3 ways 24sata increased digital audience, engagement

By Helena Vince

As the leading Croatian multi-media brand, 24sata has the No.1 Croatian daily newspaper, the No. 1 Croatian Web site, a range of special interest sites around it, mobile apps, the No.1 Croatian Facebook page in media segment, and the TV-channel 24sata TV.

This allows us to reach 1.5 million users, which is 33% of the Croatian population, across all our platforms every day.

However, we wouldn't have so many No. 1 products if we hadn’t realised one of the most important ingredients in our formula for success: the constant communication with our readers and their involvement in the creation of content.

Luckily, we realised this in time — before our launch. This three-pronged strategy — along with a unique concept and innovative and creative ways of implementing it — are absolutely vital for achieving great results and pursuing our goals:

1. User-generated content: 24sata produces different, intuitive, modern content and formats to deliver readers the values, experiences and benefits they need. To do this, we use a multi-media, multi-channel, and multi-platform approach.

We believe in including our readers in everything we do, so we were the first Croatian media house to introduce newsroom department specialised for user-generated content. Getting readers to send stories, photos, and videos is a vital part of every print issue and Web site.

To encourage continued reader participation in our content creation, we developed a special sub-section on 24sata.hr, featuring reporters with photos, news, and articles they have produced. These are also used in other sections of the site but are specifically marked. The best of them are financially rewarded and titled “Reader of the Month.”

2. Social media: We also engage readers through social media: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The 24sata Facebook page has more than 873,000 fans which makes it the biggest media Facebook page in Croatia. We use this page to drive traffic (more than 20% comes from it), but most of all for communicating with the fans, getting their opinion and for UGC.

To ensure a constant dialogue with our fans, all of our journalists and editors have their own official Facebook pages. We have a lot of fun with this, including different apps, polls, prize-winning games, etc.

3. Gamification of 24sata Web site: Active readers are all a part of Zona24, a gamified system that allows them to comment and correct articles, build stories, take polls, participate in surveys, win prizes, get rewarded for their efforts and get exactly the news they want.

Our journalists and editors also get involved in discussions with the readers to clarify their points or get extra information.

Our results: Reader engagement is something 24sata is known for. We are known as the people’s newspaper and Website. Digital engagement has had a huge impact; we have more than doubled the number of our readers in the last three years and 85% of them are loyal and come back daily!

Our Facebook page is the biggest commercial Facebook page in Croatia, and we have also launched extra pages for special interest groups like teenagers, moms, pet owners, and more.

The reader engagement is also a great revenue stream since we do a lot of gamified content which is interesting to our sponsors; we regularly organise sponsored contests interesting to readers as well as clients.

Zona24, a community of registered users on our Web site, is constantly developing and growing, assuring us of a bright future ahead.

We take pride in the relationship we developed with our community and will continue to search for new, creative ways to engage and satisfy our audience.

About Helena Vince

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