April is here, and we’ve got a fun fact to impress your co-workers with: the name of the month is said to come from the Latin verb aperire, which means “to open,” in reference to the opening of spring buds. We’re going to pretend it also refers to opening that first bottle of wine on a sunny patio, yes?
This spring, we’ve been attempting to master Snapchat like all the cool kids. You can follow our adventures (and send us your best selfies) at jenn.mg and kattancock. Of course, we’re not the only grown-ups suddenly obsessed with cute stickers and flower-crown filters. Here's proof Snapchat is trying to take over the world.
But we did take a break from all that snapping to read some interesting articles. Here’s some of what caught our eye this month. (FYI, we post all our favourite links on Twitter and Facebook, too.)
Advertorial (done right) equals big revenue for the Atlantic The Atlantic has turned advertorial (aka native advertising) around since its widely denounced (and rapidly removed) Church of Scientology advertorial in 2013. Last year, Atlantic readers spent almost seven minutes on the two best-performing advertorials, compared to an average of four to five minutes on sponsored content overall. What’s more, 60 percent of the brand’s ad revenue comes from sponsored content – and that share is projected to jump to 75 percent this year. (Digiday)
Jameson’s craic strategy
The whisky brand’s social media strategy is two-pronged and, by its own reckoning, full of craic – the Irish word for fun. One: it goes after millennials coming of (drinking) age via initiatives including Snapchat; and two: it chases the Gen X-and-older audience via programs like a long-form video series.
Photos don’t always boost engagement
Sit down for this one. In the news publishing realm, at least, photos don’t boost engagement on stories about food and dining at all. In fact, pictures only boosted engagement overall by an average of 19 percent, according to a recent paper analyzed in Poynter. (But for snoozy government stories, the boost was 75 percent. Go figure.) This is just one of many counterintuitive findings worth checking out here, including how stories longer than 1,200 words get 23 percent more engagement and 45 percent more social referrals than shorter ones.
Instagram influencers and the restaurateurs that court them
These Instagrammers make you want to eat what they’re eating – and line up for the pleasure. And they’re changing the food scene, according to Bon Appétit. Influencers with followings in the hundreds of thousands or more (like the three teens behind @new_fork_city) can make or break a new resto. But in return, restaurateurs must participate in a murky business where these ’Grammers are getting paid, fed and even feted.
The new way of writing recipes
As we get collectively better at cooking (or at least at quickly finding the necessary YouTube videos), we’re also getting bored with the fussy, prescriptive recipes of yore. According to the New York Times, we want narrative. We want intense, illuminating reportage. We want recipes that reflect how we cook now. And we want to be taught and engaged in novel ways, like through short bursts of text next to photos, or eloquent prose woven into the cooking steps.
(New York Times)