Facebook has arrived on the scene as a traffic-driving powerhouse. For some publishers, it has quickly eclipsed Google as the main source of their audience, accounting for up to 70 percent of traffic referrals.
For the nearly 2-year-old For the Win, a mobile and social-oriented publisher solely focused on shareable sports content, Facebook is critically important — but only to a degree. Instead, FTW, which sees only 1 percent of its 16 million-strong monthly audience coming directly to the site, is pursuing something of a portfolio strategy that includes: 1. Facebook; 2. Google; 3. USA Today; and 4. dark social.
In this week’s Digiday Podcast, Jamie Mottram, director of content development at USA Today’s sports group, joined me and Digiday platforms editor John McDermott to discuss the evolution of sharing services, and why the publication is putting a big emphasis on dark social sharing, such as emailing, texting and messaging services like WhatsApp.
Some highlights, edited for clarity:
Facebook dependency isn’t necessarily a big risk and can be a good problem to have.
“A lot of the things that help us succeed in Facebook help us succeed more generally on social platforms. If it were to fall and something else were to rise, that might level out.”
But publishers who rely on paid traffic from Facebook should worry.
“One publisher has figured out how to acquire fans at such a low rate to such an extent that when they received a new round of funding, they spent all of it on Facebook marketing.”
“They’re growing their audience and revenues higher than what they’re spending in marketing. That goes away as Facebook goes away. You can replace it by gaming some other system.”
Messaging has huge potential for driving traffic.
“From Day 1 on mobile, more of our users were using WhatsApp to share than Twitter. We can track what people are doing on our site. More people are using WhatsApp as an option. It continues to surprise me.”
“We felt people would text links to their friends. It’s a common behavior. It wasn’t a data-informed decision. More people were using SMS than were using WhatsApp, and more people were using WhatsApp than Twitter. Yesterday, two-thirds of shares were from email, WhatsApp and SMS.”
Email us with comments, questions and suggestions at email@example.com.
Sponsored by Bionic Advertising Systems
Intro music: Benny Reiner
Media Briefing: What Axios’ sale says about the valuation of digital media companies
In this week’s Media Briefing, senior media reporter Sara Guaglione looks at what Axios's sale to Cox Enterprises signals about the current investment market for media companies.
Amid gloomy forecasts can ad tech weather the storm?
The recent Q2 results suggest there is more resilience and runway in the ad tech sector. But how long before push comes to shove?
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research deep dive: Twitter’s strength holds among publishers
There is perhaps no social media platform that is more appropriate for publishers than Twitter. In this Digiday+ Research deep dive, we look at why this is.
SponsoredWhat gaming habits reveal about media consumption
Jordan Shlacter, head of research, Activision Blizzard Media Entertainment choices have never been more abundant, and gaming has emerged as one of the biggest winners in the battle for audiences’ attention. While gaming’s exponential growth has been well documented — there are currently nearly 3 billion gamers worldwide spanning a diverse set of demographics, interests […]
La razón por la que Google y Samsung se asociaron con la personalidad de TikTok Addison Rae para una campaña nostálgica de los años 90
Este verano, Google y Samsung han lanzado su último esfuerzo de marketing conjunto, en el que los gigantes de la tecnología y el hardware aprovechan la nostalgia de principios de los años 90 y utilizan a la TikToker Addison Rae como musa de la generación Z. En su nueva campaña publicitaria con Rae, Google cuenta […]
Las publicaciones invierten en más reporteros especializados en criptomonedas
La semana en que el mercado de las criptomonedas se desplomó a mediados de junio, Fortune envió a Jeff Roberts una oferta para convertirse en su editor de criptografía y supervisar la creación de un equipo de periodistas. Estas circunstancias llevaron a la redactora jefe de Fortune, Alyson Shontell, a hacer una pausa y a […]