Deep Dive Breakout 2

Friday, August 5, 2016

10:15am – 11:15am

Brad Peck (American Petroleum Institute), Ory Rinat (The Heritage Foundation) and Chris Golden (Fwd.US)

Think visual and mobile first! Ninety percent of people view content across multiple devices like TV, tablets, phones, and laptops, and sometimes even two devices at the same time. Are your messages getting lost because you can’t multiscreen?

Have feedback on this session? We’d love to hear it! Submit it here.

Learning Objectives

Multiscreen 101

Multiscreen means looking at your mobile phone and the multiple apps and platforms within it. Producing and using videos, pictures, graphics, text messaging, to reach people as they go through different apps and different parts of their lives.

In a multi-platform world, do we create content uniquely for each platform, or do we re-purpose?

The move from websites to multi-platform has made people understand the importance of delivery again: being able to create platform that matches platforms, but also content that can be used across platforms.

You have a limited window of time to cut through the clutter, as audiences are saturated.

People are finding better ways to get the information they want – many websites have found huge declines in the number of people starting on their site on their homepage. They may touch the homepage at some point in their visit, but the idea of a homepage as the main hub for your content is outdated.

Traffic analytics show an increase in “dark social” – when a tracking code gets lost, when someone clicks on a link from an email or a Gchat status. Your audience is driven by even more platforms than you may realize or be able to visualize in your analytics.

Is your site mobile-optimized? Great! What about your content?

When Heritage Foundation re-designed their website, their digital director only showed their mobile designs to internal stakeholders outside of his immediate team – because thinking about “desktop first” excludes half or more of their visitors.

Heritage has also changed their ideas about metrics to stop focusing and talking so much about website traffic alone. They list the metrics they care about, then multiply them by how valuable they consider them to be (a new email acquisition is multiplied by 75, while a new Facebook Like is divided by 2; a video view on Facebook is worth a third of a YouTube view because of how the platforms calculate them; a visitor inside DC is worth 100x a visitor outside the Beltway; using negative multiples for paid advertising).

Examples of where it works and where it fails–specific to advocacy.

Example of success: campaign around a Supreme Court case – a different form of advocacy because they can’t influence the decision at the Court, but they did need to get their message in front of the media and opinion leaders, including activating and educating their grassroots activists. They had a consistent design across multiple platforms to convey a message (making immigration about families instead of legal status). They came up with a hashtag #FightforFamilies that the media and both Democratic presidential candidates used on the day the SCOTUS decision came down; this hashtag was great because it’s user-centric, just like the rest of their campaign, and not self-promotional for the organization. On the day that oral arugments were made, they used paid advertising to promote the hashtag and had it trending throughout the day, drowning out an opposition hashtag. They had professional videographers and photographers to turn content around within hours at key points of the campaign.

Example of success: American Petroleum Institute has a new page focused on renewable fuel standards that uses a “flow” style; it’s mobile friendly because people enter and they can scroll around. They saw lower bounce rates across desktop mobile, and tablet, and many more pages per session, compared with traditional sites that require users to click around. Now, they’re shifting all of their sites to flow sites.

Example of failure: PDFs are evil – they don’t work well on mobile, they’re hard to search, they’re evidence that the producer is afraid of how their content is formatted. The World Bank put out 1,611 reports from 2008-2012; 517 were never downloaded! Only 25 reports, 2%, were downloaded more than 1,000 times – and they were all published between 2008 and 2010.

Doing this on a budget?

Facebook Live is free and the reach is incredible! It prioritizes in the newsfeed and alerts your fans. had 36,000 views on a Facebook Live vs. low thousands for their posted videos. NPR uses an amazing job to preview some of their special reports and create conversations about things they’re planning to release later in the week; they have Q&As with the reporters and editors, etc. Harvard Business Review is repurposing their podcast and website content with great success as well.

To succeed on Facebook Live, you need to think about the audience experience. Heritage has found that an interesting backdrop or visual is very important; they’ve built an actual studio with four cameras and professional lighting that lets them throw different video up. If you have an issue on the Hill, go to the steps of the Capitol or the Supreme Court!

What does the future hold?

How do you stay ahead of the curve?

Don’t chase trends that require a lot of investment. Facebook Live is an easy trend to chase – it costs at most $100 for the equipment and some time investment. Virtual reality is a hard, expensive trend to chase.

Old standbys are still useful – consider innovating on existing platforms you have (test your blog headlines, improve your emails) instead of investing in something new.