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Publishers: 4 methods to develop and retain digital audiences | What’s New in Publishing


Rolling Stone UK’s digital director affords 4 methods on discovering and conserving audiences

Methods to find and retain digital audiences are one of many greatest focuses for as we speak’s digital publishers. Fierce competitors on-line – from streaming providers and social media feeds to direct opponents – is pushing viewers growth professionals to develop laser-focused progress and retention methods.


  • Digital director Charlotte Cijffers has constructed her experience within the space of viewers progress working throughout a variety of journal manufacturers together with publications like Dazed, Perspective Journal and extra lately, the relaunch of Rolling Stone within the UK.
  • Talking to the Media Voices Podcast, Cijffers acknowledged that each writer must develop progress methods acceptable to their audiences. However she additionally spotlighted various motion areas which have introduced outcomes throughout the vary of  publications that she has labored with.
  • Her 4 prime ideas – leveraging archives, viewers analysis, optimising content material suggestions, and growing a powerful tech stack – are all targeted on surfacing content material that audiences will have interaction with. She stated the ‘curatorial energy’ of journalists and editors ought to by no means be underestimated.

Journalism is essentially the engine of all these companies, and generally we will lose sight of that in a sea of homogenous, branded content material.

1. Archives

  • Each writer has some type of evergreen content material appropriate for refresh and repurposing. Cijffers believes publication archives are one of the vital highly effective, but in addition one of the vital uncared for publishers instruments for rising audiences. 
  • Constructing out archive content material – because the Atlantic has simply performed – is usually a comparatively low price approach of manufacturing a depth of participating content material that can even help website positioning efforts. Cijffers believes it helps purchase new customers after they go to your website for the primary time. She stated:

Leveraging your archive accurately and successfully is unquestionably the important thing when it comes to creating that regular, long-term groundswell of site visitors to your websites.

2. Analysis

Selecting the best content material for repurposing is essential to the success of resurfacing archive content material. Viewers analysis is the apparent option to get this proper – Cijffers explains that with out realizing your viewers ‘inside-out’ you possibly can’t count on to draw, convert and retain new viewers members.

Working at Dazed Media, she targeted on creating collections of easy-to-discover content material round sure key subjects. The subjects for these have been decided via the usage of in-person surveys and analysis, in addition to web site behavioural knowledge.

It’s actually essential to maintain asking the query, what do individuals in your viewers care about…

3. Suggestions

Making content material as discoverable as attainable for guests as soon as they’re in your web site is essential. Content material suggestions play an essential half in rising discoverability, for archive materials but in addition for information tales, photographs, galleries, listicles, video and audio.

Cijffers defined that content material suggestion and tagging had ‘an enormous influence’ with each writer she has labored with, influencing pages per session and session period. She stated:

Any writer ought to be their content material suggestion algorithms and tagging algorithms.

4. Know-how

Cijffers last tip ties every of the opposite methods collectively – a strong tech stack. She doesn’t advocate merely including ‘further bits’ of expertise, however as an alternative recommends making an allowance for what’s time-efficient for workers and, above all, what’s greatest for the person. She stated:

It was fairly an funding for sure publishers I’ve labored with to put money into their content material suggestion algorithms, for instance. However the outcomes spoke for themselves.

This piece was initially printed in Spiny Developments and is re-published with permission. Spiny Developments delivers updates and evaluation on the trade information you want to keep on prime of in the event you’re operating a media and publishing enterprise. Subscribe to a weekly electronic mail roundup right here.



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