With the proper engagement and retention strategies in place, your audience has the power to sustain your media company financially. 

“Consumer revenue streams, including digital subscriptions and ticketed live events, are increasingly important to news organizations as reliance on traditional advertising revenues continues to decrease,” explains Angelica Irizarry, the Inquirer’s director of events.

There’s a clear connection between active audiences and elevated revenue. However, not all media organizations are tapping into the full value of their digital communities.

Keep your eyes open for the following warning signs, which indicate that your media company may be losing out on potential revenue from its community.

High Churn Rates

Your existing subscribers are often more valuable than new subscribers. 

“It can cost five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one,” reads an article on Forbes. 

In other words, having high churn in your digital community can translate to significant revenue loss for media companies. 

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So if your company has an unusually high churn rate, you may want to consider reinforcing your retention strategy. 

Work with your engagement tool and paywall providers to identify unengaged community members that may be about to churn, and then send them unique offers and discounts to re-engage them. That way, you’ll maximize the revenue your existing customers are funneling into your organization.

High Amounts of Toxicity in the Comments

If you notice a climbing number of user-generated posts getting disabled by your moderation system, odds are, your digital social spaces are infested with trolls or spam.

Allowing offensive comments to overtake the meaningful, productive conversations within your digital properties can scare away advertisers and community members. And that means less revenue for your company in the long run.

“You can protect your social spaces by keeping your community guidelines up to date and ensuring your moderation system can properly enforce them,” says Leigh Adams, director of moderation services at Viafoura. “To discourage trolling behavior, moderators and editors can also highlight and reward positive behavior whenever possible.”

Your Most Engaged Audience Is Coming From Social Media

We’re well aware that social media holds millions of active users and advertising opportunities for brands. But this comes at the cost of precious first-party data, direct relationships with audience members, trust and, ultimately, complete revenue ownership. 

Having social media at the center of your community engagement strategy jeopardizes your company’s control over audience members and over any of the revenue earned from them.

Instead of giving a portion of your profits to big tech companies, there’s a better alternative for media companies: to invest in their own properties. 

That’s what led one media to build a brand-new podcasting app rather than relying on a third-party podcast streamer. 

“We needed it to be an experience that we control so we built apps to do this and the experience of doing the discovery, the experience of convenience, the experience of actually being in the Zetland universe when you listen to it, I think it’s quite important,” states Zetland CEO Tav Klitgaard. 

Companies can even replicate the social experiences offered by social media directly on their own properties with the help of audience development companies like Viafoura, to keep visitors on their sites and interacting for longer.

Engagement Spaces Aren’t Being Leveraged for Ads

Integrating audience engagement tools into your website or app can help your organization activate interest and conversation around your brand. However, some media companies don’t realize that there’s a significant amount of advertising revenue that can be earned from audiences through these tools.

By failing to run advertisements in these social spaces, you’re missing out on the opportunity to maximize engagement around your ads. Organizations can instead become more successful by advertising to highly engaged community members. 

“Today advertising value is measured by engagement so if publishers want to improve their ad offering, they must devise a successful engagement strategy first,” says Chris Waiting, CEO of The Conversation U.K. 

As you work to build, retain and monetize community members, keep your eyes open for warning signs that your company may be losing out on potential profit. Adjusting your business strategies accordingly will help you increase the revenue your organization can earn from its audience. 

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