How to guide your newsroom
towards a Data driven model
Media Outlets with data driven newsrooms are capable of designing more effective strategies to increase readers conversión and drive growth. If you are wondering how to start with data driven strategies you will find the basics steps to follow below.
Think about your business, who are you?
Who am I as a media Brand? What can its my offer to readers? Am I a fast food chain offering french fries? Am I a vegan restaurant offering healthy salads?
The first step is, necessarily, to find out where you want to focus, what is your voice, what is the editorial line, the kind of news you are offering to your readers. And of course you need to cross that information with your ideal “audience”. In Digital Marketing and e-commerce they talk about “Buyer Personas”, you will need to define your “subscriber persona” in accordance to your contents.
Think about your target subscribers, think about your audience.
¿Who is your “audience persona” and what is he/she looking for?
Your website is an invaluable source of information of your readers preferences. Analysing this information, you can find easily what tipe of contents attract more traffic and boost this kind of content generation.
Now, what if the contents with higher visitors are not those that I want my newsroom to focus into?
For example. Let´s say you are a national media outlet that has identified that a certain type of topics covering celebritties gossip news are the ones that drive traffic the most.
What shall this title do? If it refocuses information in celebrity gossip traffic will certainly increase in the short term. However it is vital to take some distance and look at the big picture and the long term consequences as focusing solely in gossip may ruin its business viability in the long run.
All in all, you can not try to sell french fries to someone who wants a salad. Your strategy can not fight your aundience logic.
Where are you now? Where do you want to be next?
If you do not monitor your audiences preferences in terms of topics and contents you Will never be able to deliver what they want. That would mean your newsroom in writting in total darkness.
So, Are you a fast food restaurant were people come for French fries? Or maybe you just noticed that for some strange reason they are coming to you in search of a salad?
Is your content strategy aligned to your audience interest? Are you an economics newspaper where people come looking for food recipes?
Your web traffic analytics will help you find out and make the most of it.
Define the right KPI´s for you and start monitoring them
It is of Paramount importance to choose a single central tool to monitor all the KPI´s that you need to achieve your objectives. Protecmedia offers MAS, a push notifications and analytics tool pre-configured to offer you the most relevant information for media outlets. For example you can easily monitor real time readers of your articles vs web visits. These metric helps find out what articles trigger clics vesus those articles that are actually read and therefore most valuable to loyal readers.
MAS also segments your audience according to your readers loyalty and clasifies them as fly-bys, occasional, fans and brand lovers. This is based on the RFV index (Recency, Frequency, Volume) and llows you to apply different tactics to engage your audience.
A step by step guide to a Smart Data driven newsroom
At Protecmedia we have researched best practice in data-driven strategy and created a quick guide to help any publisher understand the benefits of a data-driven strategic approach and start implementing it quickly and easily.
This guide will help you to:
- Understand what a Smart Data Strategy is and what it's for.
- Know what steps to take to start your data strategy model
- Define your most important monitoring kpis
- Choose the technology that will facilitate your strategic analysis
BBC reader motivation tags
The BBC, identified 5 types of needs of their readers that their contents were addressing: informational, opinion, entertainment, update, educational or inspirational.
From these identified needs, researchers tried to create corresponding tags and included them in each piece of content produced. In other words, they tagged each article having the reader instead of the news in mind.
Each article had its motivational tag, which indicated the type of need it covered for the readers (in addition to its SEO and categorisation tags).
After the first month, they analysed the data and drew several conclusions about what their audience was looking for, and compared it to the content they were actually providing:
- They realised that, despite 70% of their news being of the “information update” type, that type of content only brought in 7% of the visits.
- They also concluded that news that satisfied learning needs brought them a very small percentage of audience, but it was a very loyal profile of readers, very likely to become subscribers.
6 steps to align your content strategy with your audience interest
With digital analytics, the media outlet can align its strategy with its audience interests.
There are just 6 steps to take:follow are
1. Define your goals
2. Know your position
3. Know your audience
4. Experiment and measure
5. Identify the gap between the content produced by the editorial team your audience demands.
6. Gradually close the gap to achieve your business goals.
Knowing our audience is the first step in defining and adjusting our business strategy. But what other aspects do I need to pay attention to implement the new data-driven strategy?
You need to choose the right technology. As we mentioned before, it is important to have a good analytical tool that provides immediately the most interesting data for the medium.
And you need to built the right team. Having a data analytics team is ideal, but if you do not have the resources at least you should train your team on the basics. In order to pivot the business strategy towards a data model, it is also necessary to reflect the importance of data in the newsroom. They need to be ready to welcome new digital knowledge and profiles as part of the team.
However, it is not always easy to find experts in these areas. For those media that do not yet have such profiles, Protecmedia offers personalised support. Our team of experts will work alongside your team to help your business gradually integrate the fundamentals of a full digital transformation.