Audience Engagement Strategy: Anchor Content, Atlantic, Google AMP

2 examples of the Atlantic’s audience engagement strategy; plus, a video that illustrates the difference between traffic and development

Audience engagement strategy is the alpha and omega of digital publishing. Or, really, publishing of any kind. Or, when you come to think of it, any business whatsoever.

So, why hasn’t anyone fully figured it out yet? Because there are a lot of different definitions and even languages going around when it comes to quantifying audience. Do you want as many people as possible reading your publication as possible? Do you want a loyal core of consumers returning day after day? Sure, definitely. Can you have both? Sometimes, but not always.

It all comes down to content and the successful distribution of content, and how you interact with your audience. Your tech matters as well – is your site responsive? Is it keeping up with the changing times?

Keeping up with the changing times is one of the many things Publishing Executive does really well. Let’s take a look at some of their recent articles

Are You Producing Anchor Content as Part of Your Audience Engagement Strategy?

Anchor content are the long-form blockbuster posts that truly bolster your product. Publishing Executive reports on one of the Atlantic’s many secrets of success.

“Of course content analytics can reveal new insight, but just as important is how analytics can confirm existing editorial instincts with empirical evidence. So anchor content is not a new invention, but engagement analytics clearly reveal how certain, often long-form content works. The term anchor content is just an explicit way of thinking about what publishers of significant journalism have been doing for years,” Denis Wilson writes.

However, knowing how anchors behave should change your behavior – making an effort to consistently link back and build on anchors and then looking for the next anchor on the subject. As an editor, I’m striving to identify the topics that matter and will matter to my audience, drop anchor content, and then create a conversation around those anchors, always linking and referring back to the anchor.

Fine Line Between Successful Traffic Generation vs. Audience Engagement Strategy

You read up top what we said about having it all. This Publishing Executive post is well worth a click for a video sorting out the difference.

“In a recent webinar we hosted on how publishers are using content analytics, Atlantic Media’s associate director of digital analytics Adam Felder spoke about how the company’s content strategy has evolved as a result of reevaluating the importance of pageviews versus time-spent. Felder admits that for a very long time – and for valid reason due to advertising spending being driven by impressions – ‘we’ve been frequently myopic when it comes to looking at pageviews,'” Wilson writes.


“Instead of looking simply at raw traffic, Atlantic Media is now paying greater attention to the type of audience content attracts, how long readers are sticking around after engaging with that content, and whether they are coming back to the site later on. As a result of this rethinking, Felder sees traffic generation and audience generation as two very different strategies. ‘They’re actually not the same thing. When you’re thinking about audience development, you want not only to get traffic to your site right now, but you want to get people to come back to your site in the future,’ said Fielder.”

Internet Revenue Models for Multiplatform Publishers

Now you know this is our bailiwick, but Publishing Executive does a great job of breaking down the many, many multiplatform opportunities for publishers.

“This is not a zero-sum game. There is no reason to trade print sales for digital. Add new dollars. There is a great upside in addition to more revenue: this increases the value of your company. In the past couple of years publishers who had 80% or more of their revenue from print sold their companies for .5x revenue on average. Companies ‘with more diverse revenue,’ with print accounting for no more than 70%, sold for 1.2x – 1.5x revenue, according to John McGovern, senior associate at W.B Grimes & Co. Imagine tripling company value,” Andy Kowl writes.

“We identified 29 different products these publishers, media companies, and associations sell. 29! The answers represent a wide spread of ways to parse business information. As I compile a master list of products, I want to share the process in hope one product idea inspires a new way for you to slice and dice your offerings.”

What Digital Publishers Must Know About Google AMP

In short, a lot. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, and Publishing Executive helps us all do our due diligence before embracing it.

“One way Google hopes to boost revenue is by improving the ad experience and limiting the growth of ad blockers. Publishers can run ads through AMP, but there are some important guidelines that emphasize quality creative,” Ellen Harvey writes.

“‘The digital ad industry’s rap sheet includes irritating and unsafe ads. We’re requiring all creatives to utilize the HTTPS protocol,’ writes Google product manager Nitin Kashyap and director of global partnerships Craig DiNatali. The goal of limiting ‘irritating’ ads is likely a response to the growing use of ad blocking software, which over 45 million U.S. consumers use.”

Are you looking for an update to your audience engagement strategy? Download our free Audience Development Strategy Handbook today!

To read more about audience engagement strategy and other news, visit Publishing Executive.


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