As stated in Part 1, a subscription eco-system has a wide range of components which need to be understood to help media organisations carefully plan their tactics and implement a successful digital monetisation strategy.

In Part 2, I would like to expand on other key aspects which contribute to publisher’s long-term monetisation strategies: Winning a Younger Audience, Engagement and a Unique UX.

✔Step 6: Winning the hearts of a younger audience – how to create an audience which spans generations

The core audience demographic for publishers, newspapers in particular, is a more mature audience and user base. Why not invest more in the younger audience? The current rate of unemployment among young people may lead to a lower willingness to pay for online content. However, today’s younger audience could potentially become your main audience so why not invest in them now?

As a student I participated in the World Youth Summit in Glasgow. We were invited to take part in the BBC World Service programme World Have Your Say presented by Ros Atkins.

That, in my opinion, was a brilliant marketing move. The BBC saw an opportunity to establish their brand reputation among an international group of  diverse people through their radio show.

Now, five years after the event, I still listen to the BBC’s World Have Your Say. This is because of its deep level of engagement, its diverse audience and most importantly, the live experience I had in my youth, made me grow from a listener into a loyal fan.

✔ Step 7: Engage or Die

… would Brian Solis, digital analyst and principal at Altimeter Group would tell you…and he is right.

TEngagementhe Engagement element of a subscription strategy should be constant and needs to be done prior to installing the meter as well as during and after its implementation.

The more you engage, by adopting a porous meter and allowing your free stories to be shared online, the more likely you are to gather a new audience while retaining an already existing one.

Working with your audience to find out what they think about your subscription initiative, enables you to rely on their support after implementing a meter.

They want to be romanced, Tim Griggs, Executive Director, Cross-Platform Monetisation at The New York Times said. He added:

They don’t want a lot of homepage takeovers and pop ups. They wanted to just be aware of the paid model and what it meant to them and to be able to manage their free articles.

For the NYT this led to the implementation of a new feature which counts down the number of the remaining free articles.

You can also use social media to your advantage to build momentum, gain new visitors and retain your audience.

✔ Step 8: Post Implementation UX: how to make your customer feel unique

The New York Times is one of the most relevant examples of how effective unique user experiences can be in triggering more subscriptions.

UXThey identified their 100,000 most engaged readers and showed their gratitude by allowing them to freely access nytimes.com for nine months. This initiative, called the Most Engaged User Program was a success; at the end of those nine months the majority of those people became subscribers.

Another way to create more personalised, targeted experiences is through the Social Sign On which can be used to create a deeper sense of engagement for your audience.

Say tuned to Evolok; a breakdown of the next stages will follow in Part 3.

 

Ana-Maria Leonte, Marketing Executive 

Ana-Maria Leonte