Digital publishers, including trade publishing websites, have to do more than just engage their web audiences. They have to engage advertisers, too, if they want to successfully monetize their sites.
RealMatch brought in Wallace Ryland, CMO of Bedrock Business Media, to conduct a RealMatch webinar on building, engaging and monetizing a web audience in the age of Big Data. While Big Data has its problems, it also promises big opportunities, like the opportunity for trade publishers to develop a more holistic view of their audiences, build stronger online communities, and attract advertisers, subscribers, and customers.
Big Data: Potential Problems
Big data is basically what it sounds like: collections of enormous, complex data sets. The problem that most interested parties have with it is that there’s so much of it that traditional database management tools and data processing applications are insufficient to handle it. The main challenges with Big Data are
When you can get your arms around big data or learn to mine it for your specific needs, it presents you with a world of opportunities.
The Opportunities of Big Data
While big data alone is of little use, according to Ryland, learning to manage it and derive relevant information from it bring big payoffs: better targeting of information to your audience and more effective monetization of your website. The key to managing big data is defining what you really want to know about your audience. These facts help you develop a deeper, 360-degree view of your audience. Knowing your audience is the key to going from talking “at” your audience to talking “to” your audience. This is the key to audience engagement, one of the keys to monetizing your site.
What You Can Do Once You Learn to Use Big Data
One of the better monetization methods is the use of custom job boards. Job boards that don’t address audience needs and wants are pretty useless. However, when you’ve gained a comprehensive view of who your audience is and what they want, you can provide the job board that speaks to them. And the great thing about job boards is that they attract both active and passive job seekers, plus people who are simply curious about employment trends in their industries.
According to Ryland, a well-targeted job board not only provides hard return on investment in terms of earning money on your website, but also “soft” return on investment in terms of good will and bringing existing audience members back. However, one of the best benefits of the targeted job board based on comprehensive knowledge of the audience is that it attracts new traffic and that new traffic is largely made up of people very much like your existing audience. This helps tremendously in the evolution of any online community.
Learn to Use Big Data and Monetizing Your Audience Is Easier
Monetizing a website isn’t easy. Ryland suggests that 10 to 15 revenue streams are ideal. To effectively monetize your website, you have to:
- Know your audience and what makes them tick
- Collect plentiful and accurate data on your audience
- Find new traffic made up of people very similar to your existing audience
- Engage your audience so that people will return repeatedly
Having an engaged, thriving audience is the key to not only developing a strong online community, but also to attracting high quality advertisers and boosting advertising revenue.
Today’s digital initiatives, such as big data, enable trade publishers to learn more about their audience and use that information to engage both the audience and site advertisers. You can engage the audience with targeted content and with recruitment advertising on your site via a custom job board; you can capture even more information about your audience through resumes and career content. The result is a site that advertisers will want to advertise on and that visitors want to return to.
Photo Credits: Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net, Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net