Every fortnight I ask myself this question. I still get an answer and am able to push myself to newer horizons.
From the beginning of this year, Lighthouse Insights (a six-year-old online publication covering Indian digital marketing) has stopped exploring press releases and news. Not that I have anything against portals that do, but if we do the same thing then there isn’t enough incentive for a marketer to visit us.
Besides in this information overload era, I have come to terms with the fact that LI isn’t a large or a listicle publication that would suck up your entire time on the portal. I would be happy if a marketer visits LI once or at the most twice in a week. While she is on the portal, my job as a publisher is to give value to her time, to what she is consuming along with a decent reading experience.
And, value for time will only come when LI provides stories or insights beyond press releases; Original stories that dig into the details. For instance these are some examples of our recent original stories:
My belief is that such stories will get us the attention of marketers and will find value.
“Today the idea is not to do 4-5 stories in a day. We publish a story when we are confident enough that a particular story is bringing valuable insights to the table. If that means we are doing one story in a week, then so be it.”
Our humble journey in 2010, started with a blog that reviews Indian social media campaigns. Today, if you ask someone from the industry about LI, the common view is about a site that reviews campaigns with added insights. I don’t have a problem in that as campaign reviews got us known in the industry. It is also one of the regular sources of revenue in the form of LI Digital Marketing awards.
“What matters is your belief in yourself, rather than what the world thinks about you.” The vision for Lighthouse Insights is to create original digital stories across categories like brands, agencies, publishers and media that would help marketers in making better decisions.
“From a time when we would spend 80% time in writing, today we spend 80% in research and thinking why a certain story needs to be explored deeper.”
In this New Year we wish to launch two new properties under the brand LI:
In 2016 we successfully executed our first Digital Marketing online awards backed by our yearly case studies eBook.
Going forward we want to publish all the case studies and other details of the awards under a new property called LI Awards. While it becomes a new asset for us, for readers it will serve as the go-to source for digital marketing case studies. Along with digital we wish to do mobile awards this year, will share more details in the coming months.
LI Digital Business
With this new property/sub-domain, our endeavour is to capture the digital transformation in India. The objective is to focus on creating a portal covering long form stories of digital business vision from forward thinking brands.
For brands this is an opportunity to showcase their vision and drive thought leadership.
“Multiple stories that is exclusive to your brand allowing you to articulate better instead of one, which means every story will be different!”
Sandip Maiti, Founder at Experience Commerce and one of the best minds in the industry when it comes to thinking digital and doing things beyond campaigns, is one of the ideator and evangelizer of this initiative. His agency is also one of the backers of the new property. Thank you Sandip for your continuous faith in LI! Will reveal more details in the month or so.
As an entrepreneur such announcements are a tremendous boost for the morale. But how sound are we as a business? Are we making enough money? Is the model scalable? The questions are endless.
Besides, this year, I have spent enough time with myself asking all kinds of questions. Trust me the scary part is that I know all the answers lie within me. Thanks to Vipassana!
We may not be the money minting startup but we have been a sustainable business. We have kept our costs as low as possible and continuously focused on new ways of revenues rather than hunting for an investor.
“From day one content on LI ranks before money. That hasn’t changed and it will be a constant.”
Going forward our objective is to do exciting stories and initiatives but at the same time find ways to align with a brand or an agency. The new year brings a lot of new hope and challenges, which is what makes this journey so much more exciting and memorable. If you have been a reader or a business partner of LI, thank you for your support. And I look forward to your support in the future.
Earlier this year I came across a term called “Slow Journalism”. In the age of speed on the Internet, we are trying to do the same. We are yet to be there but the results are encouraging.
Happy 6th to Lighthouse Insights!
Feature image credit: Rishi Nangia