How Can a Newspaper Monetize Its Digital Audience?

Monetizing content in today’s digital world has left many print publications scrambling to find alternatives to engage customers and potential customers, but in all of the hurry, it seems a few key points may have been missed. As Matt Lindsay, president of Mather Economics, points out in a recent piece published through the Newspaper Association of America, the ways in which digital avenues have changed the country’s readership haven’t changed all that drastically in the end.

SEE ALSO: Monetizing Content for Newspapers, and How You Can Make it Better

Three Quick Points

In his article, Lindsay states that publishers who are switching to a digital platform from a print platform first need to analyze what consumers are reading and when they are reading it. Next, it’s important to realize that online content that is published without any type of price point is free, and as such, readers will not be agreeing to any price in order to view and consume such content. Finally, because digital content has the ability to reach so many more viewers when compared to a print publication, it is up to publishers to analyze and make use of reader data in order to ensure that each piece of content is not only finding the right reader, but also that it is being monetized properly.

Content Management is One of the Keys

Along with understanding your audience and what and when they are seeking specific pieces of content, you also need to ensure that your content is properly managed. What this means is getting infrastructure and managerial processes in place that will allow readers to access content when the time is right and not before or after. An example of this might be where you have a premium piece of content, a story, and it is placed improperly on a public source, such a social media, wherein it should have been placed on a separate server to be accessed by paying customers.

Likewise, suppose you place a piece of content on your site and it becomes so popular that your site crashes, leaving the piece of content unreachable for future visitors. Without the proper IT infrastructure and staff, and without the right posting procedures in place, such an event may lead to the loss of hundreds, thousands, or more of potential customers.

Know Your Audience

Finally, understanding your audience is important in any type of marketing campaign, but it is especially important when promoting your company on the web. Because Internet traffic can come from a variety of sources, 24 hours a day, it can be difficult to decipher exactly who is and who is not a viable potential customer or subscriber. This, once again, is where analytics comes into play. You’ll want to take the time to measure out all available data on your site’s visitors, perhaps through third-parties, in order to capture a fuller picture of the individuals visiting your site and what pieces of content they click on and spend time reading.

With some careful planning and strategy, combined with analytics, you’ll be more likely to target your advertising and attract likely customers sooner rather than later.

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