As local stations continue to invest in a digital future and diversify their business models, the need for audience intelligence to keep pace with changing consumer habits is increasingly vital.
In this piece we share our top tips for local newsrooms looking to expand their digital, social and local news data options and provide some best practice examples to inform their discussion on how to move forward. Or, schedule a time with us to discuss how we can help you achieve the best media outcomes.
Newsrooms have a new opportunity to step back and look at the total digital picture across desktop, mobile, video and social platforms in the one place - that like a newsroom - is always on. It’s a viewpoint unique to Comscore Total Digital with its unified view of media consumption and consumer intelligence to give marketers the full story across the online landscape.
Integrating desktop, mobile, over-the-top devices, panelist data, as well as deep social analysis of over 20 million brands across 70 countries, it provides an executive-level view of what is trending across the top platforms for dialogue and information, including Google search, Wikipedia, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, and more. Intuitive for every user from a researcher to a journalist, the dashboard is unmatched in simplifying the insights from privacy-forward datasets.
Comscore Total Digital gives newsrooms insights on trending topics
Alongside these insights, newsrooms can gain a pulse on the top trending content across local news.
Access trending topics from local station
Recently news around CrowdTangle, Meta’s public news insights tool, has caught the attention of publishers, journalists, fact checkers and researchers engaged in Facebook, Instagram and Reddit monitoring. While not their only tool for understanding their audience behavior, this resource provides insights from Instagram accounts, popular subreddits and Facebook Groups and Pages. Though it’s helped newsrooms track stories that go viral, recent announcements have made it unclear how much longer the CrowdTangle service will continue to be available.
Here are some key thoughts for newsrooms navigating the data landscape as changes continue in the industry:
Think Bigger: Your competitive orbit these days is so much larger than your immediate local news broadcast and print competitors. They represent a small, tiny portion of your audience’s social media activity. Layer in Affinity data to unlock how and where these people are spending their time on social. For instance, weather is such a big part of the local news scene – but what can you learn about what other weather sources they get their daily dose of sunshine from?
Go Mining: No, not like that...mining for content on social media for news. Ask your staff to tell you how much time they spend doing it. Maybe then give them the task of tracking it and see how it aligns. This will not only help them identify opportunities, but it will also reveal the need for a solution that makes this effortless. This is where Content Pulse can make quick work for them.
Accelerate Social Addressable Advertising: If social is a lead indicator of what we do offline, why not use this incredible data to better place advertisers on our local stations? Affinity data is a key component here too because it allows you to quickly assess not just “primetime” but which show in primetime to help place advertisers. It uses social data to pull on new revenue lines from the linear side. This will also position you to monetize your social with Partnership Explorer to make sure your TV station has a seat at the table for your piece of the advertising dollars.
Quality over Quantity: There are tons of news happening every day, but not all of it may be best suited for social media. Lean into the stories that create personalization at scale while resisting the desire to focus on viral stories that create a sugar rush but offer no long-term value to your fan base. As TikTok’s algorithm adds a new dimension to content discovery, that is algorithm recommendations.
With Content Pulse, you will always be able to analyze the latest content so you can stay close to the trends that matter most to the always-on digital consumer. This will allow you to understand the thematic and content stopping the social scroll and connecting with your audience. Layer in Trend Topics to stitch together top Google Search Terms with Top Trending TikTok videos for a more holistic picture.
Align your internal reporting around efficiency rather than the vanity metrics of actions, views, and fans/followers. These are scale metrics that show volume. Instead, focus on metrics such as Shares per Post, Actions per View, Retweets per Tweet and Clicks Per Post to help inform the content driving value to the audience and back to monetized websites. The newer metric to also add to your reporting is “saves” which have become important these days as a signal for interest in the content.
Lean into Vertical Video: This is a trend that began a few years ago and has accelerated in recent years. Our audience today is device agnostic. They seamlessly and effortlessly move from one screen to another. But with the introduction of IG Stories, Reels and TikTok, the growth in popularity around vertical videos have accelerated. Broadcast TV is often shot in HD 16:9 format but this may not always be the best way to watch video on a mobile device where the natural way we hold our phones is vertical.
Further, if the social platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram take any cues from the success of TikTok... video is going to become even more valuable.
Experiment with vertical video on social and measure its performance to ensure you are maximizing not only the engagement and time the audience spends with your content. Analytical tools like Shareablee allow you to dial in on just your video content and then allow you to effortlessly analyze to understand how orientation may be playing a factor in your ability to connect and engage audiences at scale.
Make it fun: Try Social Baseball.
Conduct A Social Media Audit: Not just a top level one, but a deep audit to really understand the motivations of the audience. This includes cross-channel data to unlock if your audience on digital website aligns with your social audience. How are they similar? How do they differ? Start with evaluating the age and gender of both digital orbits. Layer in the knowledge around top content being consumed on the website versus social. But more importantly, what is not working?
As access to local news insights continues to undergo changes, we’re here to help. Contact us to learn more about the digital, social and local television solutions we offer to newsrooms.
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