On TikTok, USA Today Finds Traction Without News

by Anna Munhin Mar 22, 2023 News
On TikTok, USA Today Finds Traction Without News

The success of social media has nothing to do with the news.

The brands have prioritized vertical video formats and have seen growth in their social reach. The USA Today brand has been used to build awareness by the media company.

More people follow Humankind on TikTok than CNN, The Washington Post, Disney and Nike combined. Problem Solved gained 440,000 followers last year and now has 1.2 million followers.

An internal team of 55 staff, called Content Ventures, runs the accounts and a portfolio of other brands. The division brought Humankind and Problem solved to TikTok in 2020.

The vice president of video content at USA Today said that it was difficult to get the content out on the main USA Today social platforms. Since we broke it out into its own brand, we have seen a lot of growth.

According to Kate Gutman, the senior vice, the media company monetizes the reach of these franchises through video ads on Gannett sites, on-platform revenue shares, eight to twelve annual video sponsorships, and its connected television channels.

The revenue generated by the franchises wouldn't be shared by the company.

Publishers have scrambled to reorient their editorial strategies to foreground vertical video, whose highly engaging nature has inspired its adoption. The adoption of monetization has been lagging behind.

After its merger with GateHouse, the news organization had to cut its workforce from 21,255 to 11,200.

Avoid news to focus on positivity

The two franchises, along with a third that was launched last fall, don't feature news content very often.

Humankind, along with permutations including Animalkind, Womankind and Militarykind, follows a classic formula: aggregation of feel-good videos, which can become viral sensations on TikTok and attract tens of million of views.

Humankind thrives on YouTube, which has an incentive to use its Shorts product to amplify its visibility.

Problem solved brings a proven formula to a new platform to meet the needs of younger users.

The executive director of video content for USA Today said that news and information are a core part of the newspaper. Service journalism is offered by Problem Solved.

Expanding deal size and improving brand awareness

Young audiences to the USA Today brand have been introduced obliquely by the growth of the franchises.

They drive traffic to the USA Today website, which hosts dedicated niches for the franchises and their various spin-offs.

The franchises allow the direct sales team to offer more eyeballs to advertisers by combining the views of Humankind and Problem Solved on social media.

Jessica Dooley, the U.S. social practice lead at Mindshare, said that multi- video assets have been appealing because they allow for quick, robust stories.

Amtrak, which ran a branded campaign against Problem Solved, is one of the recent sponsors.

With the help of cross-promotion, the Content Ventures team now has a total of 15 brands.

The reach and feel-good content of the franchises make them attractive to advertisers.

Advertisers return to us year in and year out just for these franchises, and that is terrific, according to Gutman. They have been used by our sales team.