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Audience Intelligence: The Key to High-Performance Publishing Strategies

By NativeAI / March 8, 2018

It's harder than ever to maintain high audience engagement.

Blame it on the sheer amount of content competing for your audience's attention on a day-to-day basis. The American Marketing Association (AMA) reports the average consumer is subjected to 10,000 messages every day. While the time connected citizens spend on mobile, on social, and in apps is at an all-time high, their attention is at a premium.

Publishers are finding it more difficult than ever to maintain engagement, and compete with massive platforms like Facebook. Publishers need strategies that drive consistent results in an increasingly complex landscape of consumer behaviors. So, they are turning to publisher analytics tools and a data-driven approach to publishing to increase the precision of their content strategies.

3 Keys to Deeper Audience Intelligence

If you need any evidence that the publishing ecosystem is becoming more complicated, consider the following stat: in 2017, Search and Social were responsible for 86 percent of referral traffic.

Major publishers need to regain control of audience attention, in spite of the fact relationships with partner platforms are increasingly hard to navigate. Having data and audience intelligence allows publishers to make better strategic decisions around audience engagement in 2018.

Behavioral Analytics

Engagement is more complicated than pure page views and shares, it's a mixture of behavioral metrics such as clicks, conversions, emotional triggers, relevance, and much more.

Behavioral analytics that can shape an actionable content strategy drill-down to the psychology of sharing and the emotional triggers that increase an reader's probability of sharing content with their friends and family. More pragmatically, it allows publishers to understand the formula of their best-performing content by drilling-down behavior by time, user type, content category, article type, and other key metrics.

Publishers need the ability to interact with a breakdown of site visitor behavior, including the capacity to drill-down to the most engaging topics. This can enable, for example, the discovery that, while 1-in-3 audience members is driven to engage with political content, 25% of the total audience is interested in global politics.

With the ability to explore the sub-topics and audience platforms, such as Facebook, that contribute to engagement, publishers can discover the behavioral triggers that drive engagement today and tomorrow, instead of only looking at the past.

Sophisticated Segmentation

Audience Segmentation
NativeAI Publisher Analytics

While publishers may lack the ability to hyper-target their content strategy to deeper audience segments, their readers want one-to-one communications. Especially compared to the print age, there's no shortage of data available to slice and dice your audience into precise segments by age group, demographics, behavior, and other key factors.

Smarter segmentation allows publishers to present the right content at the right time to audience members, based on their interests and behavior. With the right audience intelligence technology, publishers can understand segments according to factors such as:

  • Device used for access
  • Visitor loyalty
  • Referral channel
  • Interest categories
  • Geography
  • Visitor demographics

Content Characteristics

To engage audience segments and mobilize behavioral analytics, publishers also need the ability to recreate the winning characteristics of their best-performing content.

Publishers know the secret to better engagement isn't creating more content, it's recreating the types of content by topic, format, author, and formula that are driving superior results.

NativeAI developed the concept of Engagement Quality (EQ)--a special metric that combines time spent, scroll depth, user actions, story length, and more. These metrics are combined into a single score (EQ) to gauge the engagement value of each piece of content, as well as entire segments and channel.

Engagement Quality By Traffic Channel
Engagement Quality By Traffic Channel

A metric like Engagement Quality gives publishers the ability to compare and contrast sets of stories, stories by a specific author, single topics, or any other segmentation, that don't share the same format or length. Gaining the valuable insights from all this is a lot of work, unless you use a metric like EQ that allows you to see all that comparison inside a single metric.

Cracking the Code of Audience Intelligence

Simply having unique, high-quality content is no longer the formula to success in 2018. To compete for attention, publishers need to understand the complex intersections of audience behavior, segments, and content characteristics. More importantly, they need insight into engagement quality to understand why certain lengths or formats of content are driving engagement among audience members.

With granular insights and the ability to drill-down, they can achieve the ability to create less content, but ensure they're publishing highly-engaging offerings at the right time.

Are you eager to get ahead of the game in 2018, instead of constantly chasing the ever-evasive idea of viral engagement with smarter audience intelligence? For more information on cutting-edge publisher analytics, click here.

Written by NativeAI / March 8, 2018