With 14,218 words, the New York Times newspaper provides us with a perfect example of content adaptation

The American newspaper adapted its 14,218-word article into many versions, in order to reach as many people as possible.

On October 2nd, the New York Times published a major investigation into the income of US President Donald Trump and how he became so wealthy, including resorting to certain tax evasion practices.

An article of 14,218 words. You read it right, almost 15,000 words! What’s even better is that any content marketer can learn valuable lessons from how they approached the distribution and amplification of this major investigation.

“This is one of the longest stories that we’ve ever run in the news pages of the Times, one of the longest investigative stories we’ve run period,” said Paul Fishleder, who coordinated the editorial staff and is the head of the Times’ political investigations department.

In itself, the publication of such a long article is relevant. The subject asks for it, as it is also a highly shared type of content.

But where it gets particularly interesting is in the way the newspaper chose to deploy this story.

First launched on a Tuesday afternoon, at a time when it would be most likely to be seen and received without being drowned in the media cycle, it was also published, on eight pages, in the Wednesday morning paper edition.

But since the entire population is not ready to take nearly 1 hour and 15 minutes to read the full report, the newspaper decided to release several versions of it at the same time.

Fishleder’s team therefore decided to publish, at the same time as the full version, a version of about 2500 words:

They also created an interactive version that includes video:

And finally, it seems that the email alert also had its own (very long) version:

In short, The New York Times has maximized the reach and potential reach of this content, in which it had invested heavily, by adapting it in multiple versions, to the reading context, but also to the persona of its readers.

This approach of maximizing content budgets through adaptation is something we highly recommend at Toast.

It is a key technique that is highly beneficial in optimizing content marketing budgets, because it allows you to go in depth into a subject, knowing that its potential will be taken into account during distribution and amplification, with different audiences and in different contexts.

So, which of your future content projects will benefit from this type of approach?