Photo by Héctor Martínez on Unsplash

How to develop a journalistic crossmedia content strategy

You have more than one channel for your editorial product and don’t know how to bring them together? Learn how online and TV can play together in a harmonic and benefical way.

Content strategy can be a though topic for journalistic products. I also made this experience during my master’s program Content Strategy at the FH JOANNEUM. I had to write a project work and developed a content strategy — for two editorial products. And yeah, it was challenging, but worked pretty well in the end.

I created a content strategy for “Entenfellners Tierwelt”. Entenfellners Tierwelt” is a cooperation between the Austrian private TV station ServusTV and the national daily newspaper “Kronen Zeitung”. Both media outlets are partly using the same content about animals from the weekly TV show, but they don’t follow a mutual content strategy. The TV show “Entenfellners Tierwelt” is linked to the “Tierecke” in the Kronen Zeitung. This is a rubric by the host Maggie Entenfellner where is she writes about animal topics. The Kronen Zeitung puts the show — after it’s been sent on ServusTV — on its website. Before the next weekly show, the Kronen Zeitung also writes an article about the topics of the upcoming show. Apart from that, there aren’t covered the same topics on the website of the “Tierecke” as in the TV show.

You get the point? Both of these media outlets cover the same topic, but don’t make that much use of each other. My solution: I developed a mutual platform, where the editors of both media outlets could bring in their individual strengths. How I did it? I used a four-step-framework. Read more about the single steps.

1. Do a content inventory

In order to find the content treasures of the “Krone Tierecke” and “Entenfellners Tierwelt” I did a content inventory. A content inventory is a list of the whole content on a site. It typically includes text, images, documents, and applications.

The results of the inventory weren’t that surprising: The online site of the “Krone Tierecke” contains mainly text articles and just a few videos. The site of the TV show “Entenfellners Tierwelt” on the other hand consists mainly of videos and hardly any text content.

Entenfellners Tierwelt
Krone Tierecke

You see, both content worlds have their strengths, but don’t derive mutual advantage from this. I wanted to create a content universe, which units the best sides from those two worlds — with a crossmedia strategy.

I know, everybody talks about crossmedia in today’s media world. You’re asking yourself what the hell this buzzword actually means? Bernd Wirtz defines crossmedia as “a concept for using at least two media channels to market media products”. Maggie Entenfellners animal world appears in two media channels — in TV and online.

2. Get to know your audiences

Only if you know your audience and their needs you can develop a suitable content strategy for them. The so-called personas are a good starting point. They show the goals, needs, wishes and restrictions of certain user groups. Your user gets a face and you can image him or her as a real person.

I conducted interviews with three types of users: A reader of the “Krone Tierecke”, a viewer of the TV show “Entenfellners Tierwelt” and a user who uses both media offers. I looked for some mutual patterns between those user groups — and found them. All of them want to get useful tips for their own pets through the respective media offers. They are all interested in animals and want to be both informed and entertained.

3. Follow your audiences

You have a clear picture of your users in your mind; now find out where you can meet them. I used the concept of the so-called customer journey for that. I identified the touchpoints of the users. They show which content is consumed in each stadium of the usage.

Exemplary customer journey by © Rosenfels

Therefore, I created three customer journeys according to the three different personas. The analysis of the customer journeys showed that digital and mobile touchpoints are very distinctive. Social media channels, including that of moderator and journalist Maggie Entenfellner, play an important role before and after the users have consumed the media offers.

4. Learn from the best

You don’t have to start from scratch. It’s ok to get some inspiration and learn from the best. Therefore, I created a best practice analysis. I focused on the German infotainment tv magazine “Galileo” as it makes use of similar creation modes as “Entenfellners Tierwelt”.

Galileo; © Screenshot www.galileo.tv

“Galileo” makes extensive use of Social Media, mainly of Instagram and Twitter. Furthermore, it offers an own app and website, where it makes use of multimedia and combines video, text and infographics.

5. Develop your own crossmedia strategy

You got inspired by other media offers? Great! Now develop your own crossmedia strategy. The other examples you looked at before should just be an inspiration. Don’t copy them! Find your own way and style, which match to your media brand and product and meet your user’s needs.

I decided to create a mutual platform under the name “Entenfellners Tierwelt”. Therefore, a free app and a website will be created. They offer various categories as well as a weekly focus about a certain animal topic. The editorial teams of the TV show and the “Krone Zeitung”-website will both contribute and focus on their strengths: The one side delivers the online journalism knowledge, the other side the moving image skills. Stories in the app will consist of video, text, checklists, infographics, embedded social media content and pictures. The chosen elements depend on the topic and the available material. Image or video and (a shorter) text are standard for every article.

I also considered to create a podcast under the working title “One Maggie advice a day, keeps the animal doctor away”. It should deliver discussions with experts and practical tips for pet owners.

So, stay tuned or get some inspiration and develop your own crossmedia strategy for your media product.

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