What could have been better this early morning than sitting on my patio with a velvety layer of fog over the lake and Zooming into a scones-making session with Stacy Brooks, director, communications and social media for the American Physiological Society (APS)?
“The key I’ve found to subscriber retention is focused on the feeling of the relationship, rather than the stuff they get,” Robert Skrob told me on a recent phone call. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with [and train] Harley-Davidson dealers. Harley motorcycles are a premium product; they sell for 25-30% more. Yet Harley sells more than half of all the motorcycles. Buying a Harley doesn’t get you to your destination any faster. It doesn’t reduce the costs on gas. But instead it feels different to the owner. It feels like when you ride a Harley, you’re part of a movement, and gives you something to look forward to.
“It is crazy in our office. All those drive-by pickup people are coming today and tomorrow. We have about 20 sponsors—a school, a math tutoring company, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Girl Scouts, Maryland Hall for Creative Arts, Annapolis Pediatrics… We go live Monday night.”
The international media association WAN-IFRA recently held its Digital Media Asia 2020 conference, virtually, of course. “Input from the management, marketing and data teams was key to improving the subscription rate of the South China Morning Post’s (SCMP) digital version, according to Vienna Lee, SCMP’s digital marketing director, audience growth.” (This was reported on the WAN-IFRA site.)
The excellent site What’s New in Publishing has put out a new report titled The Publisher’s Guide to Navigating Covid-19, looking at eight trends that have emerged globally, as well as strategies that publishers have implemented as a result of increased web traffic.
Let’s take a look at four of those trends and see how they affect smaller publishers.
COVID-19 has changed our media habits. We’re spending more time with streaming services, social media and messenger services. Gaming has also seen a major pandemic bump. “Many people say that they expect their new habits to continue after the COVID-19 outbreak passes too,” said Simon Kemp. “One in five internet users say they expect to continue watching more content on streaming services, and one in seven (15%) say they expect to continue spending more time using social media.” Given this, they say, publishers need to find more ways in which they can make thei ...
In a post on Skift’s Event Manager Blog today, Julius Solaris writes that we need a better business model for virtual events. “[These events] need to help brands keep the conversation alive while bringing in revenue. We risk losing track of the endgame if we get sucked into the vortex of free events without a solid business proposition for what we are doing.”
He gives six suggestions:
1. Decide whether you are a conference or a tradeshow.
2. Use a subscription model for ticketed events.
3. Build a community.
4. Reward live attendance.
5. Offer better content on demand.
6. Offer one-to-one meetings and networking.
Number two intrigues me. “One of the best ideas for ticketed events that happen regularly is to bundle them and offer subscriptions," Solaris writes. "As Netflix does with shows, planners should deal with events. Bundling creates more value than selling tickets for individual events.”
This strat ...
“It may seem to be verging on madness to make this move during such unusual times, but we have found this new currency, properly communicated, has given everyone involved a new sense of purpose at a strange time.”
That quote comes from Tim Part, a manager at FT (Financial Times) Strategies in London, in an article on the INMA website yesterday.
The new currency he is talking about is the introduction of a reader lifetime value (LTV) into their editorial lexicon. “Long ago we realized the story of reader engagement was a better one to tell to the newsroom compared to a simple volumetric yarn about pageviews,” Part wrote. “Quality reads and RFV (revenue, frequency, volume) scores have long been embedded in the newsroom, but it was important to move toward LTV as a key metric.”
Interestingly, I looked up reader lifetime value and came across pre-pandemic research from Northwestern University’s Spiege ...
Our condo association told us that we have to get our dryer vents cleaned out this year. A neighbor put up a sign recommending we call this company for a group rate. So I called. They told me that the date they’ve set to come is Saturday, Oct. 24 because people can be home. I said, 'Maybe that was true in olden times (like 2019), but I know I’m tied to my laptop and condo Monday through Friday and try to get away a bit on Saturdays, so that wouldn’t work. How about another day?'”
“Well, we barely have anyone signed up that day so I don’t think so—we need to fill that day first.” Argghh.
The pandemic has brought on circumstances that require we change many of the ways and habits we have become accustomed to or to innovate and start a new habit. Here are positive examples that I’ve seen.
Double down on content. When the pandemic hit, Morning Brew launched a guide telling readers how best to w ...
“[Taking that leadership role] really was the most important moment in my career because I was able to prove to other people, to myself and to other women that you don’t have to know everything or have grown up in a certain function to take a new job. If you surround yourself with experts and establish yourself as credible professional, you can move forward and lead.”
That quote comes from Joyl Silva of Pfizer—she is a 2020 honoree in Putman Media’s wonderful Influential Women in Manufacturing (IWIM) program, now in its third year of honorees—in a blog post on the IWIM site.
IWIM is run by Erin Hallstrom, digital and content strategy director for Putman Media. She will be speaking about this successful program and all of the other roles she takes on at Putman—including their Food for Thought podcast that she created and did the whole s ...
When the pandemic started, the concern for podcasts and audio to text was that with people not commuting, we would see a big drop in audience. But Twipe reports that “research from GlobalWebIndex found the decrease in commuters has been offset by people who are listening to more podcasts (ranging from 13-16% globally). There has even been growth in advertising revenue for podcasts.”
“This is backed up by publisher experiences as well,” writes Mary-Katharine Phillips, “with Norwegian media group Schibsted still expecting to see podcast ad revenue growing by 50% this year, due to factors beyond the pandemic such as the maturation of the market.”
There's also evidence that audio to text has accelerated during this time. Dutch news website The Correspondent recently launched a new audio app for members. “We were a text-based site mostly, and our members asked us if we could also provide audio, because it’s eas ...