Membership Management Platforms

25 Audience Engagement Strategies for Digital Publishers

Proven audience engagement strategies for publishers of all sizes

Readers are being pulled in every direction. Digital news publishers are competing not just against each other, but also against media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

With access to so many forms of media, consumers are quick to click away from content when they aren’t engaged. That’s why it’s more important than ever for publishers to step up their game with the latest audience engagement strategies.

Audience engagement has a direct impact on revenue for digital publishers. Readers who click away quickly are less likely to subscribe or click on display ads. Metrics like dwell time and bounce rates are important to advertisers. Publications that can’t demonstrate a certain level of loyalty among readers are less likely to have success selling to business advertisers. Engagement leads to audience loyalty, and audience loyalty leads to increased subscription rates and advertising sales.

A survey of media brands, conducted by the engagement solutions provider Viafoura, found that while social media is an excellent driver of traffic to websites, people who arrive via Facebook or Twitter don’t tend to stay long. According to the survey, 65% of people who come to a website from social media platforms bounce within 10 seconds.

Why are they bouncing, and what can publishers do to keep people on their websites for longer?

Data shows that more is better when it comes to audience engagement. Publishers who invest the time in developing and deploying audience engagement strategies keep readers on their websites for longer and they usually have more meaningful interactions. These types of active communities lead to greater subscription rates and higher levels of revenue.

Below, we have compiled a list of audience engagement strategies that cover the spectrum of areas within digital publishing. Not all of these ideas will work for every publication, but we hope you’ll find at least a few ideas you hadn’t thought of before.

25 Audience Engagement Strategies

  1. Bring back the comments section.
  2. Encourage reporters to take a more active role in engaging with readers.
  3.  Give readers multiple ways to interact across your website and social media channels.
  4. Consider the platform when promoting content on social media, and don’t feel the need to post the same links across every channel.
  5. Moderate comments and public conversations to ensure readers feel safe sharing opinions on your site.
  6. Launch an interactive contest to get readers involved in your publication.
  7. Try connecting with readers via email.
  8. Encourage readers to submit letters to the editor and opinion articles.
  9. Reply directly to people who post about your publication on social media.
  10. Promote social sharing by offering incentives to people who share your content on their Facebook pages.
  11. Highlight meaningful comments as a way to encourage contributions.
  12. Invite subscribers to Zoom happy hours with your reporters and editors.
  13. Use machine intelligence to more efficiently moderate comments and remove inappropriate content.
  14. Ask readers to share information about themselves via surveys and polls.
  15. Track the behavior of people who interact with your website to learn more about your audience.
  16. Encourage readers to submit their own photos in exchange for entries to a raffle.
  17. Give readers a way to “follow” certain commenters.
  18. Use analytics to identify which topics interest your audience.
  19. Write unique copy for social media posts on different channels.
  20. When allowed, host community events and meet your readers in person.
  21. Develop ways for advertisers to connect directly with willing subscribers.
  22. Bring in readers as “guest hosts” for your podcasts or video segments.
  23. Vary the time of day when new content is posted, to encourage visitors to return more frequently.
  24. Break down traffic channels to see if users from Facebook or Twitter have more interest in particular topics or writers.
  25. Run live polls to get people interacting with your most popular content.

Which ideas did we miss? If you’ve got questions about how to implement any of these audience engagement strategies, or you want more information about increasing your publication’s profitability, reach out to Web Publisher PRO.