What You Missed: Inside Day 1 of The Folio: Show Content Track
From Jonbenét Ramsey to advertising-hating Millennials, the first day of The Folio: Show shed a lot of light on the world of content creators.
It’s been an active day on the content track of The Folio: Show. We opened up the morning with a stellar session, “Developing a Video Strategy that Works for Your Brand.”
Drew Berkowitz, SVP of partnerships at Wochit, started off The Folio: Show with his tips for creating high-quality content at a pace that addresses the consumption needs of your audience. As a video creation platform, Wochit has systematized the frantic video creation system digital journalists are familiar with — viral video, Tweets, and licensed audio can be easily combined to create video content in minutes.
The big take away: Make content for the platform that you intend to share it on! (Square videos look great on Instagram, and only Instagram.)
Leslie Pariseau, special projects editor at Saveur, gave insight to her real world experiences as a video editor at one of the most interesting content brands in the food world. Pariseau, whose work includes beautiful examinations of food culture and cooking tecniques, talked about her “two cuts on video” approach which combines a full-length, cinematic video with a short and “sizzle” style cut of the same material.
“Let people use your content to have an opinion,” Pariseau said at the event.
Mike Suggett, VP of original programing at TEN, shared his experience running video for a company that has been especially successful in the long-form original content space. TEN produces high-quality, fast, and loud car videos which often involve what look to be stunts. While producing such wild content may not be intuitive or accessible for most media companies, TEN has the format down.
How do they do it? Suggett said TEN had a partnership with Google that funded the early days of its video program. It’s not accessible to everybody. But TEN has created impressive magazine brand extensions as the result.
An hour later, content track audiences learned how to move “Beyond Posts and Tweets: New Social Media Strategies that Engage Audiences Now.”
Another kick-ass crew spoke to an overfilled room on the best ways to make your content go viral.
Of course, it wasn’t without controversy. Jason Lederman, social media editor at Popular Science, and Gretchen Tibbits, COO and president of LittleThings, had exact opposite approaches.
For Lederman, good social is all about trial and error. He advised journalists to write direct headlines, but to test, test, and test some more. The secret to his success is A/B testing, and figuring out which times and words work best for the Popular Science audience.
Tibbits, who said 85 percent of content that LittleThings posts on Facebook is watched with the sound off, advocated for low-density, but high-saturation posts. By only posting content that is known to work — and disposing of written content which doesn’t test well with the company’s proprietary algorithm — LittleThings has risen up the ranks with one of the most successful engagement-to-post ratios in the industry.
Raj Mody, VP of social media at National Geographic, closed out the session with beautiful videos from the brand’s Snapchat feed.
“[Snapchat] is a place for us to have fun with the brand. Being 128-year-old brand, it’s not always an easy thing for us to do,” Mody told the audience.
It’s critical that posts are timely, relatable, and relevant, Mody said. To prove this point, he showed the audience three images and asked which one the crowd thought had the most audience engagement.
Between two cute photos of animals, and a photo of a blood moon, it was the moon which, to the audience’s surprise, had the most engagement.
Why? It was a beautiful, high-quality photo posted during an amazing natural event. Timely. Relatable. And relevant.
The audience left the room sad about the session's end, but excited for the keynote lunch (more on that in another post).
After lunch, audiences learned about “Magazine Media and TV: Perfect Brand Extensions.”
Dylan Howard, CCO of American Media, talked about how 90 years of archives at The National Enquirer were transformed into successful TV content. Videos that weren’t of great interest to a print magazine in the 1990’s were suddenly valuable, yet-unseen content in the 2010’s. In this sense, the legacy brand was able to build on its previous work to find a new revenue source.
Most notable? "Jonbenét: an American Murder Mystery," which aired over three nights in September.
Following Howard was Kim Martin, chief brand officer at Meredith. Martin told the audience about the recent launch of the Dinner Spinner TV show, based off of the AllRecipes.com app “Dinner Spinner.” She showed the audience how the editorial brand expanded its audience and leveled cross-platform exposure for maximum brand visibility.
“It really is a 360-degree promotional opportunity,” Martin said at the Folio: Show.
After a five minute break, Matthew Cokeley, VP of products and services at Mag+, took the stage.
In his solo session, “Community, Communication and Commerce: How to Stay Ahead in the Digital Landscape,” Cokeley shared the technical producer's perspective on how brands should approach their digital products. He emphasized the need for patience when it comes to the success of new platforms — not everything can be a viral video.
“If you put a cat on a Roomba, you might get 2.5 million views over night,” Cokeley said. “But apps, you have to build out.”
Closing out the day was an exciting Q&A with Julie Scott, general manager of Onion Labs at The Onion, and Peter Koechley, co-CEO and co-founder of Upworthy. Scott and Koechley shared their vast experiences on the cutting edge of native advertising in the panel, “Native Advertising: Delivering for Partners While Retaining Your Brand Voice.”
"We really believe the truth matters. We might be The Onion, but yes, the truth matters,” Scott told the audience. “Without authenticity, native is just advertising. Advertising basically sucks. We know that Millennials hate advertising. We believe in not making more advertising, and making more stuff that people want to read and watch.”
“It’s hard being a mission-driven company while doing branded content as a business model,” Koechley said. “We try to put the Upworthy seal of approval on all that we do.”