Viafoura Celebrates New G2 Badges for Excellence in Digital Engagement

We are excited to share a big milestone at Viafoura: a record-breaking 7 new badges and 16 new reports on G2 for Summer 2024! These badges, awarded by G2, the global software marketplace, are more than just accolades—they represent our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional solutions and fostering deep connections between brands and their audiences.

Some of the wins include:

  • #1 for Best Results & Best Est. ROI (Mid-Market Results Index for Online Community Management):  Highlights Viafoura’s dedication to delivering tangible results and a strong return on investment. We are committed to seeing the throughline of results in our customers’ community management strategies, and ensuring we build a sustainable future for journalism.
  • #1 for Most Implementable (Mid Market Implementation Index for Online Community Management): Recognized for our commitment to seamless integration and efficient deployment of our online community management tools. It demonstrates our ability to deliver practical and impactful solutions that meet our customers’ implementation needs swiftly and effectively.
  • Momentum Leader (Momentum Grid Report for Commenting Systems): Reflecting our platform’s ability to drive continuous improvement and innovation, resulting in market-leading technology with real impact.
  • High Performer (Grid Report for Commenting Systems, Mid-Market Grid Report for Online Community Management, Grid Report for Online Community Management):  We are proud to be recognized for our excellence and leadership in digital engagement and community management across multiple categories.

“This marks the 8th quarter in a row that Viafoura is setting a new standard of excellence for the industry, reflecting our team’s dedication to empowering brands to connect meaningfully with their audiences. It’s great to be recognized by our customers for driving measurable ROI and results across hundreds of global media sites.” said Mark Zohar, Chief Executive Officer. “I am very proud of the work done by every Viafouran, and excited to continue to help brands activate their audience through the power of community engagement.”

See below for a couple of standout reviews from this last quarter: 

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Viafoura actively supports our subscription business by providing a value proposition for users to become registrants and for registrants to become paying customers.” 
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Viafoura addresses key challenges in digital publishing … and leads to improved user experience, increased site participation, and better content management.”
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “En plus de la facilité à intégrer le module sur nos plateformes, nous sommes très satisfaits de l’accompagnement offert par l’équipe de Viafoura.”

Again, a big thank you to our customers for recognizing Viafoura this last quarter as the leader in community software across multiple categories. We look forward to continuing this journey of innovation and delivering even greater value!

To learn more about Viafoura’s award-winning solutions and explore why we’ve earned these prestigious G2 badges, visit our G2 profile

Thank you for celebrating these achievements with us!

Embracing Community over Audience: A Strategic Shift for Brands

Embracing Community over Audience: A Strategic Shift for Brands

In today’s rapidly evolving attention economy, media brands face the challenge of not just attracting but also engaging and retaining their target audiences. In order to compete against Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok for user attention, brands need to shift their focus from audience acquisition and start building active and loyal communities that attract creatives, collaborators and connectors. This shift, which Brian Morrissey has dubbed depth over breadth, is crucial for fostering deeper connections, enhancing engagement, and ultimately driving greater revenue and retention.

From Passive Audiences to Active Communities

Traditional brand content experiences often result in passive and fleeting audience engagement. These audiences are largely disengaged and unmotivated, offering limited value to brands. In contrast, communities are characterized by active participation, collaboration, creativity, and a strong sense of connection and loyalty. As community-building expert Greg Isenberg notes, building such communities involves several key elements:

  1. Togetherness: Providing spaces for collective interaction.
  2. Rituals: Establishing regular activities that foster a sense of routine.
  3. Identity: Cultivating a shared sense of purpose among members.
  4. Belonging: Creating a feeling of being part of something larger.
  5. Engagement: Encouraging ongoing contribution and interaction independent of direct brand involvement.

The Viafoura Digital Experience Platform: Enabling Community Building

Viafoura’s Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is at the forefront of this transformation, offering a comprehensive suite of tools designed to enhance user engagement, personalization and data utilization. Trusted by over 800 global media brands, Viafoura’s DXP empowers brands to create dynamic, interactive communities through features such as:

  • Engagement Suite: Facilitates real-time interactions with conversations, live Q&A sessions, and polls.
  • Moderation Tools: Combines AI and human moderation to maintain respectful and relevant discourse.
  • Personalization: Delivers tailored content recommendations and personalized feeds.
  • Data Insights: Leverages first-party data for deep user behavior insights, driving targeted engagement strategies.

The Transformative Impact of Community Members

Community members significantly outperform standard audiences in terms of engagement and revenue generation. According to Viafoura’s data:

  • Community members have a 5.3x higher increase in dwell time compared to regular audiences.
  • They are 45x more likely to subscribe.
  • They drive 3x more site visits.

These statistics highlight the outsized impact that engaged community members can have on a brand’s success. By focusing on building and nurturing communities, brands can achieve higher levels of engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, profitability.

Practical Steps for Building Robust Communities

To build thriving communities, brands should consider the following steps:

  1. Define Your Community’s Purpose: Clearly communicate the community’s goals and values to attract like-minded individuals.
  2. Create Valuable Content: Consistently provide content that is relevant, informative, and engaging. This will keep members interested and active within the community.
  3. Encourage Interaction: Use interactive tools like real-time comments, live chats, Q&A sessions, and polls to facilitate real-time interaction among members.
  4. Recognize and Reward Contributions: Acknowledge active members and reward their contributions. This can be done through shout-outs, badges, or exclusive content.
  5. Leverage Data: Use first-party data to understand your members better and tailor your engagement strategies accordingly.

Conclusion

The shift from an audience-centric to a community-focused strategy is imperative for success in today’s attention economy. Viafoura’s digital experience platform provides the tools necessary to make this transition, enabling brands to create engaging, personalized, and data-driven experiences. By fostering a sense of togetherness, establishing rituals, and encouraging ongoing engagement, brands can build loyal communities that drive substantial value.

Welcoming Maine Trust for Local News to the Viafoura Family!

Viafoura is excited to announce our latest collaboration with Maine Trust for Local News. The Maine Trust for Local News is the state’s largest network of independent news and media outlets, which together form an essential part of daily life in Maine. With 158 journalists on staff, we serve audiences through our 5 daily newspapers and 15 hyper-local weekly newspapers, in print and online. We cover what matters to Maine, putting a spotlight on issues of vital importance to our people, community and state. The Maine Trust for Local News is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Local News, a non-profit committed to conserving and operating vibrant, sustainable local news enterprises across the country.

Led by Matt Fulton, Chief Audience Officer, and Karen Beaudoin, Vice President of Digital Product Development, Maine Trust for Local News has a clear vision: to drive registrations and subscriptions while building vibrant digital communities. They selected Viafoura to achieve these goals, after carefully considering how our solutions aligned with their strategic objectives and operational challenges.

Matt and Karen emphasized their need for a platform that could support engaging community discussions safely while allowing their newsroom to focus on promoting our journalism and digital storytelling. Viafoura’s comprehensive suite of products, including Conversations, Community Chat, AI Content Moderation, and our Analytics Insights, provided the perfect fit. They appreciated the thorough and attentive onboarding process, which ensured a seamless integration.

This partnership is set to redefine the digital experience for their readers, encouraging more active participation and fostering a stronger sense of community.

The team at Maine Trust for Local News expects uplifts in these core areas of focus:

  • Increased registration and known users
  • A more personalized user experience
  • Higher engagement levels
  • Improved subscriber retention

Mark Zohar, Viafoura President & CEO, shares his thoughts on the partnership: “Our collaboration with Maine Trust for Local News is a perfect example of how our solutions can drive meaningful engagement and community building. We are proud to help them achieve their digital growth objectives and enhance the overall experience for their audience.”

We are proud to support Maine Trust for Local News in their mission and look forward to driving innovation and engagement together. Welcome to the Viafoura family, Maine Trust for Local News!

Stay connected with us for more updates on more exciting partnerships & more!

Wise Publishing Partners with Viafoura to Enhance Community Engagement!

We are thrilled to announce that Wise Publishing has partnered with Viafoura to enhance community engagement and provide a richer, more interactive experience for readers on Money.ca. Reaching over 10 million monthly unique readers globally, Wise Publishing operates leading digital personal finance publications including MoneyWise.com, Money.ca, and MoneyWise.co.uk. Their commitment to delivering high-quality financial information aligns perfectly with our mission at Viafoura: to empower online communities with advanced engagement tools.

Shane Murphy, Manager of Email at Wise Publishing, spearheads this exciting new chapter.

“Viafoura offers a diverse set of tools that will help us boost organic sign-ups and increase on-page engagement. We were particularly impressed by Viafoura’s extensive roster of media partners both in North America and abroad. Compared to its competitors, Viafoura provides excellent value for the services it offers, making it the ideal choice for us.”

Shane MurphyManager of Email

Implementing Viafoura’s solutions, including Conversations & AMA, Content Moderation Solution, and Analytics Insights, will significantly enhance the digital experience to achieve several key outcomes:

  • Increase in Organic Sign-Ups: By leveraging Viafoura’s tools, Wise Publishing expects a boost in user registrations.
  • Enhanced On-Page Engagement: The interactive features will encourage readers to spend more time engaging with the content.
  • Community Building: Creating a vibrant, engaged community around their content is a top priority.

“We’re incredibly excited to work with Wise Publishing and support their mission of providing top-notch financial information to consumers worldwide. Our tools are designed to create more high-value exchange moments, and we’re confident they will help build a strong foundation of community engagement on Money.ca,” said Dalia Vainer, Director of Customer Experience at Viafoura. 

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to roll out Viafoura’s engagement solutions across Wise Publishing’s platforms. We invite you to experience the enhanced community features on Money.ca and see how we’re transforming the digital landscape together.

Les Coops de L’Information Partners with Viafoura for Enhanced Digital Engagement

We are thrilled to announce that Viafoura has partnered with Les Coops de l’information to bring an enriched digital experience to their esteemed regional media outlets, including  Le Droit, Le Nouvelliste, Le Quotidien, Le Soleil, La Tribune, and La Voix de l’Est. Dedicated to delivering daily local news on significant issues, Les Coops is deeply rooted in their respective communities, playing a vital role in the growth and vitality of the regions they serve.

Marc Gendron, Directeur Principal, Croissance Numérique et Éditeur chez Le Soleil, & Kim Alarie, Coordonnatrice à la croissance numérique, highlighted the primary challenge: extending the lifetime value of a user and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Marc and Kim emphasized the importance of a reliable moderation process tailored to their specific needs.

“For us, complete confidence in the moderation process was non-negotiable. It was essential that the people in charge of moderation were completely fluent in French and could understand the subtleties of French from Québec. Viafoura has a moderation team based in Montreal and serves many French-speaking editorial clients. And they are fellow Canadians too! That was enough to give us the necessary confidence.”

Marc Gendron | Kim AlarieDirecteur Principal, Croissance Numérique et Éditeur chez La Soleil | Coordonnatrice Croissance numérique

Our solution for Les Coops de l’information includes:

Leigh Adams, Head of Moderation at Viafoura, shared her enthusiasm: “We are delighted to work with Les Coops de L’information! Our moderation team is committed to maintaining a respectful and engaging community environment, & given our expertise in moderating French-language content and understanding the unique nuances of Québec French, we are confident in our ability to support their goals of fostering meaningful conversations and enhancing user engagement!

Les Coops de L’information anticipates significant improvements in digital engagement. Marc and Kim expressed their expectations: “We hope that it will help us build a community around our contents and products. We do hope too that the conversation will be transferred on our own properties instead of occurring in third-party social platforms. This will contribute highly in driving the engagement and increasing the recency, frequency, and volume of visits and content consumption.”

We are excited about this partnership and the enhanced digital engagement it will bring to Les Coops de l’information!

Bridging Online Divides: A Guide to Comment Moderation, Internet Etiquette, and Increased Civility

As a news fiend, a data enthusiast, and amateur philosopher, I spend my days pondering the future of the media industry and developing best practices to make the internet a better/safer/more inclusive place.

It’s an interesting time to say the least.

We’ve bounced back to regular norms in almost every way post Covid era but there’s one area that continues to grow for connectivity: the comment section.

  • Will Trump win the next election? 
  • Will Caitlin Clark’s surgance in the WNBA turn a new leaf for the sport?
  • Was Jeremey from Love is Blind engaged while filming for the show?

We can share our hopes, our fears, our thoughts, our opinions, with everyone, everywhere, within seconds. In these times of economic uncertainty, and political animosity, comment sections have been transformed into a veritable battleground that my team and I wade into daily.

And publishers are stuck in the middle. As they strive to provide a space for their readers to engage, and exchange ideas, they are faced with increasingly divisive rhetoric, calls for free speech competing with increasing attempts to legislate online accountability.

I have spent over 15 years wading into the comments, keeping the pulse on how users react when news breaks, and the last few years have seen an unparalleled rise in incivility. When I meet with our clients to address this challenge, we look at what we can solve with our technology and the latest features, and quite often we’ll talk about how they want users to behave, without actually spelling it out. In the coming weeks I’ll dive deeper into what publishers can do, but ultimately comment sections are there for the users, and I firmly believe that is where change needs to start. Publishers write the rules of engagement, moderators enforce them, but only users can actually create a community. 

My years of watching communities grow, and fight, and celebrate has given me perspective on what does and does not work when it comes to responding to others online, guiding principles for how to model constructive criticism and civility. 

With a small dose of mindfulness and compassion, you can help make comment sections what they are meant to be, and what the majority of readers want them to bea place where people of all stripes and colors can engage in an open, and civilized exchange of ideas.

  1. Pause Before You Post:
    It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and fire off a hastily composed response. Take a moment to consider the tone and content of your comment. Imagine you were using your real name. Ask yourself: Is it constructive? Is it respectful? Will it contribute positively to the conversation? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then maybe it’s best left unsaid.
  2. Keep It Civil:
    Remember that behind every username is a real person with thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Avoid personal attacks, insults, and derogatory language. We all have an uncle or grandparent who might not share our views on housing affordability, or who will win the Superbowl, and yet, we manage to converse without calling them names. Disagreement is natural, but how you choose to express it is often the difference between “content enabled” and “content deactivated.” Fun fact: moderators are trained to work against bias and will not remove comments simply because they don’t like what you said – over 95% of comments that are removed for personal attacks could be approved if they were edited to follow this rule. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it
  3. Stick To The Topic:
    Stay on topic and relevant to the discussion at hand. While everything can be connected through enough tangents, comments should remain relevant to the primary thrust of the page.  Off-topic remarks can derail conversations and lead to confusion and frustration for other participants. Fun fact #2: Comments about moderation are almost always off-topic
  4. Fact-Check Before You Share:
    Publishers are increasingly cracking down on mis/disinformation that can spread like wildfire in commenting sections. Misleading or false information can stoke the flames, and contribute to confusion and misunderstandings. Take the time to fact-check your sources and provide evidence to support your claims beyond the original source. You can check out Google’s fact checking tools and tips here.
  5. Fight Fair:
    If someone offers constructive criticism or differing viewpoints, repeat step 1. Before responding, try to understand where they might be coming from, to approach it with an open mind. Engage in thoughtful discussion and be willing to reconsider your own perspectives. Remember, it’s okay to agree to disagree respectfully. And admitting you are wrong can go a long way to bridging divides.
  6. Don’t Feed the Trolls, Report Them:
    When you (inevitably) encounter users who do not play by these principles, it can be tempting to jump in and point out their missteps, tell them how wrong they are, or correct their misinformation. However, the most productive thing you can do is to not further escalate the conflict, but use flagging or reporting tools available on-site to let moderators know so they can take action. But be careful! Reporting content that doesn’t violate guidelines may land you in the hot seat.

Navigating online comment sections can be a daunting task, but with a commitment to civility, respect, and thoughtful engagement, you can help create a more positive and constructive digital environment. Remember, behind every screen is a human being deserving of empathy and understanding. So the next time you venture into the wild west of online commentary, do so with kindness and integrity.

Mission, Culture and Values: My first six months as a Viafourian!

Mission, Culture and Values: My first six months as a Viafourian!

Six months ago, I accepted a new position as Enterprise Customer Success Manager at Viafoura. Joining a fast-moving team responsible for ensuring our customers’ success and moving the market forward (no small feat!). As I’m starting to really fall into my stride, I’d like to take a pause to reflect on the incredible first leg of my journey here, and why I’m so excited for what lies ahead!

On a Mission to Move The Industry Forward

At its core, Viafoura’s mission is to empower brands to activate their digital audiences. In practice, the vision is so much greater- empowering digital publishers brings more power to build a sustainable future for the news and media industry. That focus and ethos lives strong in our culture and it’s seen with every customer interaction we have.

My first EBR was three months in with one of our larger customers, and it was also the first time that the mission really clicked for me. I had done countless EBRs, but here are some things that stood out to me:

  • Execs from different functions: We had 6 different functions represented in the room spanning from individual contributors to top level execs, this meeting mattered!
  • 3 hours long: Sounds like a lot, but it actually flew by! It was also a lesson in the trust we’ve built up as trusted advisors and partners to dedicate this much time from both sides to our partnership alignment.
  • No shortage of takeaways: We left the meeting with 9 additional items for the success plan with 3 key impact projects for the year. It was the first “aha” for me that our work really matters.

Working Alongside The Best of the Best

There’s a lot to love about Viafoura. That said, our incredible team and access to senior leadership is easily the biggest motivator for me to show up as my best self every day. There are 3 key folks I want to highlight that made my first half year something very special:

  • CEO Mark Zohar: I was able to sit down with Mark multiple times to dive deeper into Viafoura’s vision, oftentimes extending the call feeling very inspired. Whether he’s helping align strategically, or grabbing dinner with the team after a long day, Mark is always accessible, and can always be counted on to break the stress of working in a fast-paced environment with a funny meme, GIF or joke.
  • My Team: My goodness, what a mighty team we have. Within my first week at Viafoura I had met the whole team and they each took the time to train me on specific topics, making this one of the most hands-on onboardings I’ve had. Above all, I’m inspired by our team’s dedication to always help each other level up.
  • My Customers: What makes our customers stand out is how driven and innovative they are. One of my customers had 12 AI pilot projects in Q4 of last year, and they’re working on launching these initiatives to a wider audience in 2024. 🔥

Drinking From the Fire Hose

Coming from an industry that hadn’t seen any major shifts in the last 15 to 20 years, I learned pretty quickly that publishing is an incredibly dynamic industry that is constantly undergoing change. Whether it’s Google announcing SEO optimization and prioritization changes, publishers shifting from traffic to engagement quality, or building subscription models that can resonate with audiences, this industry is fast moving.

I have never seen an organization be so agile and prioritize initiatives that will have a major impact for our customers and our company. I can only explain the energy across all teams during this time as electric and aligned. It’s an exciting time in the industry, but one thing is for sure: we’re ahead of the curve & we’re ready for this!

Between being serenaded by the whole company on my first day, having my first team dinner at the best Jamaican restaurant in the city, and going to a pirate themed improv show on the lakeshore (yes you read that correctly), it’s safe to say that my first impression of working at Viafoura blew any and all expectations that I had.

2024 is going to be a big year for our customers, but it’s going to be a record-breaking year for Viafoura and I can’t wait for what’s to come!

Money.it Elevates Digital Engagement with Launch of Viafoura Partnership, in Under 2 Weeks!

We are thrilled to announce the successful go-live of Money.it, the foremost all-digital publisher for Italian-speaking audiences, in collaboration with Viafoura! This strategic partnership, spearheaded by Dimitri Stagnitto, the Founder of Money.it, is set to redefine the digital landscape in business, trading, and personal finance topics.

Money.it faced the challenge of expanding registrations, creating a vibrant community, and driving subscriptions, especially for the subscription-based section of its site. The answer to these challenges lies in the comprehensive Viafoura suite, carefully chosen to align with Money.it’s strategic business goals and operational needs.

“We are very happy to have entered into a partnership with Viafoura, which we believe is strategic for the future development of Money.it as a digital product and financial newspaper.”

Dimitri StagnittoFounder of Money.it

From Concept to Launch in Less Than 2 Weeks: The onboarding and implementation process with Viafoura were seamlessly executed in less than two weeks. The speed of implementation highlights Viafoura’s commitment to delivering efficient solutions. Dimitri Stagnitto adds, “The Viafoura team was very proactive and helpful in giving us the support we needed.”

Money.it anticipates tangible outcomes from this collaboration, including increased subscribers, enhanced user interactions, and the development of a solid base of engaged readers. The goal is to create a dynamic and interactive space where users actively participate in daily discussions and insights, potentially leading to subscriptions to Money.it Premium.

We look forward to a buzzing partnership ahead!

How The Toronto Star Is Driving Engagement and Value for Its App Users By Partnering with Viafoura

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital media, one thing remains constant: the need for engaging and interactive user experiences. The Toronto Star, one of Canada’s leading publishers, reaching over 6 million readers weekly, doubled-down on audience engagement by expanding services with the integration of Viafoura’s newly rebuilt Mobile SDK.

We sat down with Milind Sabarad, Product Manager at The Toronto Star, to gain insights into the implementation process, the rationale behind the decision, and the impact it has had on the Toronto Star’s  in-app experience.

“Enabling our readers to comment on content was pivotal for us. We aimed to enhance user engagement and create a more interactive experience, extending it seamlessly onto our Mobile App. Working closely with Viafoura's technical team, we navigated challenges together, ensuring a smooth implementation process. Despite some bug fixes, the remarkable round-the-clock support and swift resolution from the Viafoura team made this journey a success. Our team was thrilled to be the first publisher to market with this cutting-edge app technology.”

Milind SabaradProduct Manager at The Toronto Star

But why now? Commenting functionality, a feature that initially rolled out on Toronto Star’s website, fostered engaging, interactive experiences around their content, leading to steady growth in new registrations and increased time spent on their platforms. Extending this experience to their app audience, consisting of some of their most dedicated readers, was the natural next step.

Since the implementation of Viafoura’s Mobile SDK, Toronto Star has witnessed significant results.

“Being the first to market with Viafoura's new SDK was a thrilling achievement for our team," said Milind. "In just a month, we've observed substantial growth in comments generated and session length. Moreover, we've successfully extended the experience of our AMA live events onto the app, ensuring our entire audience can participate and interact with our newsroom seamlessly.”

Viafoura’s Mobile SDK offers a robust suite of engagement tools designed to elevate user experiences within mobile apps. Its key features include:

  1. Real-Time Comments: Enable users to engage in interactive conversations, synchronizing seamlessly across web and apps. 
  2. Quick and Easy Implementation: The SDK ensures rapid integration within iOS and Android apps, utilizing existing authentication systems for a seamless user experience. 
  3. In-App Notifications: Customizable news feed notifications enhance in-app personalization, fostering re-engagement with the community. 
  4. Full Customization: Maintain a consistent brand experience by customizing colors, fonts, and font sizes within the engagement suite tools.
  5. On-Device Moderation: Enable staff to moderate conversations directly within the app using their existing staff-level accounts.
  6. Fully Integrated Ad Monetization: Effortlessly integrate high-engagement ad positions within engagement tools, allowing immediate monetization without ad blockers.

Mobile apps hold unparalleled power in user conversion rates, with a 2-4x higher conversion rate than mobile web. Users spend a staggering 88% of their time on mobile apps, making it imperative for publications to invest in this platform. 

Dan Seaman, Vice President of Product at Viafoura, comments on the new rollout: “With the growing importance of user registrations and reader revenue in publishing, the role of on-site community engagement is more critical than ever. And with apps where the most loyal and engaged users are, publishers need to provide them with the best possible user experience. That’s why we have rebuilt our mobile SDK from the ground up to make it fast and easy for our customers to implement Viafoura’s powerful set of audience engagement tools within their iOS and Android apps.”.

Toronto Star’s Mobile SDK, powered by Viafoura, is the first in an exciting chapter in community engagement and leading strategic avenues with community at the center. As we move forward, Viafoura remains committed to revolutionizing the digital media landscape, one immersive experience at a time.

*Note: The statistics mentioned in the blog post are based on general industry trends and may not reflect specific data related to Toronto Star or Viafoura.
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