Intense competition has always been a component of the media industry. With the prevalence of technology enabling anyone to self-publish, content producers must now offer exactly what people want in order to attain and keep loyal readers, says Cint, global market research software provider.
Understanding readers’ opinions is crucial in the creation process of content strategy. Whether a publisher would like to prioritize a new subject area, discontinue a regular feature or modify the house writing style, asking those who are already faithful to the outlet can inform the change. Alternately, a publisher may not be considering content changes but feedback may reveal that the content is becoming stale and the approach to it requires refreshing.
Today’s readers have a multitude of choices, not only from professional media organizations, but also from recreational blogger journalists; at the end of 2011, there were 109 million blogs on the two most-popular platforms, WordPress and Tumblr alone. If readers do not like any changes made, or feel a transformation is needed, they can quickly turn to competitors’ offerings.
Bo Mattsson, CEO of Cint, comments: “As with any business, it can be difficult to encourage a dissatisfied customer to return. So, opening lines of communication with readers, for both print and web-based publishers, can result in obtaining valuable feedback that will help to retain them as an audience member. Not only can gaining insight from readers feed into the content strategy process, it can also help inform aesthetic changes, especially for online outlets. For example, one can understand if readers are happy with the amount and positioning of website advertising, whether content can be found and the site is easily navigable, or if there is enough video and image content.
“Creating a market research panel, asking readers to register and then deploying surveys is one of the most straightforward ways for publishers to find out people’s opinions and obtain market intelligence. Furthermore, if a publisher chooses to open their panel so that businesses can reach out to panel members with consumer research survey questions, the publisher generates an additional income stream and the panellists also earn ‘thank you’ payments.”
For more information on Cint Engage, which allows publishers, businesses and charities to build engaged communities, please visit www.cint.com.