Many publishers have spent the last few years locked in a pattern to acquire social followers, and to distribute content on social platforms, in the hope of bringing audiences back to their sites. Now some are not so sure if that is the right strategy after all.
But others seem happy with their choice. In an interview recorded before the algorithm change, The Washington Posts’s revenue chief said keeping WaPo readers on Facebook had not hurt.
“We publish over 750 articles a day on Facebook Instant Articles,” Jed Hartman told Beet.TV. “We said, ‘No, we’re not going to accept the traffic back to our site, we’re happy within Facebook Instant’, and we’ve seen engagement on our site go up as a result of that.”
Hartman says WaPo US traffic has grown from 40m to 70m unique users, whilst overseas traffic has more than doubled from 10m to 24m.
Of course, social distribution is not the only driver. Under new owner Jeff Bezos, the Post has been investing in software technology it says is necessary to grow business.
“You have to be great at both technology and content if you want to succeed,” he adds. “We’ve created anything from our own CMS to various widgets within the CMS that help scale and engage content – from a headline tester, to a personalization engine, to a viral predictor.”
This video part of “Beyond the Pre-Roll: the Transformation of Video Advertising,” a series produced at Cannes Lion 2016, sponsored by ConvertMedia. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.