Tag Archives: singapore press holdings

5 quick and dirty tricks to market online content

This article was first written for and published on the Social Media section of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA)’s blog on 16 April 2013:

Recently, I was the moderator for a panel discussion on blogging for leisure versus blogging for profit.

The session featured four prominent bloggers from Singapore and was attended by more than 70 bloggers and media professionals. It was held as a prelude to the sixth-annual Singapore Blog Awards, a successful social media campaign we have been running at omy.sg, billed as the biggest social media event in Singapore.

What struck me after the forum discussion and chatting with the bloggers in attendance was the fact that many bloggers were seeking the elixir to instant online traffic.

Bloggers, just like newspaper publishers, are hungry for traffic. Whether the primary motivation for blogging is profit-driven or for leisure, what everyone wants are readers and eyeballs.

I am a relatively successful blogger myself who enjoys reasonably good traffic and fame outside of my work. The current president of Singapore thinks I am influential enough to invite me for a luncheon during his presidential campaign as a candidate. I get dozens of media invites daily, addressed to my personal blog.

How did I build up my blog traffic?

I used my personal blog, alvinology.com, as a platform to test content and find out what attracts Singaporean readers online.

I am going to share five simple, quick and dirty tricks to get Web traffic fast, based on my observation of Singaporean readers (and I believe universally online readers should replicate the same reading pattern with globalisation):

1. Sex sells.

I am not just referring to porn, but sexy news on celebrities or ordinary folks’ leaked sex crimes or sordid stories. The Internet is where readers thrive on traditional tabloid news, but in an uninhibited frontier.

2. Lists sell.

Top 10 lists give high Web traffic. People are lazy and tend to search for terms like “Best Restaurants in London” when they are looking for a place to eat.

Building a large log of such evergreen listing content bumps up your traffic with a fixed base.

3. Images sell.

Online attention is really short. I find that peppering blog posts with photos and videos, making your content more visually arresting, helps vastly to garner readers.

4. Real “breaking news” sells.

I am not referring to “breaking news” that every single news publisher is writing about at the same time. What I am referring to is genuinely breaking news, whereby you are the first and only content provider of a piece of news for at least an hour after your story has gone viral.

Media publishers tend to use the term “breaking news” too liberally.

5. Niche content sells.

One of the most-read blog posts I have written is a simple article on how to unsubscribe from an unpopular army magazine that all conscripted Singaporean males have been “opted in” for. This is very niche content and my blog post might be one of the only sources of information about this topic.

There you go, now you know my secrets (which are not really rocket science).

I practice what I preach. In fact, I have just used item No. 2 to market this article.

To read more of my writings on social media and publishing, do visit this link to access all my posts with INMA. 

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Social media needs newspaper publishers — and vice versa

This article was first written for and published on the Social Media section of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA)’s blog on 17 Mar 2013:

Doomsday social media practitioners like to predict the death of news publishers with the advent of social media, just as people used to predict the “death of radio” with television and the “death of television” with Internet.

To this day, all these different media are still very much alive, each finding its own audience and adjusting to survive.

What is social media?

From Wikipedia: “Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”

Fundamentally, social media is about two things: the people and the act of content sharing.

Where does shared content come from?

Sans the rare breaking news stories, images captured by citizen journalists, and updates on cute cats and dogs (you get the drift), what makes up the bulk of the content being shared on social media? Rather, where does quality content comes from?

News publishers.

Most of the content shared on social media is reposts of online newspaper or magazine articles and professionally taken photos or videos by news organisations or media personnel.

Recently, a video posted by omy.sg, the bilingual news and entertainment Web portal where I work, went viral in Singapore, garnering close to 1,000 Facebook shares in a matter of days.

Heart-wrenching moment during the funeral of the two brothers (image via omy.sg)
Heart-wrenching moment during the funeral of the two brothers (image via omy.sg)

The video featured the funeral of two young Singaporean brothers who were killed on the spot in a tragic traffic accident that tugged the heartstrings of the nation. The article accompanying the video garnered another 1,000 shares.

If you combine the two, that is more than 2,000 Facebook shares.

The number might not seem large, but in Singapore’s context, it is. Singapore has a small population of just over five million, and most are not avid “news sharers” culturally. News articles seldom even reach 100 shares.

When the news first broke, many Singaporeans shed tears and shared the family’s heartache at the unfortunate demise of the two brothers. Their parents were both ordinary, working-class Singaporeans with whom many could identify.

The public was hungry for news about the funeral and how their family members and parents were coping. Many wanted to help, whether in monetary form or by providing moral support.

Where does such news and information come from then? Was citizen journalism via social media enough?

No, most of the relevant news content came from news publishers. In fact, there were some tasteless members of the public who kept re-posting leaked photos of the horrific corpses of the two boys, despite calls from the boys’ family to stop.

I am proud to say none of my newsroom colleagues published those photos. We joined in the call for others to stop circulating them. In the end, the newsrooms’ reports were the news content and photos that went viral, not the photos of the corpses.

Quality content has to come from somewhere. It has to be professionally written and produced. Social media needs newspaper publishers because, without news content, there is nothing much to share.

Nonetheless, with social media, there is a paradigm shift in power from the newsroom editors as the sole influencer to the public as influencers. The editors curate what goes to print first. But after the news content is published, it is the individuals who curate each piece of news content that comes out – deciding whether it should be shared on his or her own Facebook profile.

“The medium is the message,” wrote Canadian media scholar Marshall Mcluhan in 1964. The phrase is still relevant today. Social media shapes how we produce, consume, and engage with news content. But, fundamentally, social media is about sharing, and you need content to share.

Hence content is still king.

It is not all doom and gloom. Social media needs news publishers (and vice versa). We just have to adapt and adjust to this new medium.

Don’t you agree?

To read more of my writings on social media and publishing, do visit this link to access all my posts with INMA. 

My First Blog Article Contribution to the International Newsmedia Association – How Social Media Saved Me

A big thank to Earl, Dawn and Laura from the  International Newsmedia Association (INMA) for giving me a space on the INMA site and e-newsletter to share on social media with industry peers internationally.

Read my first blog article contribution on how social media saved me. True story:

Click to read the full article on the INMA blog
Click to read the full article on the INMA blog

I will be contributing regularly to INMA, sharing on my insights and perspectives working on social media in a traditional newspaper company. Do stay tuned to the INMA blog for more updates.

Additionally, I am also contributing casual social media stories in Singapore on omy.sg’s Go Social. Check it out too. 🙂

omy.sg wins one Gold and two Bronze at the inaugural Asian Digital Media Awards 2010

Me with two of my bosses, Kuan Fung and Guey Er with omy.sg's three trophies
Me with two of my bosses, Kuan Fung and Guey Er with omy.sg's three trophies

omy.sg won a total of three awards this year at the inaugural Asian Digital Media Awards, the most among all single publications.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), omy.sg’s parent company, swept a total of ten awards from its various business and editorial units.

SPH's haul of ten awards
SPH's haul of ten awards

The award is organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in conjunction with the second Digital Media Asia Conference.

This is sweet validation for the hard work that the omy.sg team put in over the past year.

More details are available in the press release below:

Singapore, 24 November 2010 — Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) today scored big at the inaugural Asian Digital Media Awards (ADMA) 2010.

SPH picked up a total of 10 awards at the ADMA 2010, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in conjunction with the second Digital Media Asia Conference. The awards, presented today at 7pm at Velvet Underground @ Zouk, attracted over 120 entries from 53 media companies across 13 countries.

The ADMA acknowledged the best of how individuals and organisations embraced new technology, innovative thinking and creativity in digital media in Asia.
SPH topped the Best in Mobile Media Award (Mobile Publishing) categories with The New Paper Football Kaki, SoShiok.com and Stomp clinching a Gold, Silver and Bronze award respectively. The award honoured the best and more innovative services offered by a newspaper publisher on a mobile platform.

SPH also made a clean sweep of the Best in Social Media Award (Innovative Use of Social Media) with omy.sg, the bilingual news and interactive web portal, clinching a Gold and a Bronze award. straitstimes.com bagged a Silver in the same category. This was omy.sg’s second accolade within a month, following its recent win of two silver awards at the 2010 W3 Awards in October.

Kuan Fung and I, collecting omy.sg's Innovative Use of Social Media wins
Kuan Fung and I, collecting omy.sg's Innovative Use of Social Media wins

Stomp (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), the leading citizen-journalism website in Asia, clinched a Bronze for Best in Digital Content (User Generated Content). The award evaluated the capacity of a media company for attracting and publishing relevant content from their readers and users.

Demonstrating its strength in cross media marketing, SPH picked up three Best in Cross Media awards. omy.sg’s “Four Heavenly King Food Contest” scored a Bronze Award for Best in Cross Media (Cross Media Editorial Coverage) while SPH’s two promotion campaigns – Night Out 2010 and Fashion Season @ Orchard 2010, won a Gold and Bronze Award for Best in Cross Media (Cross Media Advertising) respectively.

Night Out 2010 fulfilled the advertiser Singapore Tourism Board (STB)’s objective to change local perceptions that Singapore has nothing exciting to offer after dark by showcasing a variety of exciting night activities beyond shopping. It involved a host of SPH’s multimedia products such as print (The Straits Times, The Straits Times Urban, Lianhe Zaobao and The New Paper), online (AsiaOne network), on air (Radio 100.3) as well as on mobile (location-based advertising).

The Fashion Season @ Orchard promotion campaign aimed to celebrate fashion and drive retail sales for Orchard Road. It involved cross media platforms including print ads (The Straits Times, The Straits Times Urban, Her World, Female and Nuyou magazines), online (AsiaOne Diva, Rednano and The Straits Times Razor TV), as well as out-of-home media and events via SPH MediaBoxOffice outdoor digital screens and its events arm.

Mr Alan Chan, CEO of SPH, said: “It is heartening to see that SPH’s commitment to develop and enhance our new media products has paid off. Being recognised by industry professionals is a testament to our dedication in providing the best digital media offerings to both our users and advertisers. I wish to thank our staff who are always looking for new and exciting ways to grow our products and engage our audiences.”

Awards won by SPH at the Asian Digital Media Awards 2010

Best in Mobile Media Award – Mobile Publishing
Gold – The New Paper (Football Kaki)
Silver – http://www.soshiok.com
Bronze – http://www.stomp.com.sg

Best in Social Media Award – Innovative Use of Social Media
Gold – http://www.omy.sg (Singapore Blog Awards)
Silver – http://www.straitstimes.com
Bronze – http://www.omy.sg (Jack Neo’s Affair Scandal)

Best in Cross Media Award – Cross Media Advertising
Gold Award – Singapore Tourism Board Night Out 2010
Bronze Award – Fashion Season @ Orchard 2010

Best in Cross Media Award – Cross Media Editorial Coverage
Bronze – http://www.omy.sg (“Four Heavenly King” Food Contest – Durian Puff)

Best in Digital Content Award – User Generated Content (UGC)
Bronze – http://www.stomp.com.sg

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

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Singapore Entertainment Awards 2009 Celebration Party

I am one of the guys working their asses off to make this mega entertainment event happen. Please give us your full support! 🙂

Organised by Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) Chinese media including Lianhe Wanbao , Radio 100.3 , omy.sg and UW (U-Weekly), the Singapore Entertainment Awards honour the best talents in both Singapore and Asia entertainment scenes.

Winners of the awards, which recognise a spectrum of entertainment ranging from music, movies, radio to concerts, were announced last Sunday. In conjunction with the awards, a mega entertainment party will be held at the Marina Bay Floating Platform Grandstand on 7 March 2009.

The objective of the Singapore Entertainment Awards 2009 is to support the Chinese entertainment industry that popularises the use of the Chinese language. It will also promote the Chinese entertainment scene both locally and overseas. Singapore’s own talents will be given a platform to showcase their talents and at the same time, entertain an estimated audience of 10,000 at the mega party on 7 March.

The awards will be an overall review of Asian entertainment movers and shakers who have made an impact on the Singapore entertainment scene in 2008.

Local and foreign stars who will be appearing at the celebration party include Show Luo(罗志祥), Raymond Lam (林峰), Cheer Chen (陈绮贞), Aska Yang (杨宗纬), Energy, Stefanie Sun (孙燕姿), JJ Lin (林俊杰), Joi Chua (蔡淳佳), Derrick Ho (何维健), Wu Jiahui (伍家辉), Jack Neo(梁智强), Royston Tan (陈子谦), Chou Pi Jiang (臭皮匠), Ang Moh Pai (红毛派), Kaira Gong (龚诗嘉), Olivia Ong and more.

Admission to the Singapore Entertainment Awards Celebration Party is by ticket only.

Special promotional tickets to the Singapore Entertainment Awards 2009 Celebration Party are currently available for two more days till this Friday (6 March). On sale are 200 exclusive standing stage-front tickets at $148 each and limited seated centre-front tickets worth $88 are now available at $50. Seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information about buying tickets, CLICK HERE.

You can email us at marketing@omy.sg if you have any queries about ticketing or any other matter related to the Awards.

Hope to see you there! 🙂

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Last chance to win S$20,000 in cash, products and vouchers

The ONE Game
The ONE Game

I blogged about The ONE Game, created by omy for it’s one year anniversary previously. Well, the game is coming to a close this Saturday (25 Oct) at 2359hrs. If you haven’t play it yet, do try.

The game rule has been changed slightly – instead of only allowing one move a day, it is now increased to one move every 6 hours for the remaining days to reward everyone for their support. In addition, extra moves can also be earned by making referrals.

The prizes are great, ranging from 10 x S$1000 in cash; a 3D2N Hong Kong travel package for two; luxurious travel accommodations from Wotif.com; Creative Vado players; SmartQ portable media players, Dragon Brand’s birds’ nest sets; and shopping vouchers from Plaza Singapura.

Go play The ONE Game now before it’s too late! 🙂

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Wild Wild West

I attended the SPH marketing party for 2007, Wild Wild West on Thursday. The theme was for everyone to dressed up like cowboys and Red Indians. I forgot about the event and went there dressed shabbily as a typical corporate executive who spends too much time in his cubicle.

To see more pictures taken during the event, click HERE or the banner below.

banner

Here’s the only photo I took on that day with a colleague, Christine from our Internet Business Unit:

me

Although the pictures and the people made the venue seems very hip and happening, it was actually held in the SPH Auditorium! *GASP* The people behind the event must have spent a lot of time and effort on this to refurbish the dull and corporate-looking auditorium for this one-night-only event. Kudos to them. 🙂

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