The expert drew an analogy between the promotion of media content and the marketing strategy in stores. “For instance, when a supermarket announces a 50% discount for milk, it promotes this way one single product. However, when customers come to the supermarket for milk, they remember they also need bread, sausages, vegetables, etc. The same principle of promotion applies to media products as well. We only promote the best content on social media and once the consumers check out the website they start looking at other products too. In conclusion, quality media content may be associated with a special offer of 50% discount for milk. Many believe that social marketing is a new field but, in fact, the principles of communication are the same” added Horea Salajan.
He also highlighted five steps of successful media product promotion on social networks. The first and most important step is developing quality content. The next step is about selecting the platform for promotion, which should depend on the audience. The third step has to do with ‘landing’ on the social networks by organic promotion or paid advertisement. Step number four is about interacting with the readers – media outlets need to answer their comments in order to enhance the impact of their media products. The last step is about interpreting analytical data, which allows one to understand what type of information attracted more readers.
Promoting media products requires creativity. According to Horea Salajan, there is no ‘goldfish’ to catch in this field. Each and every editorial office needs to find its own approach, be creative and have plenty of initiative. This means that different types of content, different platforms and ways of promoting need to be experimented with. “Do not be afraid of experimenting” – the expert urged the participants. In his opinion, journalists should use Youtube primarily as a promotion platform, as this is a lasting platform while Facebook is “going down, even though its promoters do not want to admit it for now.”
The discussion was interactive and the participants had two hours to ask all sorts of questions about how content marketing on social networks works.
“How do we deliver information and how do we interact with our readers? We tried to find the answers to these questions during our discussion with the expert. In an era in which you feel like you don’t have enough time and you want to consume information as fast as possible, the journalists need to master a number of useful techniques to make media products more attractive. This is what the Romanian expert shared with us.” said Tatiana Beghiu, Moldova.org journalist.
Horea Salajan is a media expert and content developer, who has worked on five continents, in 20 countries. Coming from Cluj-Napoca and educated by BBC, he established the first local Pro TV newsroom in Cluj in 1996. He is currently working with different projects in Moldova, Ukraine, Mongolia and ASEAN for Internews, Chemonics International, Mongolian National Broadcaster and Amazing Productions.
The event is part of a series of meetings between journalists and IT developers or media experts organized by the Independent Journalism Center, as part of the ‘Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M)’ project, funded by USAID and implemented by Internews. Their purpose is to facilitate the interaction between journalists and media consumers through innovations.