Corporate Blogs and Content Sites

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Corporate Blogs and Content Sites - Microsoft Stories and The Atlantic

Microsoft Stories posts fewer content items and less frequently than The Atlantic, though both have mostly US-based readers. The Atlantic offers a greater variety in types of content-by-category, while MS Stories’ content is focused on just a few categories (all tech-related). Readers of both sites are tech-savvy and educated, though the MS Stories readers are likely a bit younger (and less affluent) than the readers of The Atlantic.

MICROSOFT STORIES

  • Microsoft Stories is the collection of news, articles, and features published by Microsoft for their public audience.
POSTING FREQUENCY
  • They post an average of 85 times per month based on an analysis of the last three complete months of postings. From the volume and consistency of their postings, it’s clear they want to keep their audience attracted to their site every week day.
  • June 1 – 30 postings included 90 separate posts, July 1 – 31 postings included 86 separate posts, AND August 1 – 31 postings include 80 separate posts. September 1 – 23 postings include 62 separate posts so far, which means they are on track to meet their average postings for the month.
  • An analysis of their posting frequency over the last few months shows that their busiest postings days are typically Thursdays, Wednesdays, and Mondays (in that order). They rarely post on weekends, and they try to begin each new month with a bang of great content.
CONTENT OFFERINGS
  • BuiltWith shows they use the Microsoft Azure Blob Storage and the Azure Edge as content delivery networks. For their ad content, they use Kentico as the content management system.
  • The MS Stories page is colorful and opens with the top five or six stories showing as large pictures with title links; these immediately capture the reader’s attention. Below that (left column) are additional links to the month’s stories; each of these has a tag like “Feature,” “Transform,” “Innovation Stories,” “Story Labs,” and others, to help readers identify the general focus-categorization of the posts.
  • Current front page stories feature those related to AI and multiple topics, the winning hackers’ products from the MS Hackathon, high tech for higher ed, product-related posts, gaming-related posts, movie-related posts with all of the latter connecting with a specific MS product or service. Each of these is highlighted with a colorful and interesting picture, and an eye-catching title.
  • The sites' most popular posts receiving positive, negative, or neutral reactions include those highlighted on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Vimeo, among others. For posts receiving positive reactions, these include posts about Microsoft-related conferences or events, artificial intelligence, and gaming most often.
STAFF WRITERS
  • An analysis of the content posted in the last few months shows the following individual as writing content for the site: Suzanne Choney, Athima Chansanchai, Susanna Ray, Vanessa Ho, and Deborah Bach. Notably, this is not likely a complete list of staff writers, but only a selection of those who’ve written for the site over the last few months.
TRAFFIC
  • A search of SimilarWeb site analytics showed that the site received 1.51 B global visitors between June and August 2019. The site gets an average of 505 M monthly visits with a bounce rate of 45.75%.
  • The top referring websites to MS Stories include live.com, the login for Microsoft online, office.com, and xbox.com. The top referring categories are: Computers, Electronics, and Technology (41.17%); Programming and Developer Software (30.27%); Video Game Consoles and Accessories (10.16%); Social Network and Online Communities (2.28%); and Search Engines (2%).
  • Their highest social traffic is from Youtube (51.83%), followed by Facebook (15.18%), Reddit (6.43%), LinkedIn (5.78%), Twitter (5.72%), and Others (15.07%).
  • BuiltWith shows that the site uses Adobe Dynamic Tag Management for analytics and tracking of website visitors. On smartphones, they use Smart App Banner for analytics and tracking.
AUDIENCE
  • Considering the tech-heavy content they publish, the top referring websites, and where their readers get their other news, it’s clear that the site is focused on reaching tech-savvy computer users, programmers, developers, and gamers as their primary audience.
  • Social Searcher analytics shows that Microsoft Stories has a 4:1 ratio of happy users. They rank as 46% positive, 43% neutral, and only 11% negative. Many of their users also frequent Twitter, Reddit, Dailymotion, and Vimeo, or access the MS Stories content via these sites.
  • The average visit of each audience member is four minutes 49 seconds, and they visit an average of 3.65 pages per stop.
  • Most (81.33%) of their site visitors view on their desktop or laptop computers, while under a fifth (18.67%) visit via their smartphones.
  • The largest section of their readers comes from the US (21.84%), followed by Japan (7.45%), China (6.34%), Brazil (4.77%), and the UK (4.41%).

THE ATLANTIC

  • The Atlantic covers news, politics, culture, technology, health, and more, through its articles, podcasts, videos, and flagship magazine," and appeals to an educated, elite, liberal-leaning audience.
POSTING FREQUENCY
  • The content presentation style of this site makes it difficult to calculate the exact number of postings each day or each month. The stories are broken down by category (see “Content Offerings” below), and within each category, the postings from different days are mixed in (not in date-sequential order). Due to the configuration of their posts, an in-depth analysis could not be conducted to determine the day(s) which they post most frequently, nor the category which has the most posts over the last three months.
  • They appear to post an average of 1 – 5 stories for each content category per day, though there is variation among the categories. They post each day of the week with no slow-downs on weekends.
CONTENT OFFERINGS
  • They offer a vast selection of posts and content on their front page, including the most current and recent news stories, popular content, links to newsletters (The Atlantic Daily and The Family Weekly), links to their most recent podcasts, as well as other clickable content and links.
  • Their content is broken down into multiple categories, including: politics, culture, technology, ideas, science, books, family, global, health, education, business, and letters. The content marked as “most popular” right now includes articles featuring: teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, the investigations into Trump, lifelong reading, social media interfering with daily life, political powers and protests from around the globe, food, sports, and family-related tech posts.
STAFF WRITERS
  • An analysis of the content posted in the last few months shows the following individual as writing content for the site: Jemele Hill, Sonia Paul, Emily Buder, David A. Graham, Greg Miller, Robinson Meyer, Lora Kelley, Annie Lowrey, Richard Fontaine, Alex Pascal, Alan Taylor, Jonathan C. Rose, Alia Wong, Hannah Giorgis, Saahil Desai, Christian Paz, Spencer Kornhaber, Shirley Li, David Sims, Yasmeen Serhan, and Sophie Gilbert. Other writers are listed on articles across each content category, so this should not be seen as a comprehensive list.
TRAFFIC
  • The site boasts 1.9 M readers of their print magazine, 333.7 M unique global visitors to their website, and more than 19K thought leaders in attendance at their AtlanticLIVE events (held several times a year).
  • They have more than 40 M unique monthly visits to the website, which shows a giant increase single their flagship launch that garnered 2 M each month. SimilarWeb notes an average of 43.1 M monthly visitors. From June to August 2019, they had 129.5 M global visitors to their site.
  • The top-referring websites to The Atlantic include: drudgereport.com, yahoo.com, fark.com, realclearpolitics.com, and news.ycombinator.com. The top-referring categories are: News and Media (71.17%); Computers, Electronics, and Technology (8.43%); Search Engines (2.62%); Programming and Developer Software (2.25%); and Social Networks and Online Communities (1.36%).
  • Their highest social traffic is from Facebook (47.28%), Twitter (27.81%), Reddit (8.16%), Pocket (7.47%), Digg (4.02%), and Others (5.27%).
AUDIENCE
  • With the content and ad selection presented on the site, it’s clear that the content is geared toward those who are highly educated, highly intelligent, have a decent amount of disposable income, and lean toward the left politically.
  • According to the site’s advertising pages, “The Atlantic’s audience is influential, curious, and eager to leave a lasting mark on the world.” These individuals are “never ones to shy away from change,” because “they seek out new ideas, challenge conventions including their own and ultimately aim to foster progress.”
  • A bit-dated research (from 2015) shows that their readership was more heavily male than female (though only by about 10% difference). Over three-quarters of their readers have a college degree, with nearly half of them having a post-graduate degree. The median age of readers is the mid-thirties.
  • The average visit of each audience member is one minute 51 seconds, and they visit an average of 1.73 pages per stop.
  • Over half (62.46%) of their site visitors view smartphones, while about a third (37.54%) visit via their desktop or laptop computers.
  • The largest section of their readers comes from the US (73.85%), followed by Canada (5.25%), UK (3.29%), Australia (2%), and Germany (1.08%).

RESEARCH STRATEGY

The compilation of content offerings and posting frequency information was derived from analysis of each site over the last three-and-a-half months. Information on staff writers was also gleaned from this analysis. Information on traffic visits and audiences were derived from a collection of sources, including ranking an analytics sites like SimilarWeb, Social Searcher, and BuiltWith, as well as from articles containing the relevant information. One older source (from 2015) was used, as the information contained within was still relevant.
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