January 3, 2017 | Danielle Chatterton
An engaged reader is always more valuable. An engaging experience is worth paying for.
We all know the age old saying “content is king”, but with the wealth of free information available online today, content has become commoditised.
Digital publishers need to become more creative in their approach. Content needs to appeal to all readers and be relevant, which is impossible unless you know your audience well.
It’s not enough anymore to know what, when and how readers consume content. Now more than ever publishers must get to know their audience by learning what they do when they’re not reading it; hobbies, interests etc. are traits which need to be understood in order to give their audience what they want.
Through registrations, subscriptions and visitor data, publishers know who their readers are, what interests them and the content they are likely to click on.
It is widely known, the most common way publishers monetise is through advertising. However, today’s digital trends mean that more and more publishers are looking to diversify revenue streams and shift their focus to monetising consumers instead.
To support this, the focus for digital publishers should now be upon engagement rather than page views. Increasingly more publishers are trying to opt out of the page view cycle, instead adopting the cost-per-hour metric tracking attention/time spent – allowing publishers to create more efficient matches between consumers and advertisers. Proving far more lucrative than standard digital advertising strategies.
Improved engagement can only be achieved through personalisation. First by driving content strategy through audience engaged data and second by using technology that can leverage audience data and recommend additional content view. Writers, editors, reporters, bloggers and journalists are embracing data to get insights into audience’s perspective in order to serve them better.
A number of the more innovative publishers have filled the gap with complementary products and services designed to engage their readers. Magazine media companies like Future Plc and Condé Nast are now recognising that they need to be driven by the need to differentiate themselves in an overcrowded publishing landscape. Newsday have created a spin-off sports fan product enabling them to harness an audience subset.
There are a number of reasons why UGC (user generated content) as a feature, is also worth considering. It allows you to build a closer relationship with your audience and increase engagement. Your readers are increasingly mobile and as newsrooms get smaller, readers that witness newsworthy events could help your brand to break the story first. It could be a source of 24/7 content generation while enhancing your apps feature-set.
The next step in the personalisation journey is to understand your audiences. It’s imperative to know who they are as well as what they want to keep them engaged, advocating loyalty & social sharing. Once you are better informed you can combat key issues such as, low user loyalty & engagement and high bounce rates; most commonly affected by the way users discover content away from homepage. Readers who arrive at news sites directly visit more pages than those coming from social media.
According to Pew Research Center, visitors that originally arrive to online news sites tend to view 24.8 pages in the duration of their visit. In contrast, visitors arriving from Facebook only view 4.2 pages. In the New York Times Innovation Report, the media giant revealed that traffic to their homepage dropped by 50% in the past two years. According to Smart Insights, this “confirms that visitors are primarily coming to the site through their discovery of specific stories of interest found on external sites rather than using their site as a means to discover important news.”1
Cxense Personalisation solutions will assist with creating user segments, including an understanding of what content is being consumed the most (or the least) within each audience segment. This information will fuel the process of building richer content experiences.
Cxense: “With the right platform, you can deliver what people want to increase your digital revenue. Personalisation is the key to creating value. It is the most powerful way of boosting prospect acquisition, retention and advocacy. Personalise every action. Create an experience. Be remembered.”