Case Study

Katie Couric & Yahoo!

Hook Point Helps Yahoo! Studios and Katie Couric Thrive on Digital Platforms


Yahoo! Studios and Katie Couric faced a challenge: how to reshape a broadcasting mogul to reach new online audiences without alienating a foundational demographic. Couric’s team found that the tactics that worked well on broadcast media weren’t yielding the same results online. They turned to Hook Point for help.


Katie Couric has been synonymous with American journalism and broadcasting since the 1980s. Couric’s segments on NBC’s Today Show were part of a cherished and practiced routine for millions of Americans. When Katie began working as an anchor on Yahoo! News, her team struggled to find the right approach to engage new online audiences without losing their foundational demographic.


Couric’s team faced the specific challenge of finding a way to create content that would be successful on digital platforms. The traditional broadcast way of doing things wasn’t working, and they were struggling to find ways to engage audiences online.


Hook Point helped Couric’s team by designing storytelling formats to engage new audiences across social media. They re-shifted the ideation process to focus on storytelling and systematically tested clips to post on Facebook. Hook Point brought a level of expertise and sophistication that Couric’s team needed to broaden their consideration of what types of storytelling could help them acquire audiences and what tools they could use to bring their content to their attention.


The results were impressive. Hook Point’s interventions created a virtuous cycle: people started to notice Couric’s clips on Facebook. With engineered hook points, they grabbed viewers’ attention and compelled them to go to Yahoo! to watch the entire video. Then, the algorithms noticed their popularity and pushed their content to more viewers.

The results included a huge engagement increase on Yahoo!, monumental cost-savings, and revenue increase. Hook Point worked on over 220 interviews, tested 70,000 content variations, and saved Yahoo! 31 million dollars in traffic acquisition costs. They also generated 1 billion global platform views, and Couric’s interview with Brandon Stanton, Founder of Humans of New York, received 100 million views. In 2016, Katie Couric attracted 42% of all Facebook views for Yahoo! Today.


Hook Point’s process created a perfect stride for Couric’s team, and they were all on board to keep the partnership alive. Even after Verizon purchased Yahoo! and Couric stepped away from the platform, the newscaster and her team partnered with Hook Point to establish her brand across digital and social platforms. The results were impressive, and Couric learned from Hook Point to be nimble and pivot on the spot.


For other companies in the same industry facing similar challenges, Hook Point’s case study provides valuable insights. Companies need to rethink their approach to digital platforms and embrace a more three-dimensional way of parsing their audience into sub-groups and engaging with each one in a tactical, precise way. Companies need to create engineered hook points to grab viewers’ attention and compel them to watch the entire video. Finally, they need to test and iterate their content until they find what works best. By following these strategies, companies can successfully reach new audiences and grow their business.

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