up. Next came Phantom Thread. "Daniel Day Lewis, what do you think?" he blared. A less forceful but still clear "yes" sounded out.
I learned Sunday that asking your audience what they want to see or read did not start in 2015. An excellent new documentary, Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, shows a clip where famed TV host Ed Sullivan asks his audience—on the air—to write in if they want him to book "that great Swedish star" as a guest.