I came away from my two days at FIPP Mobile a little bit terrified by the pace of change in mobile consumption, and the awesome focus of the digital start-ups like Popsugar, Quartz and The Daily Beast. How can traditional publishing brands evolve at anything like the pace, when they have a structural and cultural challenge on top of a steep customer insight and technology learning curve?
But then there are plenty of examples of “heritage publishers” making dramatic shifts onto mobile content, from HBR and Martha Stewart on Facebook to The Economist Espresso and, not least, the New York Times venturing onto new territory with virtual reality.
The ideas that really resonated were as follows:
* hire your audience, especially those with a social following
* design products for mobile first – make them useful as well as interesting
* learn how to do native advertising so well that your audience uninstall their ad blockers
* build your video production skills
* experiment with multiple social platforms and monitor which work best
* engage with and listen to your audience
* think about the purchases your audience make and how to design an e-commerce offer
* get nerdy about analytics and be prepared to keep changing
You have to admit, it’s scary, but also rather exhilarating. And do buy the Google cardboard VR viewer and download the NYTVR app to see a possible future for journalistic storytelling…