We sat down with James Watkins, Associate Director of Marketing at Ozy Media, to understand how the company is innovating in today's crowded media landscape and learn how the URLgenius platform is helping the Ozy team achieve their objectives.
Tell us about Ozy Media, what types of content do you produce?
OZY is a modern media company producing news, TV, podcasts and live events for curious people. Starting as a digital news site that produced forward-looking, cutting-edge global reporting (rather than repeating the same headlines again and again), the company has now produced Emmy-winning TV series with networks including OWN, Hulu, YouTube and HISTORY, as well as chart-topping podcasts and 100,000-person festivals.
How has the Covid-19 crisis affected your business?
In the past few months, OZY has seen a huge acceleration in our business despite the pandemic. This has been driven by a variety of factors, not least of which is the desire from both audiences and brands to engage in authentic conversations on issues of race, justice and rethinking the social contract, which are issues OZY has been championing since its inception with one of the most diverse teams in the media industry.
What was the problem you were having when you needed URLgenius?
Email is OZY’s largest digital platform, and we would frequently find that we were struggling to drive users easily from newsletter to content on social media, especially if they were using a smartphone to read their emails. Typically this would open the link to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook in a browser window, where login was required. To increase engagement, we needed URLgenius links to open the content in the social app where where they could immediately engage.
Did you notice an immediate increase in engagement with URLgenius links?
Yes, we did see the conversion rates tick up significantly in the promotion of social content in newsletters.
How did you measure the increase in engagement – did you do an A/B test?
We didn’t directly A/B test with the exact same content – however we had been linking to social properties from our newsletters for many weeks, and when we made the switch to URL genius we noticed an uptick in users who made the conversion to engage with the content on social.
You use URLgenius links for Twitter quite a bit. What is the use case?
James: We run daily polls about newsy issues for our audience to weigh in on about a certain story. We will deep link directly to these tweets from our emails using URLgenius, and see much stronger poll responses as a result.
Scott: That is such a great use case that a lot of media companies overlook. As consumers, we have all clicked links to social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) within articles and emails that go to logins instead of opening the app. It's incrediably frustrating, so you're on the cutting edge here in terms of improving your reader's content journey!
What is your favorite thing about the URLgenius platform?
Definitely ease of use. It's very easy to generate new app deep links to any social app.
Are there any new use cases you are likely to try in the future?
James: Definitely deep linking to podcast apps such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart Radio, etc.
Scott: That is another great use case. Something that makes this one particularly interesting is that iOS and Android audiences often have different preferences for podcast apps. With URLgenius, you can create a single app deep ink that opens a different podcast app on iOS vs. Android.
Would you recommend URLgenius to other agencies and marketers?
Yes, for marketers that are trying to convert significant volumes of traffic from a relatively static digital medium such as newsletters to something as ubiquitous as a social media app action, then this URLgenius is a great solution.
What marketing platforms would you like to see URLgenius integrate with?
We would like to see native URLgenius integratrations with CRM platforms and EMS systems such as Lytics or Sailthru. That would be great.
Thanks again for your time! We wish you and the Ozy team great success in 2021!