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How top news and media sites are using paid social

How top news and media sites are using paid social

June 11, 2019

We analyzed all paid and organic social campaigns from major News & Media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and NowThis over a 30 day period.

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News and media companies have been around for hundreds of years and have been providing readers with a window into the world since their inception. The daily newspaper was a revolutionary way of transmitting information throughout the world. But, what good is a newspaper without a strong and active subscriber base?

The sophistication of multi-channel marketing that drives the revenue and brand activation takes many different forms and holds many right (and wrong) answers. Our goal with this report was to understand how the top news and media sites use paid social channels to engage potential readers and drive traffic to their sites.

We found:

  • The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal had similar strategies around their social campaigns, focusing on Facebook and Twitter.
  • The Washington Post focused most of its ad budget on Facebook, while USA Today split between Facebook and Twitter, with no sponsored ads on Instagram or YouTube.
  • The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are spending the most on their social campaigns relative to their digital-first counterparts. However, they are still being outpaced by outlets like BuzzFeed, which leads in total engagement figures and is doing it organically, spending $0 on paid social ads.
  • During the time period analyzed, BuzzFeed generated 9M+ engagements across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, vs NYTimes,  which generated 6.5M  and WSJ, with 6M total engagements.

Overall, it seems legacy news and media outlets still have some catching up to do in the digital and social media world. Changing your habits is never easy, especially for a mature organization, but it may be necessary if the legacy publishers want more of the pie total share of voice.

Click below to see the entire report for more insights.

About the author

Ari Savitsky

Marketing Research Associate

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