Publishers not ready to change social media strategies as TikTok ban looms

Digital Products

TikTok is prohibited though Looks like it could actually happen sometime next yearpublication executives who are building followers and businesses on the platform aren’t concerned about how this will affect their audience development and monetization strategies centered around short-form, vertical video.

Executives at Bustle Digital Group, Gallery Media Group and The Washington Post told Digiday they have no plans to change their social media audience development strategies or abandon TikTok. This confidence stems primarily from his strong production and distribution strategy for short vertical videos on his TikTok and other social platforms.

Ultimately, they said they were not immediately concerned about the possibility of TikTok being banned from operating in the United States. That’s likely to happen unless Chinese parent company ByteDance sells its allotted nine to 12-month stake. I’ll do that.

“It’s too early to pivot and make sweeping, sweeping changes,” said Wes Bonner, BDG’s senior vice president of marketing and audience development and head of social.

But a lot can happen between now and then.

“After more than 200 days [this] I think a lot of things can and probably will change, including the political climate and the technology climate,” said Chris Anthony, CRO at Gallery Media Group. The company produces about 400 short videos a month with a team that splits resources evenly between his TikTok and Instagram.

“We have a long timeline…We don’t want to give up this large number of consumers at this time.” [and] It’s important to focus on what’s in front of us today,” Anthony added.

Publishing executives reiterated that what really matters is the format and audience, not the platform.

Distribution strategy is the savior

Mika Gelman, director of video for The Washington Post, said his team is prepared for a ban if it actually happens. His department, including the TikTok team, Recently renamed Washington Post Universehaving the same name across social platforms.

“It doesn’t really matter whether TikTok is around a year from now. The storytelling that we do, the format that we use, is really going to carry over. [to other platforms].We use a lot of the same type of storytelling on our website [and] It’s an app,” Gelman said. As of the publication of The Post, he has 1.7 million followers on TikTok.

Gelman pointed out that videos (at least the format) can be transferred from TikTok to YouTube Shorts. Anecdotally, he said his team has recently seen a “significant increase” in engagement on YouTube short videos, which he said “often” perform as well as TikTok videos. . In fact, videos sometimes seem to perform better with YouTube Shorts. For example, his video about cicadas raining down on parts of the Midwest and South this year has been viewed 26,700 times on TikTok, compared to 146,000 views on his YouTube short in two days as of Wednesday afternoon. Ta. . Another video about campus protests received 300,000 views on YouTube Shorts in four days, while on TikTok he received 53,100 views.

Gelman noted that the Post has a revenue-sharing agreement with YouTube. Then, about a year ago, The Washington Post built a short-form video experience called “Carousel” on its site. This allows readers to scroll and swipe through videos and articles on a platform owned and operated by the publisher. “No one has just one app,” Gelman says.

BDG has more than 25 million followers on TikTok across 10 accounts, but Bonner said videos created specifically for the platform represent a “small portion” of the publisher’s total video production. However, he did not reveal the exact numbers. Most of BDG’s videos are distributed across multiple platforms including Instagram, Facebook Reels, and Pinterest.

the audience will end up somewhere else

Bonner said that even if TikTok is banned, BDG’s TikTok strategy will have a lasting impact on how the company creates short-form videos. BDG reinvented short video production after he joined TikTok in 2020. According to Bonner, the company now has an improved balance between video output and monetization and his network of in-house creators. It also organized its social video content categories into food, fashion and entertainment franchises and series, which helped sell inventory to advertisers, he said.

Video views are also increasing on BDG’s other platforms. Bonner said the digital publisher saw a 34% increase in video views on Facebook Reels and a 50% increase in video views on Pinterest from Q4 2023 to Q1 2024. Did.

Publishing executives said that even if TikTok were actually banned (or even if people stopped using it as a result). algorithm is removed), doesn’t mean those viewers will just disappear.

“It would be foolish to think that consumer attention will just evaporate,” Anthony said. “Whether it’s YouTube Shorts or Reels or whatever it is, we’re going to go back to our existing platforms.”

While that may be true, it can be difficult to get the same audience on TikTok to follow a publisher’s brand on another platform. Look at what happened with X and what didn’t happen with Threads in terms of follower count. The Washington Post has 20 million followers on X, compared to 1.5 million on Threads. BDG’s flagship brand, Bustle, has 92,500 followers on X, compared to 350,000 on Threads.

It’s too early to worry about the impact on revenue

Three publishing executives interviewed for this article said they had not yet heard any concerns from advertisers. As such, they are not worried about the impact the ban will have on the revenue earned by brands sponsoring TikTok videos. They were confident that advertisers would. move marketing funds To support short-form videos on other platforms.

While a ban on TikTok will ultimately reduce the amount of video inventory available to advertisers, “I don’t think it will necessarily have a significant impact on our revenue,” Bonner said.

However, Bonner said that could change as the year progresses.

“I think over the next few months, later this year, around Q4 and the holidays, we’re going to see advertisers come to the table for brand deals, so we probably need to be talking about strategy more than ever before. I can’t do that yet because I have the luxury of time,” Bonner said. For example, some advertisers may not want to risk being affected while running a campaign, he said.

“But again, it’s just positive thinking. Thankfully, it’s not necessarily something we have to act on today,” Bonner said.

Source of this program
“This add-on is so stylish!!”
“Bustle Digital Group, Gallery Media Group, and The Washington Post executives have no plans to change their social media audience development strategies or abandon TikTok as a result…”
Source: Read more
Source link: