Three ways newsrooms can reorient toward getting content in front of the right audiences.
Newsroom analyticsSubscribe to Updates Leading news organizations track dozens of ways audience members engage with their products each day. This segment of Better News will help you learn what metrics you should track, how to interpret them and how to use that data to reach new readers, learn about their news consumption habits and preferences, deepen engagement and turn occasional users into habitual and paying loyalists.
Plan Make important strategic decisions about your newsroom analytics
In order to analyze and make decisions based on audience behavior, first understand the ways in which people consume news.
News organizations are increasingly embracing the use of analytics and metrics as part of editorial decision making, but what constitutes a sophisticated analytics strategy? And why are so many media organizations still using such a rudimentary approach to analytics?
Use data and analytics, technology, content and platform tactics, multiple types and approaches of “offers” and “asks,” and continuous testing to guide your audience through the stages of a “funnel.”
Do Tactics to improve your newsroom analytics
In the digital subscription cohort for alumni of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program, five teams were challenged to think creatively about growing and retaining digital audiences through experimentation. In this Better News piece, each team shares the challenge it took on over the four months and highlights its biggest lessons.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: If you want to build trust with your readers, you need to let them see you as more than a two-dimensional byline. The Des Moines Register created an entertainment/lifestyle newsletter – authored by a rotation of staffers, filled with personality and authenticity and focused on the things that bring joy – to help bridge the divide between newsroom and reader.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: When planning arts coverage, ignore the calendar and ditch stories pegged to upcoming performances, art openings, festivals and events. Instead, focus on news, people and what the arts say about your city.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Analytics don’t have to clash with journalistic values. Here’s how the Buffalo News used analytics to reinforce its mission.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Sacramento Bee used a SMART-goal setting process to find audiences willing to pay for its work.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: What does becoming a digital newsroom mean? Here’s how the Virginian Pilot navigated that question — by shaping a new digital reporting team and making strategy decisions based on data.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: As part of a newsroom reorganization, The Philadelphia Inquirer built an audience development team to support its transition to a digital subscription business. It’s a team anchored by versatility and diversification. We wanted to create a data-informed newsroom (not data-led, as solid news judgment is just as important as ever) to achieve responsible reach and loyalty at scale for its journalism.
This article explores steps the newsroom took to establish the mini-publisher teams and the experiments they’ve run.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Virginian-Pilot used data to find a new beat topic to reach new audiences. Now, the beat is consistently one of the highest-performing in the newsroom.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The team at EdNC couldn’t find an ideal way to gauge the loyalty of its audiences. So they created their own customizable data tool.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Dallas Morning News, which has eight major college football programs in its coverage area and just two full-time writers dedicated to them, concentrated on its smallest but most local school and turned it into a digital subscription success story.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Carolina Public Press, a nonprofit investigative news outlet in North Carolina, created a spreadsheet to “score” each of its news stories for reach and impact — giving it the data and insight needed to improve its reporting, identify skill and capability gaps, and help its reporting reach more people and make a bigger difference.
This piece examines how NPR made its analytics more accessible to its reporters, building a culture around analytics.
Metrics can serve as an indicator of reader interest, but newsrooms still have to balance data with their own instincts.
How to make your analytics more accessible with reports in Google Analytics
Busting common myths about using analytics in your newsroom.
A side-by-side comparison of Omniture and Chartbeat, two leading analytics tracking firms used by news companies.
A must-read on picking your digital analytics tracking platform.
A guide to using advanced Google Analytics tracking.
What does “engagement” mean? It’s not how many times readers click “like” on a Facebook post. It’s not how many people are being driven to a page. Engagement is about how involved people are with the content you create and promote to them.
Better analytics can turn social media into an even more effective and efficient engagement tool.