If you have questioned why being first with content should trump the level of engagement that your content brings, then take heart from the Washington Post. The US newspaper has recently launched Storyline, a simple microsite that aims to connect readers with ‘storylines’ related to current topics, rather than the fast news itself.
Storyline’s Ryan McCarthy explains:
Each day we’ll publish in clusters around one or more storylines, which means any time you click into a relatively new piece of Storyline content, you’ll find yourself surrounded by our other coverage on that topic.
The site’s premise is that traditional news sites excel at ‘sending readers to one piece of content, but they’re largely bad at connecting readers with deep, multilayered information on what they care about’.
Sound familiar? To many, McCarthy’s explanation will sound remarkably similar to some of the philosophy that underpins content-marketing: provide useful information for your audience so they trust you enough to become a customer.
As McCarthy says:
We want our storylines to be the polar opposite of a topic page; they’ll be conversational, direct and diverse streams of good stuff.
At this point it’s not clear whether Storyline will encourage readers to become paying customers of the Washington Post, or if the service will earn money through advertising. Either way, it’s encouraging to see a major news publisher pick up some of the content-marketing credo.
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