The more you understand your users, the more opportunity you have to grow your community of followers. And the more you grow your community, the more your business can ultimately generate revenue and brand awareness. But without first-party data about your audience, you’re working from an incomplete picture.
To grow, media brands need to know the profile of their users, their preferences and their behaviours. It won’t just help you improve and personalize your content lineup; obtaining rich first-party data also empowers you to supply advertisers with the crucial targeted audience segments they want.
Building engagement to gain data
Our research has found that engagement leads to loyalty because it creates experiences users will stick around for. The longer they stick around, the more likely they are to register, which will give you access to their real-time data.
So what types of engaging experiences can you provide your users? We’ve identified six Viafoura solutions that can help your content convert users from unknown to known, including: moderated conversations, or safe spaces for registered users to discuss content; follow buttons; live chats around a topic, event or video; social share bars; trending conversations; and live blogs, or real-time interactive content posts.
For example, Viafoura’s personalized newsfeeds are onsite feeds similar to a Facebook feed, aggregating all the interactions that are relevant to a user, including what and who they follow. Our data has found that they generate 3.15 more page views per month among both anonymous and registered users.
How data helps your content strategy
With 64% of consumers willing to give up their data for relevant services, personalization is your key to giving readers what they want. When your newsroom has access to your audience’s data insights, they become empowered to create a personalized experience for the user, which is increases audience retention.
They can do this by extracting audience insights from Viafoura’s engagement solutions. One example is Viafoura’s Community Chat, which allows media companies to host real-time chats around popular content.
“With (Viafoura’s) Community Chat, we’re delivering more value to the fans, while also increasing engagement by 150%,” says Kristian Walsh, head of sports audience engagement strategy at Reach PLC.
So what kind of behaviour and preferences can you track from users, and what can that tell you about them? For starters, look at what types of content are driving people to engage. What are the topics and themes that are capturing interest? Who are the writers of this content? You can then rank an article’s performance based on clicks and audience segments to help determine the topics your readers are most interested in.
By understanding who their readers are, what they’re interested in and how they express that interest, newsrooms can align on a high-conversion content strategy based on a strong relationship with their audience.
How data incentivizes your advertisers
That rich audience data allows you to understand your audience more intimately, but it also better equips you to provide targeted audience segments for advertisers. Advertisers today are looking beyond clicks, and are seeking metrics like time-spent, return visits and number of page views: all signs of an engaged audience. So the more you know about your own audience, the more appealing you can make your site to advertisers.
“Viafoura gives us access to valuable engagement data that helps drive business decisions,” says Philippa Jenkins, the head of registered audience at The Independent. “We know what content topics and formats are resonating most with our users, so we can deliver more of what they want.”
User registrations, direct newsletter sign-ups and a view into audience interactions allow you to understand your users at the engagement level, to inform your sales team, and paint a better picture for advertisers.
In fact, the New York Times is capitalizing on its first-party data, having found that digital ads that used its first-party data accounted for 20% of its core ad revenue, up from 7% the year before. Ad Exchanger reported that subscriptions also soared during the same period, hitting 5.1 million digital news subscribers and 1.6 million subscribers for other products.
Brands that glean actionable insights on their data will be much better positioned to deliver the goods that advertisers want, in an age where advertisers have become much more savvy in the data they demand.