How Compelling Content Is Winning The Millennial-Plus Crowd



Read our interview with Chantal Waldholz, Social Media Director at Trusted Media Brands, parent company to Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, and other publications.

While the digital age has opened copious amounts of doors with respect to creative ways to achieve compelling content, there are also many challenges like balancing various platforms, engaging audiences spanning generations, and catering to an ever-growing body of media consumption habits.

We recently sat down with Chantal Waldholz, Social Media Director at Trusted Media Brands, to learn more about how the company is strategizing to capitalize on the advantages technology and social media affords publishing, meanwhile establishing and maintaining personal relationships with readers based on authentic storytelling.

How are you distributing content given the wide variety of media consumption habits exhibited today?

There are several factors that weigh into Trusted Media Brands’ decision-making in regards to content distribution. You need to know the people you reach, where you reach them, how you reach them and what each platform prefers; think Facebook’s love for video, which reaches more people than the average link post. We know that what may work for our Facebook audience may not work for our Instagram or Pinterest audiences.

When we’re strategizing content distribution, we ask ourselves many questions. Is it a video, an article or a slideshow? How long is the video? Are the photos engaging enough? Would I click this headline? The most important thing we do is separate each platform, analyze what readers engage with the most on each of those platforms and create content based on the data. We’re proponents of data-informed content decisions when it comes to our brands’ social channels.

What do you perceive to be the largest digital disruptors to the publishing world?

Algorithms. A major change to any social algorithm ultimately affects your overall strategy. What once worked well for your brand may no longer be a winning formula. You need to learn fast and adapt quickly, which is core to our approach at Trusted Media Brands.

What do you think are the some of the biggest misconceptions about adapting traditional demographics and formats with respect to publishing in the digital era?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that anyone older than a millennial isn’t socially or digitally savvy. We’ve seen the complete opposite with our social fan base, who range in age from 18 all the way to 65 and plus.

People who are passionate know where to find the content that inspires them, no matter their age. It’s just a number. The best part is seeing how these different demographics interact with each other when commenting on our posts. Take our food brand Taste of Home’s Facebook audience for example. We’ve seen 25-year-olds sharing cooking tips and recipes with 50-year-olds and vice versa.

What are some keys to generating attention and establishing readers’ loyalty?

Build a strong, personal relationship with each reader by being an informer but also their friend. The content we create for each platform has to be able to speak to millions of consumers, but also make each of those people feel as if we’re speaking directly to them. They need to feel as if we’re in their head and know exactly what they’re thinking. We’re constantly looking at their responses to content, the comments they’re making and the conversations they’re having with other readers. Of course, we regularly answer the questions they ask us directly.

Your content is stated to be built around three core pillars: building trust, empowering your readers and providing and uplifting spirit. Given you have a multigenerational reach including Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials, are there key differences you’ve come across as far as what is deemed authentic and trustworthy material?

We pride ourselves on trust and ensuring our readers are in a safe space when it comes to the content they view and interact with on our websites and social pages. Every piece of content we post is thoroughly researched before we publish. We don’t take sides on specific issues; rather we aim to provide a fair story and let the readers think for themselves. In a world that’s so heavily fixated on political issues and fake news, our goal every single day is to give our readers an escape and to inspire them with positivity. This could be in the form of a really cool holiday recipe, a step-by-step DIY project or expert tips on how to better their everyday health.

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