- Media companies must provide extraordinary digital experiences that compete with Big Tech organizations to win audience attention and revenue.
- First-party data can tell organizations how, where and when they can engage audiences on a personalized level; however, only 25% of companies are data-driven.
- Interactive and social experiences can add value to publisher properties.
- Customers who use Viafoura engagement tools experience up to a 364% boost in time visitors spend on their web pages each week and 248% more page views.
- 80% of all user registrations happen on pages that have digital engagement tools.
- Publishers must prioritize engaging users on their own websites and apps over Big Tech platforms to reinforce their direct connections with audiences.
- By teaming up with Viafoura, media organizations can deliver memorable digital experiences for audiences in a highly profitable and sustainable manner.
No matter what type of content a publisher produces, every media company is striving for the same goal: to earn human attention.
But your organization is competing with far more than other media organizations to win the attention of advertisers and subscribers. It’s also up against any other company that serves people outstanding digital experiences, like Netflix, Amazon and social media platforms.
And the only way to give your organization an edge over its competitors is to provide users with frequent digital experiences that are highly captivating. Without doing so, your media company will lose the attention of potential audiences and advertisers — as well as their associated revenue — to companies that offer better user experiences.
“Gone are the days where you could simply create a set of content, put up a paywall, wait for people to arrive,” says Edward Roussel, head of digital strategy and development at The Times and The Sunday Times. “You’ve got to work really hard to catch people’s attention.”
Here’s how your media organization can effectively add value to its online community and secure attention, advertisers and subscribers by creating captivating digital experiences.
Follow an engagement blueprint based on first-party data
The most engaging digital experiences for audiences are often built around their unique interests and habits. But guesswork isn’t enough to help you determine what types of experiences will actually resonate with your media company’s users.
That’s where data comes in.
By collecting different types of first-party user data and extracting actionable insights, you can inform and strengthen your business’s community engagement plan. This is essential for bolstering registration, subscription, onboarding, customer retention and ad engagement strategies.
First-party data can give your organization a clear picture of your audience members and their preferences, which can be fed into their experiences around your brand to win their ongoing attention in the future.
“Once we understand who (the customer) persona is, then we can walk through the customer journey to make sure we’ve got the right content, at the right time, on the right channel, to build that relationship between your brand and your target audience,” says Michael Beckerman, Torstar’s chief client officer.
Unfortunately, the International News Media Association highlights that only 25% of organizations are led by their data.
Media leaders must start embracing their first-party data now — especially as third-party cookies die out — if they hope to power highly personalized, engaging experiences that can transform passive visitors into active, loyal brand advocates.
Elevate user experiences with interactive opportunities
To earn consumer attention consistently, media companies may want to consider investing in user experiences that involve an interactive component. These interactive or social opportunities — think push notifications, comments, likes, replies and author follows — encourage people to stay interested in content for longer and return to a website or app after leaving.
In fact, a Viafoura study reveals that digital engagement tools can boost audience interest significantly, resulting in:
- A 364% increase in time spent on customer web pages each week
- A 248% boost in weekly page views
- Notable user registration growth, with 80% of all registrations taking place on pages that have on-site engagement tools
Since publishers can build visitor habits through subtle, interactive digital tools, the value of their properties can grow over time as these experiences become a part of their audience members’ daily routines.
“The most successful (subscription programs) are supported by consumer experience strategies that create the stickiness necessary to keep customers hooked, happy and renewing,” shares West Monroe, a consulting firm, in a report on the state of subscription services.
Host engaging digital experiences directly on your website or app
Although it’s crucial to develop interactive experiences to succeed in the media industry, not all engaging spaces across the internet are worth investing in.
For instance, engaging followers on social media or another third-party platform does not offer your company complete control over its audience, data, content or related revenue.
Rather than relying on these third-party platforms, media companies need to start hosting engaging experiences directly on their owned and operated websites and apps for greater access to their communities and profits. Otherwise, organizations won’t have the resources they need to understand and consistently attract their audience members.
According to a media reporter at Digiday, “(publishers) are finding the direct access to readers — away from competing social media algorithms — can serve as an honest way to see what readers want most and are adopting their subscription businesses to meet those needs.”
John Witherow, The Times of London’s editor-in-chief, also reports that more than half of consumers don’t remember what news brands publish the stories they read on Big Tech platforms, which threatens the identity of media companies.
Organizations hoping to connect to their audiences with competitive and memorable experiences must, therefore, prioritize digital engagement on their own properties.
Your media company doesn’t have to build out highly competitive digital experiences on its own, though. By embracing Viafoura’s suite of digital experience tools, your organization can continuously amplify the value of its website or app and strengthen its profitable, long-term relationship with audiences.