The biggest challenge newspapers face is that they own their content, but others distribute it online and feast on the conversions.
It doesn’t have to be that way, says Emil Jimenez, CEO of PASSION1.
“We believe that newspaper publishers, the people who create the content, should take back control of both the content and the commerce,” he says. “Take control of your content. And take control of the money-generating opportunities available on mobile.”
As Facebook leans into its new mission to strengthen communities using local news – content that people discuss rather than passively consume – the stakes have never been higher.
How can publishers claw back revenue?
Think mobile. Think differently. And take action.
“We’re in a transition,” says Robert Knox, PASSION 1 Director of Sales and Operations. “The days of selling just an impression on a printed piece is being replaced by a quantifiable user action. Advertisers increasingly look for performance rather than visibility.
“The transition is not going to happen overnight,” Knox adds. “And it’s going to require publishers to start thinking differently.”
1. Make mobile part of your overall strategy
The current major shift in the publication industry is that readers are preferring to consume content on mobile over any other means of communication. A good strategy takes this into consideration, offering content via a mobile-friendly website as well as a native application. The advantage of a native application is that you can onboard a user, upsell subscriptions, gather valuable user data, send geo-located offers, incorporate your printed publication with print recognition and continually upgrade engagement opportunities with your readers. As digital readership increases, the publication can begin to look at ways of reducing the cost of printing and distribution over time.
According to the Pew Research Center, traffic increases for digital news sites are driven by mobile users with almost three times greater growth in access for mobile devices versus desktop. While mobile access is up, time spent with news on mobile devices is down, which underscores why it is so vital to focus on compelling mobile presentation
2. Invite readers in
The powerful, central role mobile phones play in consumers’ lives makes the device a lynchpin to increase engagement, extend audience and open new revenue streams. “Publishers must understand that they are in a completely new collaborative relationship with both advertisers and readers,” says Knox. Today’s readers want to interact, review content and contribute to discussions. Eighty percent of millennials want brands to entertain them, according to a 2012 study by Edelman Berland.
3. Get really, really personal
Mobile devices are intimate by definition. Use mobile to interact with and engage your readers in new ways, such as print recognition, enhancing the physical paper or extending its power and presence to new realms, such as video. Personal messages stand out, breaking through the thousands of ads from multiple platforms that people are exposed to every day. Mobile data can help publishers understand their readers’ preferences and optimize the content offering. Mobile features such as geo-location – targeting messages to users in a specific geographic location, based on their profiles – and time-targeting – displaying ads on a particular schedule – are new forms of advertising that demonstrate tremendous value to your local advertisers if executed well. They extend, rather than replace, the familiar quarter-page print ad.
4. Leverage cost-smart tools
Too often publishers have opted to develop new digital platforms in-house only to spend big and come up short. “You can bury yourself in cost before you reap the return,” says Jimenez. IT departments stretched to capacity lack the bandwidth for development, ongoing updates and maintenance.
PASSION 1 is a mobile native app platform that helps newspapers and magazines digitally transition their publications to reduce costs, increase advertising revenue and increase reader engagement with in-app features.
Outsourcing through a software platform such as PASSION 1 “keeps additional IT overhead off your books, will have scalable pricing according to your needs, and ultimately reduce costs over time,” says Knox.
The platform allows publishers to dive deep into their user data to increase readership numbers and retention while displaying clear ROI for their advertisers.
PASSION 1 is part of Passion Communications, a global agency that specializes in bridging digital and traditional media. The PASSION1 LLC, led by Robert Knox, is based in Miami with a center of excellence in Prague, Czech Republic.