78% of consumers are loyal to brands that treat them as individuals

It’s very easy for publishers to lose sight of the fact that the readers who consume the content they produce are, in fact, individuals.

As much as publishers want to profile their readers and establish common themes or pain points that resonate with their collective tastes and interests, it’s important never to lose sight of the fact that each reader is his or her own individual.

Publishers can’t allow themselves to lose sight of those facts while collecting audience data in an effort to stimulate audience-growth strategies. Everyone wants to feel like they’re valued and that a publisher offers a user experience that’s unique to their specific preferences.

A reader who feels valued and appreciated through personalised content recommendations is far more likely to become brand loyal, which is the pathway to earning subscription revenue from loyal readers.

Majority of readers reward brands earning their loyalty

Here are some helpful facts to paint a clearer picture: According to the 2022 Digital Consumer Trends Index, as many as 78% of consumers admit to having a favourite brand because that brand rewards them for their loyalty. This could be expressed in the form of discounted subscription rates or a free month of access to premium content.

Additionally, 74% of those same consumers prefer brands that treat them as individuals. It further validates the point that every person has unique tastes and preferences. When a reader visits a Web site to engage with new content, they want to believe the content was created specifically for them. They want to feel as if the entire user experience is built to appeal to their unique interests.

Readers provide plenty of incentive for publishers to earn their loyalty. More than 70% of readers say their favourite brand is a business striving to build a relationship with them. Another 64% say their favourite brand rewards their loyalty with surprise benefits, and 58% cite their favourite brand as the one that treats them like a VIP.

Everyone wants to feel like they’re special. Publishers that know how to create those feelings among their readers earn that invaluable brand loyalty.

First-party data shines a light on how to personalise content

Here’s the truth: 90% of readers respond positively to personalised experiences. As publishers, it’s essential to speak to individual readers using messaging that appeals to their interests. It’s through this approach that publishers show the humanity behind their brand identities, effectively communicating as one individual to another.

That personalised engagement and the ability to boost reader loyalty is created through first-party data. First-party data enables publishers to learn specific details about individual buyers and monitor any change in those behaviours over time. Publishers use these insights to build rich audience profiles that develop behavioural patterns of their most avid readers.

A data-driven content strategy prioritises personalisation

Using these audience profiles, content creators produce highly personalised content across the entire Web site. Audience segmentation is one of the building blocks of a content strategy that’s informed by behavioural data.

Once you begin segmenting your readers, you can go a step further and analyse where in the subscription journey different types of readers happen to fall. Segment readers as new visitors, known readers, and subscribed loyalists to uncover richer details of how people respond to your content.

Using an audience insights solution, all of this data can be pulled into a dashboard that your creative team can review at their convenience. Creators can review the journeys taken by current subscribers to understand what types of content converted them into brand loyal readers.

With those insights in hand, a data-driven content strategy can flourish and ultimately guide more readers to cross that threshold into the realm of becoming loyal subscribers.

Profile readers, build loyalty, boost subscriptions

Rich audience profiles tell creators how individual readers will respond to freshly created content. Using those insights, your creative team can double down on creating the types of stories that foster greater reader engagement. By relying on first-party data to direct the content strategy, you successfully create those personalised experiences that foster reader loyalty.

As data-driven content strategies develop over time, it’s important to never lose sight of the fact that the audiences you depend on for first-party data, helpful insights, and subscription revenue are all made up of individuals.

Individual readers have their own tastes and preferences, but it’s incumbent on publishers to learn about those interests so readers are incentivised to provide more first-party data or, as they become fully brand loyal, subscription revenue.

This blog was originally published by INMA

Four New Types of Subscribers That Media Companies Can Target

The pandemic has completely changed life as we know it over the past few months. As consumers continue to social distance and limit their exposure to public places, their interests and habits are evolving. And some media companies are noticing that these behavioral changes will be long-lasting.

“The pandemic has disrupted every industry, sector, and sense of normalcy we’ve ever known,” states Jamie Rudick, the head of research and insights at Condé Nast Britain. “Though as we look to the next chapter, we see new values and virtues emerge – ones that will welcomingly carry on post pandemic.”

Publishers can use these emerging interests and values as a focal point to target consumers with engaging experiences online and drive subscriptions. To do so, media companies must first understand what new groups of consumers are willing to pay for.

Get a complete rundown of the new types of potential subscribers, and how your company can add them to its network of loyal community members:

People Looking for Social Outlets

Consumers have been deprived of in-person events and human connections since the pandemic’s start — but social interaction is essential to the public’s well-being. As a result, many consumers have become eager to move their social lives online. 

Even sports fans are relying on publishers for virtual opportunities to connect over industry milestones and updates.

“Facing the reality that packed theatres and auditoriums likely won’t be returning this year, would-be spectators are coming to terms with the prospect of paying for virtual cultural stimulation,” Condé Nast Britain explains in a report. 

While some consumers are going online to maintain existing friendships, others are simply searching for a way to share their feelings about topics they care about with strangers. 

Media companies can use this to their advantage by providing consumers who are looking for social outlets with opportunities to participate in live conversations.


Consumers that previously filled their schedules with commuting and social excursions suddenly have an abundance of time on their hands at home. As a result, they’re testing out old and new hobbies to keep themselves occupied as well as for therapeutic purposes.

In this time of uncertainty and instability, and a world and existence we no longer recognize, people need an anchor to familiarity and what [brings] them comfort, stability, safety, and happiness,” Dr. Jeff Gardere, a clinical psychologist, explains to CNN.

Poynter notes that hobby-specific publications have seen a particularly large surge in readers and engagement since the beginning of the pandemic. This new type of consumer is highly interested in building up home-based skills, like cooking, baking, gardening and home improvement.

To capture and hold the attention of these hobbyists, media companies may want to consider creating regular tip-style content and events related to popular hobbies.

Virtual Escapism Seekers

With countless vacations canceled and ex-globetrotters now stuck at home, the pandemic has pressed the pause button on travel. Those itching for a getaway are now craving other, safer ways to escape the grind of their daily lives. 

“Cornell University research has shown that there is a very close correlation between planning trips and mental health,” says Travel + Leisure India and South Asia’s editor-in-chief, Aindrila Mitra. “So there is no quarantine on dreaming, and it is our job to focus on armchair travel and provide virtual trips, which offer an escapism of sorts.”

Media companies can target this group of travel-hungry consumers through virtual experiences centered around nature, wellness, tourism and planning trips. 

Need some inspiration? Culture Trip is offering a series of interactive online experiences that focus on at-home international experiences, including meditation classes with a Buddhist teacher and Israeli or Morocco-based cooking classes.

Information Hunters

Between the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, consumers have never been more hungry for information. These news-obsessed individuals are constantly on the hunt for new and relevant information they can trust. 

In a survey with 2,500 consumers, 62% of respondents stated that they’re currently craving informative content. 

These individuals can be engaged through information hubs, like live blogs, where any ongoing updates related to a topic can be posted in a reliable space. 

This is the time for media companies to make use of these budding consumer interests to build stronger connections with audiences and drive subscriptions. At the end of the day, publishers that can spark a balance between entertainment, social engagement, escapism and reliable information will position themselves for growth.

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