Here’s an Internet Age riddle: I spend less time reading posts on top-tier tech blogs, yet I’m more connected than ever to their opinions and observations. How do I do it???
The answer to this riddle may be fairly obvious, but it hits on a powerful insight that’s critical for anyone who wants to work with the influential news outlets that we have dubbed the tech “Blogs of Record.” FleishmanHillard identifies Blogs of Record – defined here as top online news outlets – industry by industry, looking for those which have huge audiences, seek to cover news, employ journalists and find innovative ways to bring information to consumers quickly and with personality.
Recent research conducted by FleishmanHillard explains what’s going on. While Unique Monthly Visitors at tech Blogs of Record have risen sharply over the past few years, the number of new consumers choosing to follow the outlets’ content on social media platforms has grown at an even faster pace.
Putting some numbers to it: We’ve seen roughly a doubling in viewers going to the sites of the tech Blogs of Record, but the subscriptions to social media platforms belonging to these same outlets have skyrocketed by up to 18 times. In the case of YouTube, these outlets have grown their subscriptions by 10 times. Collectively, the outlets passed through 850 million lifetime video views recently.
While we don’t have comparative data for newer platforms like Periscope and Snapchat, the tech Blogs of Record are building their followings there quickly as well.
Combine these statistics with ongoing conversations with reporters at these outlets, and it’s clear that the tech Blogs of Record are expanding their reach dramatically by maintaining current demographics while also bringing new fans into the fold. That’s a very hard thing for any organization to do. Here are some thoughts about how it’s being accomplished:
- Gaining new audience members on social media platforms allows these sites access to new “regulars.” Successfully attracting Snapchat users, for example, almost by definition means they’re attracting a younger demographic.
- Once they get in front of new fans, they appear to carefully curate content shared on each platform to make sure it meets the unique interests of that audience. Were they simply blasting all of their content on each social platform, they’d be missing this opportunity.
In the near future, the core focus of the tech Blogs of Record will continue to be the articles, videos and graphics that appear on their sites. But as these outlets continue to grow through smart management of their social ecosystems, we as communicators would do well to widen our thinking in what would make a successful collaboration.
The sites are growing their audience and influence through fresh ideas and experimentation; we need to adopt the same mentality if we don’t want our brand or issue to be ignored.