Online news platforms provide customers well put together, timely content from different perspectives every single day. They are the sources people turn to when they need to know what is going on in the world, in the different parts of their country, in the animal kingdom, movies, sports, and more.
Yet, not every online news platform has a solid digital marketing plan in place that will win them more readership that they can count on to convert into revenue and to come back to their site often.
The Online News Marketer’s Pain Points
Working in marketing for an online news publisher definitely comes with its set of perks and benefits in terms of building contacts with different industries and brands. However, in a changing economy, advertisers and clients want to make sure they get their money’s worth when they choose a particular publication to advertise with.
At the same time, readers want more engaging content every day that resonates with them personally without being fed ads or promotional content. This fine line is what marketers in online news publishing need to constantly balance, along with investing in the right tools to communicate with readers, measure results and form partnerships to provide better customer experiences.
Publishing news and content on your website alone will not do anymore. Study by the Pew Center for Research has shown that almost 62% of adults in the United States alone get their news via social media. This number is only predicted to rise as more adults begin to use platforms like Twitter and Facebook to discover news. This means investing in channels like video and podcasts, as well as being present across mediums including Instagram, Snapchat and whatever comes after them.
As a consequence of publishers content thriving largely on social media, and news being consumed in bite sized portions, the importance of personalization has grown. The two schools of thought in this domain when it comes to news are that
a) News should not be personalized, and that all content should be freely available to users who can pick and choose what they want to read.
b) News should be personalized because readers are now accustomed to social networks giving them updates and content related to what they are already interested in.
Either way, as more readers move to being comfortable with a personalized news stream, news companies must invest in personalization solutions for their email newsletters, to drive engagement and bring visitors back to their websites. On site, personalization should be part of a digital marketing plan and will ideally be optional to every logged-in reader rather than something that is pre-decided for them. This is a key area where online news publishers can distinguish themselves from social media networks in terms of their quality, unbiased, and diverse offerings.
All the distribution and personalization in the world can’t save marketers who don’t place metrics as a priority in their digital marketing plan. Some of the basic metrics that any publisher should have on hand are
- Returning Visitors Vs. New Visitors
- Ad Monetization Revenue
- Organic Subscriptions – How is the community growing?
Img: American Press Institute
Apart from these metrics, publishers will soon have to use tools to measure the interactions that happen with users and their content on different social channels. This could be in the form of article viewing heat maps, video views, downloads, podcast listens, shares and a whole lot more to help them understand their audiences right.
Do you work in Online News Publishing? What are the strategies you have found to be useful in your digital marketing plans? Let us know.