Come Together: Publishers Harness the Power of Community-Based Publishing
Research showed much of Miller's audience seeks to address their professional concerns by learning from industry peers. His audience was also thirsty for education from industry experts. It made sense to bring those leaders together in one place where his audience could more easily learn from and engage in industry discussions.
Miller decided to revamp three of UBMTech's websites to create a more communal environment. He invited over 250 CIOs and other technology experts (many of whom already had online followings) to blog, comment, and engage with the tech community. Miller strengthened his community by making UBMTech websites the authoritative platforms that the audience needed, while at the same time giving that audience a voice to join in on the discussion.
"In our case," says Miller, "the website is not about us, it's about the industry's discussion. This is where the industry and its leaders are discussing the big issues of the day. If you want to know what your industry is talking about, you better be here."
A community-driven approach has a snowball effect, says Miller. When a story hits the right chord, it gets the community talking and asking questions, which inspires more editorial content and even greater conversation. With all those impressions generated from readers tracking the industry's conversation, it's easy to see how community-driven content pays off. Responding to its audiences' demands, UBMTech also dropped its print platform altogether in April of 2013 to focus on integrating its digital editions, web content, and events.
The strategy, which was implemented on three UBMTech websites, EE Times, Light Reading, and InformationWeek, has made a tremendous difference. Within just two and a half weeks of the revamp, InformationWeek, averaged 30,000 more pageviews a day than before the upgrade, a 23% jump. It also upped its average pageviews per visit from 1.94 to 2.16, an 11% increase.