Since the inception of digital media, building consumer loyalty has been important for brands everywhere. But as reader revenue becomes the key to sustaining media companies, industry professionals must now decipher what kinds of experiences and content truly matter to audience members.

Bonnie Kintzer, CEO of Trusted Media Brands, explains that “we are living in the experience economy, and consumers — especially millennials — are willing to pay for products or experiences that have value.”

So what kinds of experiences with the media are people willing to stick around for?

You can unravel some of the most effective tactics that media brands are using right now to drive consumer loyalty. That way, you’ll be able to enhance your company’s existing strategy to attract audience members and retain them in the future.

Online Features That Enable Social Interactions

Humans need a social outlet. And since physical distancing continues to be so critical to our safety, consumers depend on opportunities to interact with others online to fill the void. 

Brands have an opportunity here to offer solutions that foster social interaction online to combat the increased levels of depression and anxiety that Gen Z has reported experiencing as a result of home isolation,” says Nick Gardner, who runs a podcast on Gen Z. 

This doesn’t just apply to younger audiences, though. 

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From live conversation and chat tools to interactive games, people from all walks of life want the chance to engage with one another and form meaningful connections that they can nurture every time they return.

Explainer-Style News Stories

As the pandemic continues to run its course, consumers still have a lot of unanswered questions. Both Emily Oster, who launched a newsletter focused completely on COVID-19, and BBC News have noticed that people are craving explainer-type content to get more details on the virus… especially now that worldwide lockdowns are going into their second wave.

“The questions we are getting are much more about people’s everyday lives (amid the outbreak) and by capturing those, we can respond in a way that actually meets their needs, rather than us coming up with the most generally important content.” explains a senior software engineer at BBC News Labs. 

At the end of the day, media companies are seeing a spike in interest for in-depth coverage that’s relatable and understandable.

Video-Streaming Platforms

The popularity of video-viewing platforms has been climbing well before the pandemic ever hit. Now, Industry experts are realizing that consumers favor on-demand streaming platforms over regular cable or satellite TV. 

And this has only been accelerated by the pandemic as consumers look to fill the extra time they have at home. 

With the breadth of streaming services available — both free and via subscription — consumers will look to build their own smorgasbords of content to suit their appetite, funding this from their current TV costs,” Forrester’s Principal Analyst Jim Nail states

As media companies like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video continue to engage consumers through top-notch video-viewing experiences, users are encouraged to return to their platforms over and over again.

Hobbyist Content

While the news is essential to keeping individuals informed and safe, there’s a clear desire for content that distracts from the doom and gloom of the pandemic right now. 

That’s why media companies are seeing a huge amount of consumer interest in content that targets particular at-home hobbies. 

“Publishers who can capitalize on this surge in attention and build loyalty now will be in a strong position to maintain this engagement as we settle into the much anticipated ‘new normal,” reads an article published by the Digital Content Next media organization.

Businesses That Communicate the Need for Consumer Support

Media companies that clearly state the value of their subscription programs and why they need financial support are striking a chord with consumers. 

Publishers like BuzzFeed News, The Guardian, The Daily Beast and  Portland Press Herald have all been direct with readers about their need for consumer-based revenue, and are seeing a major boost in support.

This strategy is helping consumers recognize that they rely on trusted news sources regularly and must actively support quality journalism so they can continue to rely on these companies in the future. 

Your business’ ability to build consumer loyalty is ultimately a never-ending journey. So be sure to constantly test out new ways to improve the experience with your brand and secure loyal community members in the future.

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