News publishers, and specifically, Digital Media Officers have tons of data and analytics tools that they can use to measure “success”. Choosing the most important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is not obvious to most without clear input from other departments. At Klangoo, and after working with tons of news publishers worldwide, we have created a clear rating scale through which we relate the KPIs you look at daily to the overall real business value.
Success can be of many forms for news publishers. It can simply mean profits (CRO driven) or can be extended to the number of loyal users (subscribers or newsletters). Another way to measure success can be overall reach (total uniques) or diversity of revenue streams (relates to risk management).
Yet, in 2020, and with the challenges faced by news media, business continuity is the most important measure. Therefore, we created a rating scale that translates business continuity into numbers and matches it with analytics KPIs in order to identify a qualitative rank. The ranking system ranges from Rookie to Premium.
Find your rank below:
When a publisher is new to the scene, their biggest concern is creating enough brand awareness for readers to visit their website. Therefore, at this stage, the most important success indicator would be PageViews and Alexa Ranking – which is basically a measure of website popularity. However, if you are an established publisher and still looking at these KPIs you need to think bigger.
After establishing enough traffic sources and brand awareness, amateur publishers can now move on to creating enough organic traffic through ensuring enough of their content is being referred and shared on social media platforms or as backlinks – building up their online score, reputation and domain authority. But again, these KPIs are basic and won’t affect your business continuity vs. the other ones we list below.
The third stage at this point would be focusing on SEO and newsletter reach. Driving traffic from non-social media sources is essential for long term sustainability. Social media platforms change their strategies and rules continuously which might affect your traffic and business continuity severely. Also, newsletters are one of the most successful marketing tools. They are one key indicator of readers loyalty. They show that you have established enough trust and deemed your content valuable enough for them to give out their emails.
At this level, the publisher has gathered enough online presence, trust, and email subscribers. The next concern would be keeping those readers engaged and coming back for more. Therefore, the most important metric would be the amount of time they spend on the site, if the titles are misleading, or if the content is not interesting enough (Bounce Rate).
Publishers at the top, after establishing a solid grasp on all other metrics, can now turn their focus on nurturing loyal users and most importantly paid subscribers. Catering to these users is of utmost importance for business continuity. Paid subscribers validate your content strategy, ensure sustainable revenue streams, confirm that you have identified your key competencies, and allow you to be recognized as a reliable source of information on the type of news you cover.
Where do you stand? And what metric is of most value to you? Let us know.