Adam's post sparked me to write this – I agree journalists cannot expect people to look at their content just because of who they are. I particularly liked this line on treating content a page at a time.
Each piece of content on the web lives on its own, freed from the constraints of the "package". And that can be frightening and liberating. And we need to figure out ways of building audiences one page at a time.
I recently spent some time with a colleague who works in one of RBI's lead generation businesses. I asked him what makes good content for lead generation ie content that people would find useful and click on which would then (hopefully) convert to a lead for a supplier. This is what he said . . .
You need to think about who you are writing for and why they might be reading what you're writing. With the transition to online, people aren't just looking for news anymore, and if they are, they aren't the type of person we are looking to attract with our content. We want one of two types of people:
Those who are researching information on a subject because they have an interest in learning more and becoming better at their job.
Those who are researching information on a subject because they have either been told to, or because they are planning a project.
The content has to be real-world useful and by that I mean, ask yourself the question "If I read/watch this will I learn something that is useful to me? Will it help me in my job?" If the answer is 'yes', then there's a good chance others will want to read it too – so go ahead and create it.
It sruck me that this approach by marketeers, copywriters, creatives – or whatever you want to call them – is exactly the approach all us who produce content should be adopting – and a page at a time.
This is an exciting time and area (but I would say that as I move into a new user experience role) - we need to challenge non-news content – what it is for and why. And we need to wake-up to the fact there are some very sharp 'creatives' who are very good at producing relevant and useful information (which is also helping to drive revenue).