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Same content, new audience
The best way create a new product is often to work with what you have. Some of our recent successful launches have seen our clients…
The best way create a new product is often to work with what you have. Some of our recent successful launches have seen our clients reaching completely new audiences by creating environments that make existing content relevant.
by Mark Wilson, Founder Partner, Wilson Fletcher
Reaching new audiences with existing content is in many ways the holy grail of content-centred businesses. Creating content is a time-consuming and expensive process, and the better the content, the more expensive it is to generate. So finding new ways to monetise that investment is a smart move.
Just last week we saw the launch of Quirker, which is in many ways a classic example of innovating with existing content. Quirker is a new national platform for stories from Local World’s local newspaper network. It’s based on a simple idea: many of the irreverent, incredulous, often ridiculous stories (to take an example from launch, ‘Supernatural forces target Welsh shopping centre car park’) that go viral on the internet originate somewhere in the real world, often first reported in a local newspaper. The Quirker takes those stories and repurposes them into an entirely new platform that can reach millions more people than would likely discover a story in, say, The Hull Daily Mail. With minimal new resource, entirely new commercial opportunities have been opened up based on stories that were already in the network.
A completely new environment can be the answer to making existing content relevant, compelling and accessible to a growth audience. Last year, we helped The Telegraph turn the more frivolous content that typically didn’t fit within core Telegraph sports editorial into a new blog-like experience for The World Cup. The audience this content was written for would typically not visit The Telegraph. Project Babb sat alongside the main Telegraph website and added more than 50% to The Telegraph’s traffic during The World Cup — from social, younger audiences primarily. It was so successful, that while originally intended to run for the duration of the tournament only, it remains live today.
Good content breeds opportunities for innovation: not the radical kind, but the kind that can lead to novel new services that deliver new customers and meaningful incremental income.
Our work with Associated Press was based on similar principles, but led to a very different outcome. The AP Video Hub was born of an idea that AP’s world-leading broadcast video content must have relevance to the burgeoning ranks of digital news platforms, but AP had no platform to reach them. We helped them create AP Video Hub as an entirely new product offer for the digital news industry. The video content was already being created but is now digitised and served in real-time to newsrooms in an entirely new service with a new digital-friendly commercial model. It was a bigger undertaking than The Quirker for sure — from investment in new digital video infrastructure to a new team to run it — but it soon became the most successful product launch in AP’s history.
In all of these cases, if the content is good enough, you can exploit it to reach new audiences in new ways. Good content breeds opportunities for innovation: not the radical, big-new-invention kind, but the kind that can lead to novel new services that deliver new customers and meaningful incremental income.
Innovating close to your core has its challenges. One of the most difficult aspects of any creative process is to think about the same thing in new ways, which can seem like a less exciting proposition than trying to come up with something radically new, but it carries numerous benefits — not least the opportunity to find new uses for existing assets. Add in at least a little reputation, some familiarity with the market context and even existing organisational resources that can be leveraged and you have a pretty good starting point.
It may not be as sexy to innovate close to home, but it’s certainly more likely to lead to success.