Are bona fide editorial features making a comeback?
As the advent of free editorial content continues engulfing mainstream media, dwindling hard copy publication sales and an ever-increasing and crowded online environment, digital publishers have found it more and more competitive to vie for your attention; and in turn generate website traffic in order for their commercial teams to flog adverts and impressions alongside ‘click bait’ editorial features.
Editorial or advertising?
Furthermore, the line between editorial and advertising has also become a mudded area; we’ve personally seen a rise in journalists trying commercialise their endeavours by offering up the odd backlink or mention of a clinic, product or practitioner mention within a wider piece of ‘advertorial’ – unbeknown to the said reader of course!
Social media is also suffering the same fate; it seems to be almost impossible to generate organic growth on FB now without either sponsoring posts to reach a demography or by being completely ridiculous on the subject matter itself – ergo ‘click bait’.
The Mail Online, dare I say it, has built one of the largest news sites in the world on this model – lending up controversial, and often opinionated editorial copy in the spirit of gaining readers attention, their respective comments, and their likes and shares.
The landscape of media, and how we consume it continually evolves; surely this model of attracting audience and in turn the response it generates for its advertisers to fund the whole show isn’t sustainable?
Is our editorial pop culture about to make a u-turn? If our TV viewing habits are anything to go by, with Netflix, Now TV and other pay per view apps, we’re almost abandoning the spoon-fed, scheduled, terrestrial viewing habits and we’re now choosing what to watch, when to watch it and the frequency in which we do so – binge watching a box set instead of waiting for 9pm each week to follow a drama through to its conclusion.
Is the same model now being employed in editorial content? Apple News launched earlier this year, and I’ve personally found myself being funnelled into ‘news’ that’s relevant to me, instead of trawling third party apps and websites, I find this to be very refreshing, I have, in addition started subscribing by paying for several publishers content. This content is niche and relevant to me – not general news.
Does this then mean a return to paid for content? A landscape where journalists are free to return to writing bona fide, proper editorial; not click bait, and we’re actually choosing to reward good content by paying for it, like the good old days of newsstand?
I for one hopes so!
What’s the future?
As a full circle agency CCF Media strive to secure consistent and regular press for our customers. Our results are underpinned by our ability to know that these potential shifts in media are happening, and of course how to react positively to them. The goal of course is to not disrupt the level of exposure we regularly deliver for our customers and to be one step ahead all the time.
Armed with this, are we returning to delivering pitches that don’t have the primary goal of click bait? Are we delivering content to a more niche and relevant journalist for review and coverage?
If Apple News is anything to go by we’ll find ourselves not reading ‘general news’ as much, but funnelling content into our own personal interests, I for one think this presents a great opportunity for anyone in media today, as we can develop more relevant content with a more relevant audience. An audience that has paid for the publishers content because of its editorial integrity; this then means the reader places value on the content and in turn responds positively to those clinics, product or practitioners featured.
If the way we consume editorial content goes the same way as we do TV, we’ll find a resurgence of niche publishers developing content to a niche (and paid for) audience.
This will be both refreshing and opportunistic for those agencies in the know, as we’ll be able to lend up editorially led features that we can furnish niche publishers with, thus maximising (as always) our column inches for our clients.
If you want to learn more, or are interested in meeting with someone at CCF Media and how we like to do things differently in delivering your product, service, clinic or device the coverage it deserves then drop us a line or email a member of the team for more information.