Do you run an entertainment news website or blog that’s receiving diminished levels of traffic lately? First of all, it’s a jungle out there, and many get gobbled up. Or die of hunger. It takes a special animal to survive and prosper online.
But since that’s pretty much true across the board, why are we picking on the entertainment websites?
Maxim, a leading men’s mag, decided to switch content strategies and instead of focusing on T&A focus more on fashion. This new content strategy generated 50% more page views and $10 million more in annual ad revenue.
Is Maxim gliding upwards on the winds of change or is it just a fad? We think the former. One of the most important aspects to consider with entertainment news is being there first, so if you want to be one of those who adopted this change of direction early, here’s how:
Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing
Many publishers mistakenly think a content strategy means content marketing. It isn’t, but it’s very easy to get confused.
Content marketing is a popular method for advertisers to strengthen their brand and improve SEO, among others.
A content strategy is something different and more holistic. Wikipedia defines content strategy as “… the planning, development, and management of content – written or in other media”.
Literally EVERY business looking to profit from an online presence, needs a content strategy.
As a publisher, your product IS content. So this creates a kind of circular effect where you’re often promoting your content with… content.
The Next Strategy
What’s that? A question from the audience? Okay… It says here: “What’s wrong with my current content strategy? It’s worked well so far!”
Good question, and I am not surprised you ask. Once you build some authority on Google, a follower base, and a great promotion strategy for CPC arbitrage – you’re on the golden path. But if you focus on business development and neglect your content strategy – you’ll lose. Lose big time.
You know very well that we live in a very fluid world. Especially in the entertainment niche. Content can go from a rumor to viral in a matter of minutes, and from a comment on Reddit to a full blown internet tzunami.
You can look at it as a kind of skeleton upon which your business grows. It’s an infrastructure that allows magic to happen.
It’s important to understand that a new content strategy doesn’t mean breaking the bones of your business core. It’s actually more like a flexible skeleton that you can build upon. Sounds weird, but I’m sticking with that metaphor for a reason.
Yes, money makes the world go round. Everyone wants it but cash doesn’t grow on trees or banner ads. There’s a lot more to a content strategy than the tunnel vision of monetary profit from content creation.
When setting these goals you should be asking yourself the following questions:
- Who is my audience? How old are they? Where do they live? What languages do they speak? What do they care about? What grabs their attention?
- Where does my content “live”? Where do my readers consume this content and when?
- What is my unique sales proposition? What makes my site better than that of someone else?
- Is this business something I want to continue growing, or am I looking to start it and sell it?
- What is the optimal mix of revenue sources for this site?
Answering all these can help you set goals. It’s a good place to start on the road to becoming the next TMZ.
The Anatomy of a Winning Content Strategy
Setting your goals and answering the questions above should assist you in constructing a sustainable and profitable content strategy. One with a bouncy and flexible skeleton.
So let’s put our mad scientist hats on, and engineer this winning monster of a strategy.
This is the spine of our strategy. One of the reasons we chose the entertainment niche is that fact that more than most, it thrives on engaging the audience, and not what an audience it is.
Who doesn’t want to be entertained?
Social Social Social
These are the lungs of our creature. It breathes social and cannot exist without it. Why social? Numerous reasons. Because it’s the most effective way to spread content based on its quality and relevance, rather than monetary investment in promotion. Because it’s where your audience is. Because it’s where everything happens nowadays. Because it’s where people go now to be entertained.
Our creation needs to walk and touch and reach audiences. So it has legs and arms – channels for content delivery. These depend strongly on where your audience consumes content and where you WANT them to consume it.
There are many variables involved in deciding on the right channels to target. For example, most entertainment content is consumed on mobile. So you have to decide if a mobile app or a mobile website is the right solution for you.
At the heart of our creature is making money. As long as the heart beats, the creature lives. Without income, you can’t pay writers, can’t afford content creation and sooner or later – rent checks start coming back.
Analysis & Optimization
In addition to a flexible spine, a big heart, healthy lungs, and limber limbs our creature needs to be smart to survive among predators. So it has two brains working in unison: analysis and optimization.
These two don’t only keep our creation alive and prosperous, but help it evolve and improve all the time. Limbs that don’t serve a purpose fall off and new ones are grown in its place. It’s easy, with a flexible skeleton.
Our best advice is to be brave and keep trying. Innovation wins. So get creative. Grow your content strategy to sell as a pet, or ride it proudly into the sunset. Either way, if the genetics are good, your creation might invade Tokyo. And make you money on the way.