As the publishing industry grapples with the modern marketplace, many publishers find themselves relying on outdated revenue streams that lack long-term potential. The key to driving revenue growth lies in engagement. BuzzFeed sends out a variety of emails to subscribers ranging far beyond their content alone. This cultivates a more human image that encourages greater loyalty, with visitors from emails spending three minutes longer on the site than those coming from elsewhere. Yet despite these figures, 59% of publishers spend more on acquisition than engagement – even though those who prioritise engagement over acquisition see greater success.
In order to modernise revenue streams and see greater success over the coming years, publishers will need to make engaging with their audience a top priority. At the same time, this engagement needs to be of a high quality in order to build trust and create longer-lasting relationships that boost CLV. We know that people want to spend their time online more productively, consuming high-quality content and building connections. Brands are responding to this by providing a pathway to peer-to-peer interaction, bringing their community of customers together in order to drive greater engagement and stickiness. By building a community around their content, publishers can attain a 360 degree view of the customer while delivering a stronger and more condensed online experience.
It is the job of publishers to make their audience better at what they do. A community where users can learn both synchronously and asynchronously is the best way to achieve this. Treat your community like a real-life members’ club; opening with major fanfare will draw attention to what you’re doing, but you need substance to back it up when the hype dies down. Identify your core members and focus on delivering value to them. Generating positive word of mouth from a few members is better than delivering a forgettable experience to thousands.
Moving to a community model also requires brands to be community-led. You now own a platform which gives you real-time access to the insights of your audience. Take this insight on board and let it drive your strategy. As time goes on, the positive reputation you earn will attract more members, opening up greater opportunities for ROI.
The modern-day customer expects more from brands, demanding a personal relationship that makes them feel involved in something bigger. Publishers have the advantage of an existing audience for their content. By engaging with this audience through a more two way community, they can extract insights and intelligence which will help them build trust and revenue. The customer relationship must become more than just a transaction. What better way to achieve this than with online expert communities?
''The modern-day customer expects more from brands, demanding a personal relationship that makes them feel involved in something bigger.''