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SPARK 2016: Growing Your Digital Audience

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See Ari Bevacqua's presentation from Spark 2016, TrackMaven's annual digital marketing summit focused on the intersection of marketing art and science. Learn more at spark.trackmaven.com

How can newsrooms harness the power of data and analytics without compromising editorial judgement? Ari Isaacman Bevacqua, Growth Strategy Editor at The New York Times discusses how she works with reporters and editors to increase audience reach and deepen engagement while maintaining Times values. She will delve into concrete tactics for how the Times works to amplify especially important stories, such as poverty, and answer questions from attendees.

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SPARK 2016: Growing Your Digital Audience

  1. 1. Growing Your Digital Audience Ari Isaacman Bevacqua ari@nytimes.com Spark, by Trackmaven May 2016 The New York Times How the Times is using data to inform our audience development while maintaining our editorial judgment
  2. 2. How do you grow your digital audience?
  3. 3. You probably already know to… Optimize for social. Optimize your product and your publication processes. Measure everything. Test everything. Learn constantly. Keep it agile! Optimize for mobile. Optimize for search.
  4. 4. What’s missing from this slide? Optimize for social. Optimize your product and your publication and distribution processes. Measure everything. Test everything. Learn constantly. Optimize for mobile. Optimize for search.
  5. 5. Editorial Judgment
  6. 6. How do you grow your digital audience, in a way that is informed by data, but ruled by editorial judgment?
  7. 7. Create, communicate and use guiding principles for data in your newsroom.
  8. 8. Guiding principles: 1. Editorial judgment comes first 2. Context is critical 3. Don’t treat numbers like a scorecard 4. We are data-informed, but not data-driven; our mission of great journalism remains unchanged
  9. 9. How do these guiding principles work in real life?
  10. 10. Instead of reporters and editors asking “Did it do good?”
  11. 11. We are designing experiments with editorial and audience goals in mind.
  12. 12. For a story about the culture at Amazon we hoped to inspire an engaging discussion among readers. And we broke the record for the most comments ever on a Times story (5,858).
  13. 13. For the first Republican debate, we wanted to drive readers our Slack-powered live chat. We had one of our largest liveblog audiences ever.
  14. 14. When Nick Kristof and Adam Ellick traveled to Angola to tell the story of the world’s deadliest place for kids we wanted to over-index for readers in Angola. We worked with a leading Portuguese new outlet to embed our video on their homepage, reaching a significantly higher percentage of readers in Angola than usual.
  15. 15. PLAN experiments with both audience and editorial goals outlined DO your experiments, measuring along the way ASSESS & LEARN from your outcomes, discussing both audience and editorial goals and sharing these learnings across teams Plan, do, assess & learn

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