Written by Jim Babb

In 2014, media organizations experienced an unprecedented arms race instigated by startups, traditional rivals and brands becoming content companies.

Showing up with good content is no longer good enough.

Source: Chartbeat Quarterly: Vol 1. Fall 2014 http://bit.ly/1APBoi9

Source: Chartbeat Quarterly: Vol 1. Fall 2014 http://bit.ly/1APBoi9

With content on-demand and ever-available, traditional loyalty is going the way of the homepage. Continuing to optimize for increased page views no longer makes business sense.

In this age of transformation, the ability to create new and differentiated methods of sustained growth has become more important than ever. Only the innovative and agile prevail.

Below is a framework, followed by observations on some of the most innovative media organizations. Each example demonstrates an insight on how to shift from using traditional marketing practices alone, to a holistic approach for growing and retaining users.

Traffic: After you get it, how do you use it?

Legacy model: Traffic focused ‍

Monetizing visitors exclusively through ads led to an overemphasis on the top of the funnel and a disconnect from the bottom.


New model: Growth focused

In the new model, traffic is a means to an end, not the end itself. Creating, tracking and optimizing an entire funnel not only grows traffic, but develops additional opportunities for creating more sustainable value.


1. Niche Spreads Better Than Broad

While often counter intuitive for organizations at scale, more narrowly targeted content has the potential to reach deeper through networks than traditional mass content.

Over 2M ViewsThis BuzzFeed post received over 2M views by speaking directly to 18M Asian-Americans.


Source: NYTimes Innovation Report

Source: NYTimes Innovation Report

Social is the New HomepageSocial networks are overtaking the website homepage as the dominant content discovery mechanism.