4 ways publishers are building loyalty during COVID-19

What's New in Publishing 15 Oct 2020 06:45

Loyalty is a rare, but valuable commodity for publishers. 

Acquiring new paying customers and members can be an expensive business. As a result, we’ve seen numerous outlets invest heavily in retention efforts in recent years, as content creators look to reduce churn and retain existing audiences.

In the COVID-era, many publishers have seen spikes in traffic as consumers have sought out coronavirus related information, or, alternatively, distractions from the crisis.

As publishers increasingly pivot to reader-revenue, finding ways to keep new (and existing) audiences on board is a strategic priority. 

Here are four ways that publishers are endeavouring to do this during the pandemic.

1. Launching new coronavirus products

With COVID-19 rapidly circumnavigating the globe, it didn’t take long for publishers to seize the potential to create, and launch, coronavirus-focused news products. As Nieman Lab’s Hanaa Tameez noted at the start of March, “If you’re itching for more information about coronavirus and its specific impacts, there’s a product for you and it’s probably free.”

2. Hosting digital events 

Lockdowns and quarantine orders kiboshed many of these ambitions, although this hasn’t stopped publishers from pivoting to digital events.

“In the short to medium term, we’re looking at virtual events as our core products, but then our medium to longer term strategy will be hybrid events,” Clare said. “We still believe very much in the power of live experience, but we also believe that we can translate a lot of that into virtual or hybrid events. It’s a really exciting time for the industry in some ways.”

This is important because as Joy Mayer at the Trusting News project reminds us, most people don’t know how journalism is funded, or the financial state that it is in. 

Alongside these long-planned streaming launches, other content creators are also unveiling premium services at this time.

According to co-founder and Chief Product Officer Jason Clampet the product had been in the pipeline for over a year. Its launch, however, comes at a time when the travel industry has been heavily impacted by furloughs and layoffs. Marketing and advertising spend for the travel vertical have been one of the most hit by the coronavirus. 

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NYTNieman LabHanaa TameezNic NewmanZoe Soon
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