As the economic downturn causes dwindling circulations, publishers must take a more consultative approach to content
With news in recent years of publications either losing readers or worse, having to fold the operation entirely, it is more important than ever publishers consult readers about what content they crave, to ensure circulation figures remain healthy, advises market intelligence tools provider Cint.
While the recession may have caused people to prioritize their expenditure more carefully, with magazines and newspapers perhaps being viewed as non-essential luxury items, publishers who stay in tune with their readers’ preferences and interests are more likely to hold onto them and encourage loyalty.
Forward-thinking publishers are already using the latest tools to gather market insight and shape editorial accordingly.
Cint’s CEO, Bo Mattsson, explains: “In addition to the effect the recession has had on print media, the increase in online editorial has also impacted the industry. Plus, with online outlets starting to move towards pay wall operations, it’s more important than ever for publishers – online or offline – to carefully think about how to engage readers.
“Inviting readers to become part of an owned market research panel is an excellent way to gather data; their interests, likes, dislikes and even their reaction to current editorial, to gauge what is hitting the spot and what isn’t. Moreover, effective panel management and surveying puts the publication front of mind, helping to encourage readers to pick up the latest print copy or visit the website. In turn, this can facilitate further monetization as publishers can demonstrate web traffic figures and a steady circulation to potential and existing advertisers.”
Setting up online panels is easy and panel communities can also be opened up for other consumer organizations to survey. A ‘thank you’ payment is made to poll respondent as well as the panel owner, so publishers can not only benefit from gathering insight, but also from an additional revenue stream.
Bo added: “New ways to generate revenue in tough times is welcomed by many organizations and businesses, and owning an online panel that can be used for intelligence gathering purposes and also as an additional profit generator is an attractive proposition for publishers and bloggers.”