Data-Driven Approach in Scaling NEWJ

By Kunal Chaudhary

Friday, February 25th 2022

Content is king is probably the most clichéd thing one could say in 2022, but at the risk of sounding dated, I’d go a step ahead and say that today, data-driven content reigns supreme for brands, marketers and content creators alike. For a ‘social-first’ publisher like NEWJ, data and insights form the crux of our strategy in delivering high-quality visual content in line with our ‘Stories of India, for India, by India’ approach to storytelling.

NEWJ powers creativity with the help of data driven algorithms to create content that truly resonates with our followers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. As a result, our Facebook pages have been able to drive better engagements, virality and help brands deliver high impact messages and content to the right audience.

Our state-of-the-art tech architecture collates editorial, user consumption and computer vision data to derive insights and patterns on how a content will perform within a specific demography. We factor in several metrics like views, engagements by way of likes, comments and shares, fan acquisition for NEWJ pages and demographic data within our content strategy. In addition, the total page and average video watch time are also key indicators of the stickiness quotient and the overall retention of our content.

This timeline of events can give you a sense of how we have grown NEWJ's presence on Facebook over the past three years.  

  • Dec 2018 NEWJ launched its very first social channel in Hindi – NEWJplus
  • March 2019 NEWJplus crossed 250K followers
  • May 2019 we launched Tamil NEWJ – our first vernacular channel on Facebook.

Within six months of our launch, we were able to address the need for introducing our content in a vernacular language by analyzing location and language based insights. Our team observed that our Hindi content on NEWJplus page was being consumed by a considerable amount of people who were either from Tamil Nadu or were Tamil speaking. So in May 2019, our Tamil NEWJ page was launched for this particular audience.

We followed this up with the launch of our Bangla NEWJ page in July 2019, and two months down the line in September 2019 we introduced NEWJ in Marathi, Kannada and English. In a span of ten months since our inception, the NEWJ network had crossed 1.2M followers and our content was available in five regional languages to our followers on Facebook.

By the end of 2019, NEWJ was publishing content on 10 Facebook pages  -  7 languages – Hindi, Tamil, Bangla, Marathi, Kannada, English and Telugu along with 3 genre specific channels, Dharohar (Spirituality & Religion), Garv (Pride of India, Men in Uniform) and Filmy (Entertainment).

These pages cumulatively accounted for -

1 billion+ views, 55 millions+ engagements, 2 million+ followers and 2 billion+ reach

Here’s a snapshot of NEWJ’s reach as of today that covers vernacular content distribution in 13 languages and five genre-specific channels namely NEWJ’s Filmy, Rajneeti, Dharohar, Garv and BeanBag.

On an average NEWJ publishes 615 pieces of content, across multiple platforms every week. This includes 

  • 100 short form videos (under 3 mins)
  • 500 medium form videos (over 3 mins)
  • 10 sketches
  • 5 explainers

The insights and consumption data derived from our Facebook pages helps us better understand the interests of our audiences and develop content as per their liking.

By analyzing the fan acquisition for NEWJ pages and demographic data we were able to scale our production capacity and distribute our content  in 10 vernacular languages (apart from Hindi and English) within a span of three years.

The pace at which we were able to scale our digital footprint and engage with a wider audience was largely driven by acting on the data-driven inputs shared by our NEWJ strategy team.

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