Newspaper Digital Summary-1/2/2017

Jeff NAAThis blog’s purpose is to keep audience and revenue executives up to date on the massive changes taking place in the newspaper industry by selecting specific stories that show how that is happening.  See how newspapers are addressing those changes in the top stories below including-Five reasons why engagement is so hot right now

Rethinking engagement strategies for a home page bypass This isn’t a doom-and-gloom blog post … just a PSA.

Five reasons why engagement is so hot right now Will engagement continue to be the media buzzword of 2017?

Can Chat Apps Help Local Papers ‘Talk’ Their Way Out of  Distress? Local newspapers keep grasping for the giant numbers that Facebook dangles in front of them

Imagining local advertising, 10 years down the road Most traditional media will be dramatically transformed, much of it interactive

Fuel for subscription gains in Chicago: Cubs, not Trump THE ELECTION of Donald Trump may be driving a surprising bump in newspaper subscriptions in New York and Washington, DC. But in Chicago, the batter is the Cubbies.

 

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Newspaper Digital Summary-12/26/16

Jeff NAAThis blog’s purpose is to keep audience and revenue executives up to date on the massive changes taking place in the newspaper industry by selecting specific stories that show how that is happening.  See how newspapers are addressing those changes in the top stories below including-Behind The New York Times’ Surge To 2.5 million Subscribers: Toughening The Facebook Wall Helped

‘2017’s going to be a bloodbath’: Confessions of a beleaguered independent publisher  Surviving as a digital publisher is hard enough, but it’s even more so for independent, pure-play digital media companies that don’t have massive scale or other business lines to lean on.

Media predictions for 2017 Hard to believe that we’re reaching the end of 2016, a year with one finger firmly pushing down on the ‘bad’ end of the scale.

Your Social Media Cheatsheet for 2017 Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms seem to push out changes every other day. We round up the ones you need to know before 2016’s over.

The Boston Globe uses Facebook groups to create direct connections with readers While many publishers are trying to forge direct connections with readers as a defense against Facebook, The Boston Globe is using the social giant itself to engage its readers.

“Getting comfortable asking for money”  “News organizations spend so much time telling everyone else’s stories that we forget to tell their own.”

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Newspaper Digital Summary-12/03/16

Jeff NAAThis blog’s purpose is to keep audience and revenue executives up to date on the massive changes taking place in the newspaper industry by selecting specific stories that show how that is happening.  See how newspapers are addressing those changes in the top stories below including-More publishers turn to content-recommendation networks

5 Digital Marketing Tools Every Print Media Sales Rep Should Get to Know Better Most legacy media organizations know that if they want to help their SMB advertisers succeed in a more meaningful way, they need to get a bit more digitally savvy.

AMP’s long game At one year, the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages project has hit the gangly teenage stage.

How the mobile lockscreen could be the next big opportunity for publishers Mobile alerts are fast emerging as a key discovery mechanism to rival search and social, providing a significant opportunity for publishers to build loyalty and habit.

How Digital Are Kids Today?  Quality of access is an issue for many kids in lower-income families

For Most Small Businesses, Social Is Top Marketing Tactic  In September, Vistaprint Digital surveyed 1,001 small business owners in the US about their online and offline marketing mix.

More publishers turn to content-recommendation networks The “around the web” ads that populate big news sites are not without their detractors, but these ads are growing in number, not waning.

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Newspaper Digital Summary-11/25/16

Jeff NAAThis blog’s purpose is to keep audience and revenue executives up to date on the massive changes taking place in the newspaper industry by selecting specific stories that show how that is happening.  See how newspapers are addressing those changes in the top stories below including-The Times subscriber bump and the ‘Trump Effect’

How Top Social Media Experts Reach Their Audiences Using new social media platforms for audience building

Is Black Friday’s Importance Waning for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers? Black Friday sales have traditionally been used as a success metric to track the strength of the retail industry

Confessions of a national newspaper exec: ‘Publishers haven’t got their shit together’ Lamenting the dominant share Facebook and Google have in the digital advertising market has become a common motif in media owner circles. But some feel publishers need to get better at standing their ground.

The Times subscriber bump and the ‘Trump Effect’ The paper of record clocks 70,000 new subscribers since election day, two and a half times its normal growth

New media has created a world where “everything is true and nothing is true” It’s an issue even President Barack Obama has been thinking about.

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Why aren’t we rewarding our best subscribers?

dscI have to admit, I’m hooked on Dollar Shave Club. Not only do they have really good products, but they also give me free stuff. The more I spend with them, the more free stuff I get. The more free stuff I get (which is usually a sample of some new product), the more I spend. It’s a vicious cycle that both of us enjoy.

I’ve been with them for several years now and purchase several of their products on a regular basis. I say that because I think I would be considered one of their “best subscribers”. I’m an EZ Pay customer, there’s been no lapse in service and I buy other products from them other than just the executive blades every month.

Getting my “box” from DSC again this month made me think about our print and digital subscribers, especially the ones that have been with us through thick and thin (multiple pricing actions, smaller papers, changes in  billing cycles). These hard-core subscribers have hung in there with us even though we’re asking them to pay much more of the tab for the opportunity to continue to get news and information from us.

So why don’t we take better care of them?

With the launch of All-Access programs a few years ago (that coincided with the launch of metering in most cases), many of us took a stab at creating a “membership” model to reward our subscribers. It goes without saying, but many membership models had one purpose: to make the price increase pill that went along with All-Access launches much easier to swallow. Most were done as cheaply as possible and weren’t maintained very well.

Some newspapers developed strong programs that really worked and were actually in place before the All-Access era began. I’m thinking programs like Bee Buzz Points from  The Sacramento Bee. In circulation circles, this program was the gold standard for a very long time and still is very effective and loved by their subscribers.

Now, I’m not advocating that we run out and build an exact copy of Bee Buzz Points for every newspaper.

What I am suggesting is we develop a systematic method to reward our best subscribers for their continued business. Whether it’s based on length of service, revenue per subscriber, the purchase of multiple products or some other metric, I’m positive the ROI, in terms of retention alone, makes the launch of a comprehensive rewards program, worth the cost.

And the cost is always the issue.

There are great rewards solutions in place at many companies that work very well. I keep a Delta Amex card because the perks that come with it (free bag check, priority boarding and frequent flyer miles) are clear benefits to me. The free companion ticket or the occasional pass to the Crown Room doesn’t hurt either. All of these “rewards” cost Amex money, but I’m sure the analytics prove that the loyalty that comes with them is worth it.

With the ever-increasing importance of consumer revenue and the need for print subscribers to be here for quite some time to come, it’s time we make the investment in a comprehensive rewards solution. Let’s do the analysis, complete the testing, corral the data and either create our own solution or partner with companies that know how to do this.

It is an investment that’s long overdue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Digital Subscription Growth, Data and Keewee

bullseyeDepending on where you are in your digital subscription growth strategy, things might be getting a little tougher in terms of continuing to grow the number.  Perhaps much tougher.

If you’ve lowered the meter, experimented with different pricing models (A/B or A/B/C testing) and marketed the heck out of them, using data to drive both acquisition and retention is the logical next step.

I talk about this in a previous post (Digital subscription growth-personalization is the key) and it’s important newspapers dive head first into the data pool in order to continue growth.

Why?

Because digital subscription growth continues to be very important to newspapers and in many cases, is one of the most important goals they have for the remainder of 2016 and 2017. In conversations with several newspaper companies in the last few months, several have stated their goal is 15%-25% growth in digital subscriptions moving into the next budget cycle.

Again, depending on where you are in your digital subscription growth strategy, the low hanging fruit is gone and has been for some time. Finding potential subscribers now requires a scientific approach that only data can deliver. Unless you’re one of the newspaper companies that have developed their own data solution, you’ll need a partner. Data companies like Leap Media, Marketing Solutions Group, Marketing G2 and many others can help find mirror images of your current digital subscribers and target them. Not only can they help you find them, but most can tell you the best way to contact them and can handle the communication process. If you haven’t explored these solutions, I highly recommend that you do for both print and digital strategies. Partnering with these companies or ones like them requires an investment, but if continued growth is the goal, you’ve got to do it.

But what about targeting potential subscribers on social? We’ve all sent subscription offers to our followers, but very few have seen substantial results from those type efforts. The same need for science applies to tapping into this very large audience. We need to use data to connect our content with the right audience on social.

While I’m sure there is more than one company that can help with social targeting, the one I’ve read about and researched is Keewee.

Simply put, Keywee uses natural-language processing to scan and understand what your content is about and then uses its vast database of historical performance to target audiences that have been shown to act on content like yours. They develop different variations of paid posts, with optimized bids for each audience target. They also provide insight into how your paid posts are performing with your targeted audiences, across platforms via an easy to understand dashboard.

While my description makes the process sound simple, what they do is fascinating.

According to an article on Digiday.com, The New York Times has been using Keywee since September and was reluctant to say exactly how many subscriptions it has sold this way. But the Times said the service “constantly outperforms” other channels. The Times said it’s getting a 150 percent return on subscription revenue for every dollar it spends this way. Another key stat: Half the people coming to the site this way are first-time visitors.

Keewee’s client list is growing to include Kiplinger, BBC and National Geographic to name a few.

Like other data initiatives, finding the right target audiences on social that have been shown to act on content like yours requires a investment, but the potential for continued growth is evident. Tapping into this very large audience requires science as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newspaper Digital Summary-11/11/16

Jeff NAAThis blog’s purpose is to keep audience and revenue executives up to date on the massive changes taking place in the newspaper industry by selecting specific stories that show how that is happening.  See how newspapers are addressing those changes in the top stories below including-Community News’ Fight to Succeed: ‘Sustain Local 2016’

At Hearst Newspapers, a New Digital Strategy to End ‘Flying Blind’ Just how far will local newspapers have to go to plant their flag commandingly in the fiercely competitive world of digital?

The New York Times thinks it can add a million more digital subscribers A weak third quarter at The New York Times isn’t slowing down the company’s digital ambitions.

How the Financial Times grows subscriptions by focusing on its journalism If you were to make a list of the most venerable and well-known publications in the world, the Financial Times would be towards the top.

Snapchat Doesn’t Want To Share Revenue With Publishers The way publishers and platforms collaborate is pretty straightforward: Publishers get ad space on the platform and then the platform splits revenues between the two.

‘No one’s making money on Facebook’: Video publishers share what’s on their minds Publishers aren’t about to abandon social platforms anytime soon — the potential reach is just too big and alluring — but the relationship isn’t exactly as warm as it used to be.

Community News’ Fight to Succeed: ‘Sustain Local 2016’ Local news sites have encountered a big disconnect in the digital world.

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