I missed the Online News Association conference last week because I had just returned from Asia speaking at the WAN-IFRA India conference and doing some data journalism seminars with journalists in India and Singapore.
However, my Gannett colleagues were at ONA14 in force, and they highlighted how we’re using analytics tools like Chartbeat to make sure that our journalism reaches the widest audience. We’re doing that with a mix of dayparting and content programming to make sure that we have the right content for the right audience at the right time of day, and we’re also driving an audience focus in our newsrooms that delivers real public service and engagement.
Kevin Hogan, who is the digital editor for some Gannett sites in New York, created a great Storify summary of the discussion at the Gannett Salon about the insights that Chartbeat is providing us.
A few highlights:
- Only about four percent of readers who come to a story from a link shared on social media will return to the homepage of the site.
- At Gannett, we get our highest loyal traffic at 9 am in the morning. This is definitely true at my sites. Traffic starts building at about 6:30 to 7 a.m. and then starts a gentle glide path downward through the day after 10 a.m.
- Readers use tablets and mobile more in the evening. Our desktop/mobile mix shifts to mobile between 4 to 6 p.m., and it is driven almost entirely by Facebook.
With a number of new and updated products announced, Tim Cook looked to make Apple his own just shy of three years since Steve Jobs death, and while much of the focus has been on the Apple watch, to me the most interesting part of the event was mobile payments. I instantly started thinking about how mobile payments would affect the business of journalism.
Alan Mutter updated a post he wrote on how mobile payments could revolutionise commerce, including the commercial world of journalism. For me, these four paragraphs are key:
Although the outlook (for mobile payments) is unclear, there can be no question that mobile payments will revolutionise marketing by creating an ocean of real-time, granular and precise consumer data.
This matters to publishers and broadcasters, because it means that marketers in the future probably will vector ever more of their advertising dollars into direct connections with consumers, instead of mass media. …
Because rich data – not mass audiences – will be the name of the game in the future, every local media company should be gathering as much data as possible about every household and individual in the community it serves.
The most immediate opportunities to do this are through newsletter programs, contests, site registration and smart mobile apps. Obviously, all of these tactics require close attention to government and corporate privacy policies.
We live in a world of data. Data really is the new oil, and while the challenges for news organisations are myriad, data – and not just in terms of storytelling – is increasingly important. The organisations that master data will be the master of their own destiny, and for news organisations, this might be one of the best last opportunities to retake the initiative.