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Tag: audience development

Audience development incorporates actions required to attract, engage, and maintain an online audience. The goal of audience development is to create mutually beneficial relationships - users get content they seek and the business sustains itself.

Mobile Viewability Update From MRC: Fully Loaded Ads and Count on Decision

Media Rating Council issues revisions to mobile viewability guidelines; plus, Adobe’s audience development data and a vertical video solution
Ad viewability, especially mobile viewability, is arguably the issue facing digital publishers: As we’ve said before, when it comes to digital advertising trends, all roads lead to viewability: engagement depends on it; ad blocking programs derail it;

The 5 Best White Hat SEO Techniques

There’s a growing trend in which media reporters are investigating why certain websites rank so well. They want to differentiate the white hat SEO from the black hat.

If foul play is afoot, these reporters expose the black hat SEO practices and the offending websites typically feel the consequences. Google has penalized JC Penney, Overstock, Demand Media and many, many more for using black hat SEO practices.

How to Create a Multiplatform Magazine Business Model

From content planning to determining your exit strategy, every successful multiplatform magazine business model includes planning these seven things
At Mequoda we spend a significant amount of time building custom business plans for our niche magazine clients who are adopting a multiplatform magazine business model. During this process, we run through seven elements of the business

Digital Publishing Metrics News: Page Views, Disaggregated Content, Ecommerce, Social Media

ALM, Hearst, Google, Apple, Texture, Time Inc. are the media companies and digital magazines leading the shift in publishing metrics
Much like old-school counting statistics in baseball, old-school publishing metrics like clicks and page views are falling out of favor as key performance indicators that provide a fuller picture rise in popularity. These KPIs deal mainly

Brands as Publishers: What Can They Learn From Digital Magazines?

With LinkedIn, content marketing, and other opportunities for audience development, brands as publishers are in a position to flourish
Brands as publishers, publishers as brands … given the digital media evolution and the state of the industry, does the nomenclature even matter anymore? We tend to think not, but the fact remains that publishers have been

Social Media, Magazines a Match on Experimentation

Social media: Magazines know they must have a presence, but the problem comes in fully achieving it. For instance, when, why, how, and where to post? Or, alternately, do you just hand over all of your content to Facebook Instant Articles and call it a day?

As with any other component of your multiplatform strategy, you must have a plan, but you must also leave enough wriggle room in that plan to experiment.

MinOnline.com recently ran a great interview with a leading executive on social media analytics, monetizing social media, and publishing social media. Let’s start there this week!

B2B Publishing News: Editorial Advice, Mergers & Acquisitions, Digital-Only Decisions

The latest in B2B publishing includes Penton’s purchase of MRO Network; Informa’s bet on events; and CIO’s big change
B2B publishing represents the best of niche strategy; audience development depends largely on the quality of your content and whether you can earn the trust of executives in your target trade. In addition, B2B publishing lends itself

Publishing Social Media News: Ads, Millennials, Video

The ties that bind publishing, social media are stronger than ever; plus, Condé Nast debuts new video platform
If you own a company in digital publishing, social media is not an optional arm of your strategy – it’s required to help promote your content, of course.

But too often, digital magazines treat social media as a formality,

Digital Audience Development: How the Times Hit 1 Million Digital Subscribers

Digital audience development is the endgame for magazine publishing companies making the transition from traditional channels to a multiplatform strategy that will them in a position to compete in the coming decades. But getting to the endgame is a work in progress: Digital magazines are continually experimenting with new channels, refining best practices, and measuring social media efforts in the digital media evolution. It’s never easy.

Unless you’re The New York Times, of course.

Nonprofit Publisher Prospers with Mequoda Method

“We’ve used the Mequoda Method to more than double our digital memberships,” says Susan Laden, newest member of the Mequoda Multiplatform Publishing Hall of Fame.
Web Editor Robin Ngo accepts the award on behalf of Biblical Archaeology Society

The Mequoda Multiplatform Publishing Hall of Fame, founded in 2006 to recognize publishing executives at the

Mobile Publisher Outlook on Ad Blocking

If you’re a mobile publisher trying to monetize an already challenging platform for digital magazines, no two words strike more fear into your heart than “ad blocking.”

Ad blocking programs are not some flash in the pan gimmick that’s fading with time; they’re proliferating, and gaining in popularity with key demographics for audience development (ie, Millennials and other young consumers). How damaging a potential pitfall they are when it comes to digital ad revenue remains to be seen, but some in the mobile publisher market are bracing for a big hit. Others are biding their time, while still others are planning some blocking of their own, in the form of possible litigation.

But is it all a case of much “ad”-o about nothing?

The Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today blog recently checked in with media companies about the wrath of ad blocking, and they also interviewed the head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau to find out his thoughts. Let’s see what they had to say.

Social Media Standards Released by MRC

With so many digital magazines and brands deploying multiplatform content on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, devising social media standards for measuring data for advertising purposes was only a matter of time. Now, the Media Rating Council has done just that. Keep in mind, of course, that no matter how these guidelines shake out, you must maintain a regimen of your own when it comes maximizing the potential of social platforms. Minding your own store with best practices on social media will make it a lot easier to generate digital ad revenue down the line.

MediaPost reports on this development and several other interesting ones in recent articles.

How Can I Find My Top Keywords Using Website Analytics?

Using website analytics to determine your top keywords and then what to do with them
When developing a new subscription website, it’s crucial to know which keywords to develop your site around.

When a client comes to us, one of the first questions they ask is, “What are my top keywords?” What they’re usually talking about are

3 Email Subject Line Best Practices: New Study Sheds Light

Is there still anyone out there maligning email as a has-been component of publishing? We sure hope not. Newsletters are hotter than ever, for starters, and emails operate as a another strong delivery mechanism for content like video. They build loyalty with existing consumers, create relationships with new consumers, and give you the opportunity to sell products. But none of this can happen if recipients don’t click open your emails, which itself can’t happen without email subject line best practices.

UK-based email marketing firm Adestra knows this as well as anyone, and their first study since a blockbuster 2013 analysis provides plenty of takeaways. This new edition ran the numbers on 3 billion attempted sends and more than 400 million opens. Let’s take a look at what they learned.

The 8 Characteristics of a Subscription Website

Each subscription website business model we write about has a distinct combination of characteristics
When Mequoda writes about subscription website business models, we always include a chart that outlines eight different characteristics of the different models. As far as we know, we’re the only ones writing at length about publishers’ website architecture, much less going into

Publisher Revenue: Video, Programmatic, Targeting

If there’s one thing all digital magazine executives can agree on, it’s that there are never enough publisher revenue opportunities.

Settling on just one is out of the question, and even once you’ve established several, they’re continually changing. Digital advertising, for instance, is currently facing ad blocking and ad viewability issues. And audience development isn’t just about successful content anymore; it’s about successful cross-device targeting. And video? Wow – just try to keep up with the advances, both in terms of technology and monetization.

These are just a few examples – today’s publishers have to stay on their toes. Luckily, we have industry monitors like Publishing Executive to help us out. Let’s take a look at what they’ve been covering in recent weeks.

Magazine Readership Grows Online, Again, Says Latest MPA Report

Digital magazine readership – or audience, for our purposes – keeps climbing. Even as publishers grapple with ad viewability, mobile content strategy, and other challenges, they can take comfort in the fact that consumers are demanding their product more and more, judging from the exhaustive studies of the Magazine Media 360° Brand Audience Report.

MediaPost covers the Association of Magazine Media’s latest release, as well as a new effort to build publishers’ archives and another big move from Time Inc. digital.

Data-Driven Publishing Steers Time Inc. Digital Course

Big data is a big term, but there’s not a lot behind the concept itself, and no need to complicate it – collect the information that consumers provide and use the information that consumers provide. It’s that simple. Brands can take this mandate in cynical directions, but they can also improve user experience by personalizing products and tailoring content for enthusiast audiences. Data-driven publishing puts digital magazines in a prime position to do just that, and Time Inc. digital is making a push to become the best in the business, especially after hiring Chief Data Officer JT Kostman.

MinOnline recently ran a fascinating interview with Kostman – let’s start there today!

More Newsletter Open Rates: Taking a Look at the Times’ Numbers

Yesterday, we relayed MediaPost’s news about the Movable Ink study finding that mobile email marketing has eclipsed desktop open rates, which is great news for multiplatform publishers who have Email Marketing Systems. As email shrugs off the greatly exaggerated reports of its demise and re-establishes itself as a strong audience development tool, newsletter open rates have become a more important area of focus for digital magazines and other brands.

The Mequoda Method has long emphasized newsletter open rates as a key strategic point of multiplatform publishing, but even we were taken aback by The New York Times’ success when it comes to the art of email. So, we were interested to learn more in Digiday’s recent article about the Old Gray Lady’s staggering 70% yield.

Mobile Email Marketing: Open Rates Eclipse Desktop for First Time

Mastering mobile email marketing might sound like it’s low on the list of priorities for digital magazines, but, in reality, it’s rapidly emerging as one of the most pressing skills for multiplatform publishers looking to improve their content distribution strategy.

For starters, consider the level of control you have when it comes to your message and branding: Provided you’re using best practices to get your correspondence white-listed, images seen, and subject lines clicked, then you’re in prime position to get your emails read. And if your emails are getting read, then you’re also getting an audience for your website, because you’re giving subscribers a reason to visit.

All of this used to happen primarily on desktop, but not anymore. MediaPost relays news that mobile email marketing has surpassed desktop for the first time. Let ‘s start there this week!

Why Subscription Website Business Models Are Ideal for Every Publisher

A magazine or newsletter subscription site paired with a portal subscription website leads to publishing success
If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’re quite familiar with the Mequoda Method for multiplatform publishing success. You may even understand the acronym that sums it up: ACEM, which stands for:

Attract new visitors to your site organically.
Convert those

Magazine Audience Grows on Mobile Web

Magazine audience is the most valuable commodity publishers can acquire. All revenue efforts hinge on it. For legacy media, going about this acquisition was a fairly straightforward task, historically speaking. Today, it’s a sophisticated, demanding, and occasionally chaotic one. Readers change tastes and preferences on a whim; their consumption habits understandably vary with the overwhelming options put in front of them online.

Niche Magazines: The Future of Publishing Is Now

The power of traditional media companies is diluted these days, as legacy publishers struggle to keep up with the proliferation of content across the World Wide Web. Print is an endangered species, and audiences are in control with countless options available to them. A select few digital magazines can command massive traffic by sheer reputation, resources, and reach. But what about the rest of us? What can small or midsized digital magazines do, those regional titles that make up the vast majority? They can become multiplatform niche magazines – the model that is revitalizing the industry.

Worldwide Publishing Offers Attractive Opportunities for Digital Magazines

Worldwide publishing represents a daunting proposition for digital magazines: Audience development and digital advertising is tough enough domestically, and it’s called the World Wide Web for a reason, so why invest resources in opening up international markets already occupied by homegrown media companies? Why hire native speakers or translators to serve up content to readers in Latin America or the Netherlands? Because there’s plenty to go around as device usage continues to climb and advertising demand proliferates. eMarketer delivers the data that makes worldwide publishing a more compelling option for stateside digital magazines. Let’s take a look some of their recent articles.

Mobile Advertising Trends: Instagram, Marketers, Programmatic

Monitoring mobile advertising trends is a must for publishers aiming to monetize a platform that promises riches but has thus far eluded a precise formula for success. Digital magazines face technological, viewability, and audience development questions when it comes to generating steady revenue. We can’t say we’ve got all of the answers, but, then again, neither can anyone else … with the possible exception of Instagram, of course. MediaPost covers the latest news out of the massively popular image-sharing social network; plus, a new programmatic tool and mobile advertising from buyers’ perspective.

Monetizing Social Media: Bloomberg’s Strategy

Monetizing social media by converting side-door traffic into subscribers is one of the most important challenges publishers currently face. Convincing curious visitors to sign on as customers via quality content that’s skillfully distributed and diversely packaged requires patience, experimentation, and diligence, but it’s well worth the effort when those additional revenues start rolling in. Remember: It’s not the number of likes that define social media strategies; it’s the the level of audience development that will drive true reader engagement. Easier said than done, of course, but let’s take a look at how a legacy publisher like Bloomberg pulls it off, via Digiday, along with some other relevant recent articles.

News, Food, Health, and Celebrity Are Reader Favorites for Digital Magazines

If we had to pick two words to describe the Mequoda Method, the first would be “multi-platform,” which, as Don wrote recently, is the new normal for digital magazines years after we staked our brand on it. The second would be “niche.” Why? Because with tens of thousands of digital magazines available to consumers, you must focus on audience development to attract the right readers, earn their trust and attention, and then convert that trust and attention into subscriptions, one-off purchases, event attendance, social media shares, and other sources of revenue.

3 Must-Read Ideas for Spicing Up Your Editorial Schedule

Creating a robust editorial schedule for your blog isn’t only about making sure that your categories are getting published in regularly. It’s also not about fulfilling the need of all the different types of readers that come to your site. And it’s not even just about writing quality content.

Your editorial schedule is where you have the opportunity to organize all of the content you will produce for the next pre-determined amount of time. It could be a week, but more likely it’s about a month, or a quarter.

Paywalls for Online Content: More Publishers Signing On

Paywalls for online content are a work in progress, as publishers perfect the strategy with tiers, bundles, memberships, and other tactics. But there’s no question that they have a place at the table when it comes to generating revenue. Recently, Publishing Executive covered the most recent digital magazine to opt in to using paywalls for online content: Pando, née PandoDaily.

Mobile Content Strategy: LinkedIn Pulse and More

Mobile content strategy is wide open these days, as publishers strive to make the right moves toward monetizing a burgeoning medium and avoid blowing a golden opportunity. But mastering mobile is tough. Audience behavior, app technology, and ad kinks to be ironed out can complicate strategy, but digital magazines and other brands must stay the course when it comes to producing quality content and tailoring it for mobile devices. MediaPost covers mobile content strategy in a few recent articles, including one on LinkedIn’s new direction with Pulse. Let’s start there today!

Mobile-First Strategy for Better Homes & Gardens

Is a mobile-first strategy a must for publishers at this point? The short answer is yes, but how should you execute it? Read our analysis of mobile-first strategy in the form of responsive vs. fluid design for the long answer. Digital magazines are always looking for answers – new solutions for new revenue. In a few recent articles, Folio: covers one publisher that’s embracing mobile-first strategy and two others going the acquisition route.

Content Distribution Strategy a Key to Survive and Advance

Developing a content distribution strategy that goes beyond print and desktop is no longer a luxury – it’s a requirement if you want to stand any chance at sustained success. Folio: recently dug into MagNet’s first-quarter newsstand sales study and found an interesting conclusion. The trade magazine also checked in with Garden & Gun to see how it came back from the brink of extinction, another story that’s instructive for multiplatform publishers. Today, we take a look at those posts and some other industry news.

Monetizing Content Can Be a Many-Splendored Thing

The days of starting a magazine, sitting back, and watching the revenue roll in are over. Publishers must be vigilant in monitoring industry trends, establishing best practices, and monetizing content via multiplatform strategies. Not as part of a five-year strategic plan, but with every monthly editorial calendar. Folio: has you covered on the industry trends. Here are five recent articles that cover various companies’ efforts in monetizing content.

Multiplatform, Mobile Setting the Pace for Publishers

Ask any publisher about the industry’s top trends, and it’s likely the majority of their responses will start with the letter “M.” Multiplatform, mobile, and metrics, to name a few. These are a few of our favorite things, as it happens, so we’re excited to share several recent Digiday articles that address these emerging issues.

How to Write a Blockbuster Post That Sends Consistently High-Quality Traffic for Years

I’ve always adored SEO when it comes to content creation. After all, don’t you want to write about the things people are searching for? Why would you write about anything else? A blockbuster post, which we consider any post that drives a considerable percentage of your website traffic every month, is usually in your top ten to one hundred traffic-driving posts. They’re usually composed of evergreen content too, which doesn’t expire quickly

More often than not, it’s the result of picking a great keyword with high search volume and a low number of competing pages. Over time, it could drive thousands or hundreds of thousands of page views to your site every month.

In other cases, you may have just gotten lucky with your blockbuster post. But lightning doesn’t usually strike twice, or at least not dozens of times. And you definitely want more of them. If one blockbuster post is sending you 5,000 unique visitors every month, two could send you 10,000. Three could send you 15,000. Wouldn’t you like to spend a couple hours writing three articles that send you 15,000 unique visitors every month?

Platform Publishing News: Of Juggernauts and Jobs

Digital platform publishing is credited with having ushered in an ongoing golden age for media, and the latest industry developments are doing nothing to dispel this notion. Four recent articles from Advertising Age reveal how the current social media and mobile content push is shaping companies’ plans for the future.

The Publishing Future: Video, Native, Data

Predicting the publishing future is no mean feat: Most magazines are too busy pivoting in and out of trends to get ahead of the game. But it’s our job to put you in a position to do just that by providing the most timely analysis possible. Today, we take a look at five recent articles from Min that touch on the biggest issues facing the industry’s publishing future.

Niche Strategy + Cross-Device Content Serving Publishers Well

Nobody knows niche strategy like we do, which is why we love to see big-name legacy publishers adopting it and smaller, scrappier sites finding success with it. The same goes for content that can help you cultivate audiences across multiple devices – it’s what we do! Digiday, always a reliable source for the latest industry trends, once again rings in with three stories on these very topics. Let’s take a look.

The Organic Audience Development Strategy Handbook

Claim your FREE digital copy of Organic Audience Development Strategy: How to Convert Website Visitors into a Profitable Email Subscriber Base now.

Bryan Welch, Mequoda Master, Resigns from Ogden to Head Up B the Change Media

Let’s start the week with personnel moves both major and minor, per Folio:, plus a look at how digital ad revenue did in 2014 according to the IAB.

Social Media for Publishers: The MPA’s Latest Report

The shifting landscape of social media for publishers stood still for at least moment this week, as the the Association of Magazine Media’s 360° report on the first quarter of 2015 homed in on performance across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Digital Publishing Solutions for Ad Blocks, Platform, Video?

While the problems publishers deal with can seem to multiply with each passing week, the good news is that technological advances, best practices, content innovations, and other digital publishing solutions are keeping pace.

Digiday recently ran three articles covering pressing challenges that publishers are responding to.

What is Website Taxonomy?

Website taxonomy needs to be clear and easy to understand so your audience members can find the information they seek. The mobile version of your website has to be even more concise and understandable since it’s displayed on a much smaller screen.

Did you go through all your online business’ topics prior to launching your website? Is all the content properly aligned with uber phrases labeling the top content and related topics found within them?

The Truth About Email Marketing

Is it somehow improper for email newsletter editors to support audience development efforts? Is it wrong for bloggers to promote a product from an advertiser, or from themselves?

What is Web Advertising?

As a niche publisher, there are likely two ways you think about web advertising. For some of you, advertising is a primary way you generate revenue, by selling ad space in your own magazines, portals and email newsletters. For others, buying web advertising in other people’s media is part of your audience development strategy. And for many of you, you think of web advertising for both reasons – to generate revenue for your business and to buy ads in media channels that you don’t own to drive traffic to your publishing properties.

Digital Publishing News: MPA Releases 6-Month Numbers

The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) released its most current industry numbers, building onto its monthly report with an accumulated six months’ worth of audience data from August of 2014 to January of 2015. The digital publishing news is good for magazines and multiplatform publishers.

How Badly Is Google Digital Advertising Beating the Field?

Google digital advertising generated more than $61 billion in revenue last year, more than Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The New York Times, the Guardian, and BuzzFeed combined. This isn’t the only metric Google is winning, either.

Good News: Magazine + Media M&A on Significant Upswing

Multiplatform publishing is a business model we believe in with every fiber of our professional being, and we put those beliefs into practice around the clock. But it’s nice to look up from our work every once in a while and see that more and more people are realizing how profitable it can be: A recent streak of media M&A deals has analysts talking in terms of pre-recession levels.

New Digital Magazine App From Two Publishing Powerhouses

Fast Company is bypassing the Apple Newsstand with its new digital magazine app, powered by Adobe’s latest suite of publishing tools.

For Digital Publishing Companies: 5 Recent Stories to Check Out

With our blog, we aim to achieve a nice balance of posts that comprise the “Free Advice” we promise in our navigation bar. This combination includes best practices, case studies, and thought leadership to help digital publishing companies learn from each other. Another big component, though, is our effort to monitor digital trends from across the web. We’re consuming media around the clock, and love to get the day started with some industry news.