If publishers want to convert website visitors into paying customers, they’ll need to master the art of using data to create audience profiles.
The digital revolution has forced publishers to rethink their role in the world of media, especially how they make money. To thrive in the future, publishers will need to employ a mix of business models to turn their website visitors into paying customers.
As a publisher, you have three main sources of earning revenue from your readers:
- Paid subscriptions
- Marketing promotions
If you want to succeed in any of these areas, you need deep insight into what makes your visitors tick: their interests, passions and motivations. You need to build profiles of their users by gathering data about their online behavior, their preferences, and the context of their visit.
So what are audiences?
A data management platform (DMP) is the perfect tool for gathering info on users. A DMP can analyze all this information and help you create customer segments (we call them audiences) that you can use as the basis of your personalization strategy.
Audiences can be broad or laser-targeted. An audience can include people who visit the sports pages on your site a certain number of times per month. Or, it can be very specific: male readers of sports news living in Chicago with a young family.
Having a solid grip on your audiences is key to helping you create individual relationships with each of your readers. They can be used to recommend personalized content. They’re perfect for brands and advertisers to target their ad campaigns. And they’re essential when running marketing offers.
And how do publishers turn this ocean of data about their users into workable audiences and profiles?
A DMP uses “taxonomies” (classifications of categories) to create segments of users.
DMPs use the data to create targetable audiences that can, for example, be sold to advertisers.
The data gathered can be used to create individual profiles of each visitor according to their behavior and activities. This one-to-one approach fuels content recommendation: which news stories, videos and articles are recommended to each individual visitor to your site.
The payoff? Your readers get a warm and fuzzy feeling when your site really caters to their interests, making them much more likely to subscribe.
The DMP identifies audiences that brands can target with advertising
When a visitor who’s a golf fan lands on your site, in the microseconds it takes for that page to load you’ll see that they’re part of an audience you’ve already defined (female golf lovers) and you can alert the market that a member of this audience is on a particular page.
A brand looking to connect with that audience (like a golf equipment retailer) can bid in real-time to buy the ad spot on the web page viewed by this golf-loving user. That user will be shown an ad that matches their interests. Pretty cool eh?
Audiences are created out of the data
Analyzing all the data points will reveal different groups of users who visit your website. The DMP pulls all of this data together and performs the essential task of creating segments or audiences.
You could ask the DMP to create a segment of people who have visited your website’s sport pages five times in the past month. This data could then be matched with data purchased from other companies on people who’ve visited skiing websites.
The intersection can suggest to you which visitors are likely to be interested in skiing news. You can then recommend news stories about skiing to members of that audience and show ads for skiing holidays and make offers related to this activity.
Being a media provider in the digital world means getting answers to those essential questions about website visitors: who, what, where and when? This is all invaluable information for offering web users an experience tailored to their interests, context and identity.
Creating user profiles that feature all of this information is a huge step in developing a personalized relationship so you can offer your readers the articles, ads and marketing promotions that they most want to see.
Audience data powers personalization
This data can be used to boost the personalized experience of your web visitors and improve conversion rates across the areas where money is made online.
Small improvements in conversion rates can translate into huge wins in revenue. Publishers who offer personalized content to their readers – news stories, articles and videos that match their readers’ interests – can increase subscription rates. This gives a huge boost to the bottom line.
- To thrive in the future, publishers need to employ a variety of business models to turn website visitors into paying customers.
- Publishers need to build profiles of their users by gathering data about their online behavior, what they have bought previously, their preferences, and the context of their visit.
- DMPs can then use the data and insights to create targetable audiences that can, for example, be sold to advertisers.
- Being a media provider in the digital world means getting answers to those essential questions about website visitors: who, what, where and when?
- Publishers that use a DMP to match reader preferences and provide personalized experiences online will be the ones that win big in the future.
This article was first published on the Piano blog and is republished with kind permission. Piano helps the world’s biggest media companies build dedicated audiences and increase revenues.