The proliferation of mobile devices provide a great opportunity for publishers and advertisers to leverage the strength of publications’ historical reader relationships and also attract new readers through digital editions. Today, publishers and advertisers have a portable, convenient way to connect with audience, enhance their experience via interactive content, and generate revenues in new ways that are more effective than traditional print media.
And while smartphone and tablet ownership is increasing rapidly, readers like having easy, instant access to digital publications and are spending more time with them. Publishers want readers to engage with their content,and they look for ways to drive readership. To reach the largest audiences, publishers have to consider all phases of the customer relationship, from the zero moment of truth and downloading of digital editions, to creating engaging experiences that keep them coming back.
If this is your aim– to grow a clan of hungry readers who will repeatedly share your content and convert into digital subscribers, here are five strategies from Zuora Managing Editor, Gabe Weisert to help you drive this acquisition.
1. Create non-commodified content.
This doesn’t mean having a consistent political slant. They recognise that they can’t compete with social networks in terms of aggregation, so they make sure to offer informed perspectives, strong arguments and compelling entertainment that readers can’t find anywhere else.
2. Study online behaviour with relentless curiosity.
Learn what time of day people read, how they browse (“lean back” versus “lean in”), which content consistently surfaces and why. As a result they can accommodate a broad spectrum of online reading habits and significantly improve conversion rates. John O’Donovan, CTO of the FT, told an audience in London last month that the newspaper has doubled some of their sales funnels with relatively minor adjustments to its user flow. Data scientists are the new publishers.
3. Bundle additional services sensibly.
Whether its mobile sports video highlights or free music streams, they make smart choices about which additional services actually enhance the reader experience, as opposed to being simple perks. News UK made a considered decision to partner with Spotify because lots of people like to listen to music while they read, and most journalists love music and are happy to contribute playlists. It was a natural fit.
4. Tilt revenue balance away from advertising and towards content.
The FT actually makes most of its money from content, essentially flipping the modern newspaper business model on its head. But this has benefits on the advertising side as well. The greater behavioural and demographic insight that comes with membership plans and paywalls helps newspapers move away from empty calories like slideshow page views towards more valuable engagement metrics like time spent.
5. Along with dozens of other industries, recognise the increasing importance of live events.
The Guardian is a pioneer in this category – or at least it will be when its event space opens in 2016. Membership access to TED-style forums, celebrity speakers, music concerts and Mediterranean cruises is one way to broaden the subscription experience and connect like-minded readers.
Digital magazines are completely different from print media, giving readers an enhanced online content experience. This shake-up has already reached publishers’ doors. And it’s high time for you to learn more about the new opportunities brought in by the proliferation of mobile and tablet devices. You don’t have to crawl your way alone, Realview can help!