3-minute expertise share: week ending 3 June 2016

How Chicago-based publication The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business… A 3-minute round-up of the expertise and insights that the Zapnito team wants to share with you this week.
3-minute expertise share: week ending 3 June 2016

This week, Nieman Lab reported that the new subscription-based sports site The Athletic will charge $10 per month in a bid to provide high-quality specialised content to its readers. In his article entitled ‘Chasing subscriptions over scale, The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business - starting in Chicago’, Ricardo Bilton examines the publication’s decision to charge a subscription fee in a market oversaturated by free and readily-available content. The Athletic co-founder Adam Hansmann discusses the genesis of his company and his aim to avoid creating scale for scale’s sake: “It’s very easy today to be click-driven and produce articles that don’t have a lot of substance or depth and don’t cost that much to produce. But that dynamic is disappointing for fans who want higher-quality content”.

Zapnito similarly operates on the understanding that publishers can create high quality content and generate revenue. We support a wide range of revenue streams including single- and multi- sponsorship models, native and display multimedia advertising, and e-commerce and subscription options.

In ‘Your content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated’, Harvard Business Review’s Nick Westergaard points to the increasing use of content marketing. (According to recent data from the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of marketeers undertake content marketing, with another 76% noting that they’re on track to produce more content this year versus last year.) Westergaard is careful to point out the crucial need for a content marketing strategy that is both “business centric and customer aware”. In his plea to avoid aimlessly mass-producing content, Westergaard explains, “to blindly create content that further crowds an already noisy online marketplace is irresponsible. We have to be more strategic if we want to produce better content. Even if that ultimately means producing less of it”. Relatively few marketeers have adopted a documented content marketing strategy, which Westergaard suggests is vital for brands looking to create long lasting impact.

With several Zapnito customers using the platform for content marketing, at Zapnito we certainly agree that more is not necessarily more when it comes to creating and using content for promotional purposes. It must have value to the user and this tends to come from the author having genuine expertise to share on the subject, or through carefully curating the expertise of others.

Ad-blocking continues to take centre stage this week with Digiday’s report: ‘Survey: 80 percent of those who know about ad blocking use it’. Lucia Moses underlines the increasing uncertainty publishers are facing as “fresh figures [show] a sharp rise in ad blocking by mobile users” which may come as “bad news for people who might have hoped that ad blocking is a fad”. The question of how publishers should react hinges on factors such as “the loyalty of [their] audience as well as their ability to successfully deploy alternative revenue streams”. As ads no longer mean money for media companies, publishers are yet again forced to rethink how best to generate income.

Contact us to discuss how Zapnito can help you develop new advertising and sponsorship revenue streams, through your experts and expertise.