Video: The Difference Between Traffic Generation & Audience Development Strategies
Editor’s Note: The below video is excerpted from the Publishing Executive webinar “How Publishers are Using Content Analytics to Drive Strategy.”
There’s a reason why many editors use the term “content” reluctantly. “Content” is such a vague term as to be nearly meaningless: it says nothing about the quality, function, objectives, or user experience that are the defining characteristics of any content.
Fortunately, as content analytics become more accessible and better understood by both advertising and editorial interests, our understanding of content engagement is becoming more sophisticated.
In a recent webinar we hosted on how publishers are using content analytics, Atlantic Media’s associate director of digital analytics Adam Felder spoke about how the company’s content strategy has evolved as a result of reevaluating the importance of pageviews versus time-spent.
Felder admits that for a very long time -- and for valid reason due to advertising spending being driven by impressions -- “we’ve been frequently myopic when it comes to looking at pageviews.”
Instead of looking simply at raw traffic, Atlantic Media is now paying greater attention to the type of audience content attracts, how long readers are sticking around after engaging with that content, and whether they are coming back to the site later on.
As a result of this rethinking, Felder sees traffic generation and audience generation as two very different strategies. “They're actually not the same thing. When you're thinking about audience development, you want not only to get traffic to your site right now, but you want to get people to come back to your site in the future,” said Fielder.
“What we've found is the best way to get people to come back and be aware of the fact that they're reading The Atlantic, and aware of The Atlantic as a brand, and sharing with they're friends is to promote what is typically our journalistically most rigorous content. That which we're most proud of, frequently our long form content."
On the other hand, Felder said that traffic generation strategies are driven by a greater volume of content that is often shorter and less-rigorously reported. “The more at bats you have the more likely you'll be able to get people to your site.”
Watch the full webinar “How Publishers are Using Content Analytics to Drive Strategy,” where you can learn more about Atlantic Media’s content strategy, how IEEE Spectrum is using analytics to transition to daily digital content, and content trends from CEO and co-founder of analytics firm Parse.ly.
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.