Feb 23rd 2012
January was also a big month in traffic for HuffPost Politics, HuffPost Green and HuffPost Black Voices*, which all earned number one comScore rankings. We had a total of sixteen properties that ranked in the top three for their respective comScore categories.
* AOL custom-built category for unique visitors, according to January 2012 comScore Media Metrix data
Feb 22nd 2012
For brands and advertisers there is an urgency to invest in quality content at scale, and the power of the AOL network is three-pronged: we enable them to tell stories, we take those stories places by distributing them across our network, and we get people talking. Given our range of branded, premium, social and video-centric programming, we expect to deliver a rich experience to our audience and while continuing to differentiate our value in the advertising marketplace.
Following AOL's showcase on April 24 we are confident brands will truly be energized by the quality and depth of our offerings, and the level of differentiation we offer in the marketplace.
Feb 22nd 2012
"People react to amazing stories," says Neil Katz, executive news editor, AOL.com, and "our job is to entertain, to educate, to make people laugh, to cry, and to enrich their lives."
Katz joined the company nine months ago from CBSNews.com, where he was the executive editor. Since joining, Katz and his team have doubled the volume of content on AOL.com and are now updating the page on a minute-by-minute basis.
We recently sat down with Katz to learn more about the editorial approach to AOL.com, which-according to comScore -- reaches 13 million daily and is one of the main properties of AOL. Neil describes AOL.com's goal as "continuing to develop our relationship with the American public by making our stories even more engaging."
So, what's the key to AOL.com's approach? "We're driving the social conversation. The audience is the twelfth man on the field," says Katz. "People are no longer content to be passive recipients of information and news. They're active contributors, and our level of social engagement is off the charts. We're a social media rocket ship."
When he first joined AOL, Katz's immediate task was to re-energize his staff of 17 editors, which Katz describes as a group of the most professional team players in online news.
AOL.com's readership peak is lunchtime to five p.m. as people logon to catch-up on news and check on their AOL email. The editorial team starts each day early by researching what's going on around the nation and the world, to connect people to the "amazing stories that are really happening." Katz describes their approach as great storytelling "from the mom who's fighting to keep her family safe to the superstar that's fighting to keep her name out of the news." The Huffington Post is now fully integrated into AOL.com and according to Katz, "provides readers with around a thousand pieces of content a day."
What drives Neil Katz? His favorite stories are ones that say something about America. His personal favorite is the original ten-part text and video series about severely wounded soldiers and their struggle to make their lives whole again after war. The videos were viewed more than a million times. One of AOL.com's most popular stories was a recent feature honoring the 17 American Navy Seals who were killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down during a night raid in Afghanistan. The tragedy happened just two months after the Seal's successful bin Laden mission.
"I love telling amazing stories," says Katz. At CBSNews.com, he helped make the site one of the fastest growing digital news destinations through the development of new sections and blogs, from health to entertainment. Katz also played a role in the creation and successes of new properties, most notably, Crimesider, now a leader in true-crime reporting. Prior to CBSNews.com, Katz field produced for CBS television and was a freelance journalist for the New YorkTimes' online video unit, PBS, the Star Ledger and others. He's reported from India, Iran and Vietnam. When he's not orchestrating AOL.com, Neil is passionate about photography and global travel.
What is Katz's vision for AOL.com? "At a time when print and broadcast news outlets are ducking for cover, AOL.com and the Huffington Post are surging ahead. We're pioneering new forms of journalism for a huge audience, and our goal is to bring it to the world. We measure our progress if the readers come tomorrow."
Follow Neil on Twitter at @neilkatz and http://www.neilkatzphoto.com.
Feb 17th 2012
Mads Holmen, Planning Director at goviral, took the stage with a full house at Shoreditch Studios yesterday to explore the area of branded video distribution and discuss the ingredients that make content social.
Having worked at goviral since its early days, Holmen gave Social Media Week attendees (a mix of media agencies, publicists and bloggers) a background on goviral, and explained the growth in the video market place since the launch of goviral in 2006.
Mads then launched into a full-fledged interactive session with the audience sharing some examples of great branded content from around the world to establish best practices. This included strong recurring campaigns such as Gatorade Replay, and videos from leading brands such as Samsung and Nike.
Some of these best practices include:
- Always aim at creating instant attraction. The first 10-15 seconds should create curiosity and interest!
- Make sure you are telling a story. Be creative or original but make sure the video has a flow and don't drop in to periods where users could be tempted to look elsewhere.
- Don't give away everything first and leave users with a flat feeling in the end! While remembering to engage users try to build up your video as if you were telling a story
And what other factors contribute to making great content you might ask? Spend time and effort defining your production and format. Do people know it is you just by the touch and feel of the video alone? Answer this question and you can provide a great user journey.
Feb 14th 2012
Learn more about Norton's expanded role and video strategy here.
The Makegood: Jim, you have spent about 20 years in sales and marketing roles, working in both traditional and digital media for companies including WLVI-TV and Google. What motivated you to make the move from traditional to digital media?
JN: I made the switch in 2006 from traditional to digital. What I kept hearing from customers on the traditional side was a call for metrics and measurement and the "ask" to justify every advertising buy. It was clear that even traditional media buyers were beginning to look at their business through a digital lens.
I decided to take the customer service aspect of traditional and marry that with the analytics and heavy metrics of digital. It was a good combination for me personally. It was clear too that digital was seeing year-over-year gains and TV was not. So ultimately digital was the place to be.
The Makegood: Are there any new initiatives that you can tell us about that marketers can expect to see coming from AOL in 2012?
JN: We are focused on the priorities that we have messaged consistently over the last 2 years: Creating high quality content experiences for consumers as scale. We are going to continue to invest in premium formats (Project Devil) and you will see that available at greater scale; video and mobile will continue to offer robust targeting capabilities and across higher quality content experiences; and we remain committed and enthusiastic about the local opportunity that Patch offers to marketers as they try to move users from pages to parking lots. This is the year we will unleash the power of the social platform that is the Huffington Post.