Share this post

Last updated June 14th, 2018

It’s no longer just about eyeballs.

In the early days, as print publications moved to the web, one of the key metrics companies and advertisers cared about was pageviews – how many sets of eyes scanned a page, even if only for a second or two. In doing so, they effectively took the same measurement tool used for print – reach, which was measured in part by circulation – and applied it to the digital landscape.

In the print model, media companies earn revenue from the reach they have in their distribution channels. Their reach allows them to sell advertisements that exist alongside readable content such as news stories. In digital, reach was translated into the number of pageviews – or clicks – that a piece of content achieves, a metric that helped drive advertising sales in digital media’s inception stage.

Except reach quickly became outdated in the digital world, as advertisers came to realize that the number of clicks an article receives doesn’t take into account how many people actually read or interacted with the content or advertisement. The rise of bots and clickbait has also artificially inflated the number of clicks some sites receive, leaving behind numbers that are basically meaningless.

With that in mind, a growing number of advertisers have turned their backs on pageviews as a way of determining where to spend their advertising dollars, instead prioritizing audience engagement over the breadth of audience reach. The best indicator of content quality isn’t how many people see it, they believe, but how much time those people actually spend with it.

The rise of bots and clickbait has also artificially inflated the number of clicks some sites receive, leaving behind numbers that are basically meaningless.

Today, engagement is what pays

This shift from media distribution to media consumption dramatically lowers revenue capacity and puts significant pressure on companies to deliver a compelling value proposition to advertisers.

Consider media organizations like The Financial Times and Say Media, both of which clearly understand the relevance of engaged time and have placed it at the center of their value proposition to advertisers and users. Like a growing number of websites, they are showing they understand that just boosting traffic isn’t enough. Not all traffic converts.

As a user becomes increasingly engaged, they become more willing to pay for a digital media organization’s content or services. The MIT Sloan Management Review report, Turning Content Viewers Into Subscribers, asserts that engagement is the key to turning casual readers into paying subscribers, using a ladder model to frame how companies can boost engagement over time. Using what the research dubs the “Ladder of Participation,” you can prompt site users to progressively accelerate their onsite engagement to become paying subscribers.

Implementing an engagement model promotes readers to return, register and subscribe – all of which is good for your bottom line. But engagement is driven by a commitment to identifying who your audience is and giving them what they want, when they want it – not just by spraying and praying on social media, which is the path chosen by many media companies today.

In fact, social media is being used by many media organizations as a way to solve their digital publishing dilemma of increasing engagement with their community, website, brand and content creators. But this means media organizations are handing over a huge opportunity to platforms that have their own business goals.

Social media sites are looking to solve their own audience development challenges, by creating interactions with their brand, community and content – interactions that often overlap very little with media organizations’ engagement goals. Facebook’s recent change to its algorithm is just one example of this, placing greater priority on posts from family and friends than on news feeds and content from companies. The social media giant acknowledged this when it announced the change, saying that “this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some pages.”

Get the most out of your audience engagement

The solution comes down to owning your engagement platform, in order to take full advantage of your audience and drive engagement to meet your business goals. When media organizations commit to engagement and take ownership of their channels, instead of relying heavily on social media sites that have their own agendas, they can focus their efforts on increasing and owning their audience’s interactions, connections and relationships.

With Viafoura, you can grow your audience and increase revenue using your own customized solution. This is the first step in moving past counting clicks, to a process and platform that is specifically built to work in today’s engagement-driven digital world.

Interested in learning more?

Connect with us today to learn how Viafoura can help you build, manage and monetize your audience.

Connect Now

Jesse Moeinifar

Founder & CEO
Jesse Moeinifar

Founder & CEO of Viafoura, is a serial entrepreneur with multiple successes spanning a range of industries, including real estate, digital media and software. Dedicated to disruption, Jesse is passionate about game-changing ideas and credits his accomplishments to assembling teams of smart individuals committed to solving challenging problems.

Want to read more? Subscribe to get the latest insights on building a direct relationship with your audience.
Like what you read? Subscribe to get the latest insights on building a direct relationship with your audience.
Viafoura would like to send you notifications on upcoming research and news.
You can turn this off at any time.
Get Content
Not Now
Want to read more? Subscribe to get the latest insights on building a direct relationship with your audience.
Like what you read? Subscribe to get the latest insights on building a direct relationship with your audience.
Contact an audience engagement specialist today by filling our the form below or giving us a call at
Get started with Real-Time Commenting
+1 800 711 4838
Ready to build a direct relationship your audience?
Contact an audience engagement specialist today
Or give us a call at
1 800 711 4838
Contact an audience engagement specialist today by filling our the form below or giving us a call at
Get started with Viafoura Community Management
+1 800 711 4838
Ready to build a direct relationship your audience?
Contact an audience engagement specialist today
Or give us a call at
1 800 711 4838
Contact an audience engagement specialist today by filling our the form below or giving us a call at
Get started with Live Chat
+1 800 711 4838
Ready to build a direct relationship your audience?
Contact an audience engagement specialist today
Or give us a call at
1 800 711 4838
Contact an audience engagement specialist today by filling our the form below or giving us a call at
Get started with Viafoura Live Stories
+1 800 711 4838
Ready to build a direct relationship your audience?
Contact an audience engagement specialist today
Or give us a call at
1 800 711 4838
Contact an audience engagement specialist today by filling our the form below or giving us a call at
Ready to build a direct relationship your audience?
+1 800 711 4838
Ready to build a direct relationship your audience?
Contact an audience engagement specialist today
Or give us a call at
1 800 711 4838