For trade editors, digital is all in a day's work

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Speaking from experience, this editor knows that 12 years ago he spent 100% of his job producing content for a single monthly print magazine. That's no longer the case. Now, my time is spent producing content for digital daily news alerts, weekly newsletters, webcasts, assorted events and not one but two print brands.

But don't take my word for it. This week American Business Media released a survey of business editors and reporters showing how central digital has become to a business editor's job. (The survey was conducted online in October; 62 editors participated).

The report, “The 2010 American Business Media Editorial Survey,” found that more than 90% of respondents said their editorial team is “actively engaged” in building content for their brand's website. About 70% of respondents said their “media brand has a detailed print vs. Web strategy.”

On average, respondents said they devoted more than 60% of their time to print, more than 30% to digital and about 5% to events. The focus on producing digital content is no longer simply to have a Web presence; it is to contribute to the bottom line. More than 90% of respondents said their brand's website was increasing its revenue.

News content is the main focus on most websites, according to the survey. About 80% of respondents said their website broke news. Additionally, more than 80% said news drove most of the traffic to their website.

Attracting traffic requires fresh content. About 45% of respondents said they posted one to five pieces of “Web-original content” a week. About 20% said they posted six to 10 pieces, and about 15% said they posted a remarkable 50 or more pieces.

The digitally oriented content produced by editors and reporters includes more than contributing to a branded website. About 90% of respondents are “actively involved in social media,” with Facebook and Twitter being the most common.

Additionally, about 75% of respondents said their sites produced video content. More than 60% said editorial staffers blogged. Almost 60% produced content for events, and about 40% generated content for mobile applications.

On top of that, 60% of respondents said Web analytics tracking page views, unique visitors and story popularity were shared with the editorial team—with the implied expectation that future content would be honed to produce better results.

When asked what were the three greatest challenges editorial teams face, the respondents' top reply was “lack of time.”

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