Rising Stars: How Vice Leverages Data to Blaze New Trails
For Tyler Borchers, every day begins with data. Despite only being with Vice for a short time, Borchers, who will be among the expert panelists at min’s Social Media Boot Camp, developed that pedigree during his tenure as an senior audience strategy editor at Time.
The very first email he reads every morning explains what Vice’s audience is saying in the form of metrics like onsite unique visitors, engaged time, video plays and referrals.
Next, he wants to know what Vice’s potential audience is saying. “That’s where we break down platform data like what’s trending on Facebook, Twitter and Google Trends. And finally, what are our competitors telling us? That’s when I turn to [trade media],” he says.
Earlier this month, Vice launched a daily HBO show “Vice News Tonight,” published the premiere episode of Vice Founder Suroosh Alvi’s 5-part documentary special “Terror,” and relaunched vicenews.com.
Borchers says he’s focused right now on making Vice News visually distinct on every platform including social media, “where many newsrooms find that tough to achieve. We’ve established a unique voice and visual identity across social media, and we’re not going to sacrifice that to participate in the latest headline gimmicks.”
This is one of the most exciting aspects of working at Vice for him. Beyond that, Vice’s audience trusts him and others at the brand to use editorial judgment really motivates Borchers.
“We are a very data-driven team, but it’s super important to recognize that following the data makes you reactive. We want to take our audience places they’ve never been before, and that means jumping into stories and strategies that we don’t always have good data to support. We’d rather publish a new story that we’re really proud of and have no data to back up than regurgitate yesterday’s successes,” he says.
Although 2016 isn’t over quite yet, Borchers is already looking ahead to next year. In January, the Emmy award-winning show Vice on HBO is returning for its fifth season. He wants to focus on creating a special experience for Vice’s audience wherever they happen to find Vice News. The company has already done that with “Vice News Tonight” and vicenews.com, which offers an iterative, always-on version of the show.
“On social media, we need our presence to cohere with our overall brand while staying platform savvy, and that can be a tough balance to strike. If we encounter a platform that doesn’t accommodate visual storytelling, our options are to get creative or tell our stories elsewhere.”
On November 10, Tyler Borchers will be speaking at min’s Social Media Boot Camp in New York. He’ll sit in on the “Analytical Answers: How to Measure for Success” session. Check out the program’s speakers and don’t miss out on early registration!