Paywalls are becoming more common in the age of digital publishers. Since there is a decline in print circulation, large publishers such as the New York times have adopted them in an attempt to increase their digital revenue. By producing higher quality content or selling more exclusive ad space(or no ads at all, in some cases) some publishers hope to increase loyal readership and monetize their readers. There still remains a lot of debate regarding whether or not paywalls are a good idea, but naturally, it depends on the brand.
In the long-term, paywalls have been shown to increase revenue but only at the expense of advertising revenue. Many large publishers have seen an increase in subscriber revenue, only to discover an equal loss in advertising, not to mention reader losses. The NYTimes lost 10% of it’s readers in two years, and Times of London lost 4 million unique readers (or around 62%). Publications like The Economist tend to lose less, but only because their content is more specialized and tailored. Losing community engagement is a large risk to your monetization strategy if not done correctly.
Many publishers have discovered that growth in digital subscriptions slows down, or even hits a wall after a while because readers will often seek out a free alternative, especially if they don’t deem the content to be valuable enough to pay for. If the content is valueable, a user might want to share it – and that causes another issue when it comes to social engagement when their friends and social networks aren’t able to view the content (or click on your ads).
Knowing these things, if you’re still interested in implementing a paywall, we do have some recommendations.
Consider a metered paywall – allow users to access a limited number of articles monthly before they are asked to subscribe. This allows them to view your content (and it’s value to them) before they are required to buy in.
Put a paywall only your most exclusive content – If you have information no one else does, or write a particularly valuable segement, ask people to subscribe for that instead of for all of it.
If you utilize a strategy that negotiates between totally gated content and totally free content, you’re more likely to avoid the largest issues associated with paywalls, and improve on your ROI.
Find out how we can help your monetization strategy by downloading our white paper.
The crowning jewel of the digital age is communication. Communication with friends both near and far, family members spread all over the world, meeting new people from countries we’ve never been to and last but not least – the ability to have our opinion heard across media outlets. We’re now able to tell products what we think of them without having to wait on a phone line for hours or write a lengthy letter with little hope of a reply. We can express our opinion on daily news or heavy issues with ease. What this means for the user is a sense of freedom and value. And what does this mean for your company? That your community may mean more to your brand than your CEO. Yeah, I said it.
Traditionally, companies actions have been judged based on their CEOs, owners, marketing campaigns and/or rare reviews that appear in newspapers or television. People would decide to try your product based on those things. Now, it’s about what users are saying. Your consumers (and future brand advocates) are the voice of your company and they can be leveraged to great effect. In fact, 58% of people who join branded consumer communities did so because a friend posted about it, talked about it or invited them. A whopping 83% of branded community participants are willing to become advocates for the products and services of that brand. It stands to reason then, that the community is a powerful thing and absolutely needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. By allowing consumers to interact with your brand, share its content, and feel like they’re a part of the process, you expand your consumer base and best of all, your advocates. Creating goodwill and a sense of community is only a bonus – a bonus that has worked for some of the largest brands in the world.
We’ve previously discussed the benefits of hosting your own communities, rather than relying on social media. Your own community, situated on your own site, allows for more control on branding than social media does – you play by your own rules, not Twitter’s. It’s also important to consider the data you can capture from your consumers who login using Social Login, and what you can do with that data. It’s time to reach out to your consumers, engage them and watch what their combined power can do for your brand.
Find out more about building your community by downloading our free white paper.
Last night we held a talk with our very own Victor Anjos, on the topic of Data Modeling with Cassandra (sponsored by DataStax). After some lively conversation and networking, we settled in with our sushi and the talk began. The purpose of the meeting was to go through real-life Cassandra data modeling exercises, giving attendees the chance to participate in designing a service. The team chose to use basic “LinkedIn” like functionality as the “real life” example, since it’s a service familiar to everyone.
— Viafoura (@viafoura) August 6, 2014
Victor began the night by brainstorming with the group on which data entities would be required to build something like LinkedIn from scratch. They picked Job Postings as the focus of discussion and began by describing the type of information available in a Job Posting. To figure out the database design, the group moved into a discussion about the types of searches that would need to be done against that data.
— Viafoura (@viafoura) August 6, 2014
The group engaged in friendly debates over the best ratio of read to write information. After identifying a set of required searches, Victor led the team into a discussion on how to model the data to facilitate these searches (how to query, primary keys, cluster keys and query patterns using truth tables).
— Viafoura (@viafoura) August 7, 2014
A lively Q&A followed, getting participation from all and a healthy dose of networking shortly afterwards. People from all kinds of industries came out, learned a lot and got involved. We were happy to be a part of it, and are grateful to Datastax for its sponsorship!
Media executives have a tough job to do. You have to think about what will most benefit your community while still driving up your KPIs, all without sacrificing the look and feel of your brand. You don’t want to betray your user interface, nor do you want to clutter the website with plugins that only superficially drive up pageviews and ignore the all-too-important time spent on site. So how do websites like Buzzfeed and Elite Daily keep people so thoroughly engaged that after reading for hours and hours, they realize they’ve gotten next to no work done and it’s almost the end of the day and that report won’t finish itself?!
Well, there’s a science behind it actually. A branch we like to call “Pluginology” (yes, it’s real but no, please don’t double check that). Each plugin serves a different purposes, and in order to best make use of them, it’s important to know exactly what those are.
Editor’s Pick is a great tool that, at it’s core, makes a user feel valuable to the community. A moderator or editor is able to choose comments they like – whether they’re insightful, funny or informative – and highlight it for the whole community to see. A user feels rewarded knowing that their participation is being acknowledged by the brand itself and is more likely to return and become a loyal community member, which positively impacts associated KPIs (time on site, page views, etc.).
Each site awards points differently – maybe you give out 5 for every comment, 1 for a like and so on. For users that gain the most points, you can choose to feature them – rewarding them further for being the most active members of your communities (who are often brand advocates, as well!).
Showing off the most recent comments made on a particular article (or site wide) can show users, old and new alike, where the action is happening. It’s a great way to draw in site visitors who aren’t sure where to start – let them see what your community is capable of, what their thoughts and opinions are and show them what they can be a part of.
Top Discussions allows you to highlight articles with the most commentary – it shows the visitor what the most popular conversations or topics are at the moment. This is a fantastic way to highlight what’s important to your community and it helps to keep the conversation going, which results in more pageviews.
By highlighting the most popular comments, you’re able to show off the opinions your users agree with, and it helps to show visitors the tone of your community right off the bat. Not only are popular comments great insight into your community’s preferences, beliefs and behaviours, but it also serves to draw people into the conversation – whether they’re lending support or debating.
Deciding Which Plugins To Use
It’s important for you to look at your community and decide what it truly needs, and what KPIs you want to focus on. Since each plugin is fully customizable to suit the look and feel of your brand, it’s a matter of your engagement strategy when deciding what plugins are best suited to meet your objectives.
Plugins like Recent Comments and Editor’s Pick put an emphasis on time spent on site, which is a valuable and often overlooked metric. The longer a user spends on your site, the more likely they are to engage, become an active user and then, in turn, a brand advocate.
On the other hand, plugins like Top Comments and Top Discussions encourage pageviews, enticing users into clicking on and consuming your content which is featured handily on whatever page you choose.
Our plugin system is designed to load quickly and to be as flexible as possible. Only interested in Top Users and Editor’s Pick? Good news! Plugins can be enabled and disabled at will, allowing an à la carte solution for your engagement initiatives.
Let us help you find out what your community is missing – book a demo today.
This is the age of data. Data is important and it’s out there, whether you make use of it or not. The problem is, a lot of brand executives still don’t know what to do with it and we can’t blame them. It can be overwhelming. Heck, it can be distracting. But good data is gold. And the brands that understand their audience the best will be the only ones left. So how can this affect your ROI? How can you make use of it? Face it – you need a game plan. Here are some things to consider:
We’re all more than familiar with the unspoken rules of the internet, the dogma of the digital age. Meme’s like “don’t read the comments” are so often repeated it’s no wonder we treat them as rules, rather than mere guidelines. We hear a lot of these myths so often they’ve almost become mantras and that’s why, before they spread further, we’re going to clean them up.
We’ve all had this happen. You stride into the office, say your ‘good morning’s', you’re whistling. It’s a beautiful day. You’re prepared to engage with your community, compose some witty, informative content, you’re already thinking about a BLT for lunch. You sit down at your desk, open your moderation panel and bam – someone’s negative comment on your article has taken the spring out of your step. Whether it’s customer complaints, harsh opinions or even trolls, a negative comment can put you in a grey mood in less than a second. You’re a community manager, and this is what community managers do, no matter how difficult it is. You are the unsung hero of the internet. So, how do you deal with those comments not just appropriately but professionally as well? Continue Reading »
Location: Downtown Toronto (King/Spadina)
Type: Full Time
So you want to join an innovative team, do you? Be a key player in our mobile strategy, help us make decisions on that end and have millions of eyes on your work? Does iOS, Android, Java, Objective-C and Flash float your boat? What about highly-available, highly distributed systems, crazy optimizations and break-neck speed performance? Does that all sound like fun? Great! Read on.
We are looking for a mobile developer, well versed in iOS and Android development who is passionate about code craftsmanship, continuous improvement and agile development. We need elegant solutions to the most complex challenges. Experience crafting applications using Java, Objective-C and/or other JVM languages is a must. We are a dynamic, innovative team building a global real-time platform utilizing latest technologies like Storm, Kafka, Zookeeper and the full NetflixOSS stack for our main application and want to marry your mobile skills to an already rocking API. Continue Reading »
We’ve all been there – there’s an article you just need to comment on and you can’t wait. It doesn’t matter that you’re super tired or that the contents of the article got you so furious you can barely think straight. Maybe you partied a bit too hard and even though you’re finding it hard to type, you know you owe the community your opinion one way or the other. Continue Reading »
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