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#40. Reach PLC achieves 85% CTR on WhatsApp

You're reading The Audiencers'  #40, sent out on June 12th, 2024.  To receive future newsletters straight to your inbox every two weeks, sign up here.

In today's newsletter:

  • How are organizing their reader revenue teams
  • Bringing to a 400 year old media group: introducing Klara, the blonde haired, blue eyed AI chat bot
  • When gamification meets the stock market: Switzerland's leading business publication engages readers with fantasy funds
  • Reach PLC on WhatsApp: takeaways from WAN-IFRA's congress
  • Content to add to your reading list

How publishers are organizing their reader revenue teams

, product, marketing… Bridge roles, squads, mission teams, forums, stakeholders… Acquisition, , … There's certainly a lot to consider when organizing your teams.

And with digital transformation comes to the need to reconsider siloed teams to ensure everyone's working together, cross-functionally (yes, we're talking to you editorial!) towards new goals, including acquiring and retaining subscribers rather than simply searching for clicks.

To help benchmark how other publishers are organizing their reader revenue teams, we spoke to 5 publishers on their team structure, KPIs and how this links to their overarching business model. 

Le Figaro splits teams into Reader side vs Content side

> bases teams on steps in the funnel – Reach, Acquisition, Retention and Upsell. Each team includes a representative from the more traditional teams – Marketing, Data, Editorial and Product.

Examples from Le Parisien, Berlingske and Clarin on The Audiencers

Bringing AI to a 400 year old media group

Talk about digital transformation! Germany's Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien is a 400 year old publishing company that's recently started writing a new chapter of its history thanks to AI.

In particular with Klara – a blond-haired, blue eyed AI bot who writes articles to support the group's editorial and business strategies.

Thomas Schultz-Homberg, CEO of the group, shared that “the idea behind Klara was to humanize AI in a way, because you can use a lot of GenAI models and clarify them at the bottom of the article but we thought a little further because it would be part of our daily reality to have an AI bot around us… and it is easier to accept technology with human.

Is Klara a productive journalist. What's her impact? 

“At the beginning she was not – when you start an AI model, it's really stupid and takes a while to train. Editors were complaining that they had to rewrite everything, but that changed very fast because she was learning very fast. We trained her with our archives. She knew what we write, our typical headlines… Today she writes 11% of all articles and, depending on the season, she stands for 8 – 12% of all traffic.

We of course do AB and always have a control group of at least 10% of the audience who gets an ‘old school' website, as if there was no AI, and then we measure if AI has an impact. We have never experienced a case where the figures have been worse than before. Using AI for recommendation of articles in the context of user journey leads to a 50% – 80%  CTR increase.

Read the full interview on The Audiencers

When gamification meets the stock market

Switzerland's leading business publication, Finanz und Wirtschaft (FuW), has integrated a stock market game into their site, encouraging readers to compete against 8 industry pros, with the chance of winning one of the weekly prizes or even the grand prize of 10,000 Swiss Franks.

(^ translated by Google)

How does gamification benefit FuW's business model?

> Logging readers through registration to collect data, increase ad revenue, and propensity to subscribe

> Reaching new audiences, particularly younger audiences, and bringing these users back – the team shared that they've reached almost 17,000 players, with 87.9% being newly registered users

> Grow subscribers – there was an initial surge in subscriptions during the game period, and the goal now is to move audiences through the funnel toward subscription by increasing the visibility of their premium offer and using promotional offers.

Reach PLC on WhatsApp

Since the launch of their community feature, WhatsApp has become an essential part of publisher's strategies, and the British regional publishing group, Reach Plc, are no different.

In fact, they're achieving an impressive 85% click-through rate in many of these groups.

Dan Russell, Director, shared 6 things to consider with WhatsApp groups:

  • Method: channel vs community
  • Content: volume/frequency and format (article links, YouTube videos – which integrate well into WhatsApp – polls, or other)
  • Tracking: be data-first! Track metrics such as number of members, page views per month from members, page views per person per month
  • Reaction: start, stop, continue
  • Promotion: where and when
  • Mindset: this isn't a newsletter

> Dan spoke about their WhatsApp success at WAN-IFRA's World Congress – find 9 other inspiring cases from the event in this article on The Audiencers

Content to add to your reading list:

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