Welcome back to StumbleUpon Innovators, a weekly interview series with publishers, platforms, and digital media experts. Each week we’ll investigate strategies, new tools, and trends with some of the brightest minds in the business. Our aim is to provide you with actionable practices to improve your content choices, distribution, marketing, monetization, and more. In case you missed our last edition with Ryan Harwood of PureWow, it’s right here.
Q&A with Adam Soldinger, Head of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at Tempest
Please introduce yourself and your company.
I recently joined the Say Media team to lead strategic partnerships around their new publishing platform, called Tempest. Say launched in 2010 has built a successful ad network business as well as the tools to support owned-and-operated publishers. Tempest is essentially taking the best of both worlds and combining them into a fully managed publishing platform with white-glove service and monetization built in.
What is Say Media all about?
Say is very much about helping publishers run successful digital businesses. Since the company’s beginnings, they’ve been focused on developing tools and strategies to help small and large media companies alike publish and monetize content of all kinds. And that includes video. Now that I’m here and have spent some time with the group, it’s clear that everyone here feels very strongly about that mission. They’ve been publishers before so they understand the pain points and how to solve them.
Who is your audience and how do you reach them? How do you find new audiences?
Anyone who wants to sustain a business publishing digital content. I know that’s a huge bucket, but it’s true. We’re not a consumer brand. We help brands who’ve already built a community of loyal readers continue operating and growing their business. So it’s really about reaching out to as many of those people as possible and educating them about what we do, because nobody else has this approach and can do what we do.
When it comes to finding new audiences, I’m a content junkie so I’m always digging for new material through search, social, analytics tools, other curators, and whatever else I can get my hands on. I know it’s crazy, but even actual person-to-person contact breeds new ideas and discovery.
What’s your publishing and/or content marketing strategy?
Education. Tempest is still relatively young so again, it’s about creating awareness and letting people know what we do. I’m sure you’ll see a lot more over the coming months.
From a publisher perspective, it’s about providing guidance to our partners that will help them create content that travels well. And we have SEO and audience development experts in-house, we can provide the science to support and optimize those creative efforts.
What are you biggest challenges and how are you tackling them?
Each publisher is a little bit different. And when you’re building a platform that can support all kinds of publishers you have to get into the weeds to truly understand what the business needs are, which can be nuanced and varied. So we make every effort to go through that discovery process with partners in a thoughtful way.
What are your best tips and tricks for publishers and brands?
This applies to text and video: focus on search, focus on social, publish often. Cut through the noise by creating content that strikes an emotional chord with your reader (or viewer) and inspires them to share. Social is the primary discovery tool for so many people, so focus on building your social footprint to help promote your content. Otherwise, you’re shouting into the wind.
Rapid Fire with Adam Soldinger
What is your media diet?
Heavy. I read a lot of industry trades to make sure I’m keeping up with the rapid-fire changes in the content space, almost always with a stop at TheVideoInk.com, Cynopsis, and Business Insider’s 10 Things.
Then I move to personal favorites like Devour, Uncrate, Yvynyl, ItsNiceThat, and all of my SBNation blogs including Posting & Toasting, which should be required reading for every Knicks fan with a sense of humor (if you are a Knicks fan, you’d better have one). Soundcloud is almost always on in the background.
Who do you admire?
Anyone who’s willing to stand up, put themselves out there, and take a swing.
Who’s your dream client?
I love the personal connection so it’s anyone who would genuinely benefit from what we do. I’d love to work with larger publishers who are creating content that resonates on a personal level like Pitchfork or The Enthusiast Network. And I’m a huge fan of what people like ItsNiceThat, Colossal and TwistedSifter are doing so I’d love to help them grow.
What’s one thing that your coworkers don’t know about you?
I was once a ski instructor, and plan to be again at some point.
How can people reach you?
I’m always available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And definitely feel free to connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamsoldinger.