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January 24, 2017 |

Strategies for Success

With digital technology becoming more sophisticated all the time; new and developed digital marketing trends are beginning to emerge. The scope for brands and businesses to engage with consumers is seemingly endless, and it is going to prove even more valuable in 2017.

Online Publishing is exploding, but many publishers are still figuring out how to build a highly converting revenue stream online. The transition from print to digital has brought new challenges and opportunities to publishers.


Here are some of the key trends publishers should keep in mind in order to make the best of the year ahead.

With fierce competition and declining audiences, Publishers are still learning to adapt. Therefore, an increased focus on growing digital audiences and advertising revenue to keep readers engaged is key.

At the end of June 2016, there were 413,600 subscribers to The Times and The Sunday Times, an impressive 3.4% rise since June 2015.  182,500 of these subscriptions are digital only, an increase of 172,000 in the same one year time period. According to The Times, in order to increase growth, subscriptions and engagement will be the focus of their efforts in 2017. Currently, 12% of its audience generates 90% of its digital revenue.

“Many of our competitors focus primarily on attracting as many uniques as they can with a view to building an advertising-only business … We see our business as a subscription service first, which requires us to offer journalism and products worth paying for,” a leaked internal memo said. 1

2016 saw many new introductions into the social media instant news space. The growth of Google AMP and Facebook Articles has caused even more challenges for publishers.

Facebook Instant Articles seems to be the most adopted and effective, but it was surprising to see the majority of publishers, we surveyed, are not using any of the new rapidly growing platforms. Will this stance change in 2017?

New metrics are being introduced into publisher’s digital strategies, with emphasis on driving engagement. More and more publishers are trying to opt out of the page view cycle, instead adopting the cost-per-hour (CPH) metric tracking attention/time-spent – personalisation allows publishers to create more efficient matches between consumers and advertisers. Dominic Good, the Financial Times’ advertising sales director, explained: “Adverts seen for five seconds or more on FT.com show up to 50% higher brand recall and familiarity than ads that are visible for a shorter period of time”.

Native advertising and content has become an inevitable opportunity for publishers to bring in revenue to their publications. But, for online publishers and media brands, personalisation is key to creating value. It’s the most powerful way of boosting engagement and driving value. Publishers must use personalised solutions across all devices and platforms to really find out about their audience and deliver the content readers want. 45% of our survey respondents said personalised content will be developed further in 2017.

Publishers like the New York Times and Washington Post have experimented with personalisation and customisable push alerts that allow readers to tailor notifications to their interests: this way they’ll never receive an annoying push notification again, because the content is something they are actually interested in.

An engaged reader is always more valuable. An engaging experience is worth paying for. 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 important for publishers to start implementing additional features which enhance the standard product.


The industry is ever evolving and changing therefore it is in everyone’s interest to continuously monitor what strategies other publishers are applying to grow and nurture their digital audiences.

The question is: are you digitally ready for 2017?

Find out how we can help you achieve you goals in 2017.