News companies need to open every revenue window and door


If you’re searching for the correct answer for how to grow audience and revenue, look no further than the “all of the above” option.

Today, success is the result of doing 1,000 little things better. There are no more home runs, just bases on balls, penalty kicks, or taking one in the head for successful audience and revenue growth.

Call it “incremental marketing” or whatever you want. Just be sure you are doing more of it every day across every facet of your organisation.

Around the world, news media organisations are looking for the best combination of brand, product, and promotional tactics to elevate audience and revenue. Despite social media consuming more and more consumer time and attention, the “production level” results haven’t materialised for many organisations when it comes to making the cash register ring.

It’s not enough to reach a larger audience unless you are using that reach to drive awareness, interest, and engagement with your community. We live in a world in which there can be no preferred audience or revenue channel. We must open every window and every door every day to drive sustainable audience and revenue. And then ask, “What next?”

Should we be online? Not unless we’re serious. It starts with content, but doesn’t end there. Slapping up the news – even with continuous updates throughout the day – isn’t enough to disrupt the micro-attention span of those who surf, search, and read.

Today, we need to “cut the content meat” into little, digestible pieces and realise that time of day impacts whether consumers want us to serve it as sushi or fire-grilled medium-well.

A good hand in today’s audience and revenue game not only includes search engine optimisation, but also a focus on interactivity – with content, with journalists, with relevant issues and opinions, and sometimes just for fun.

Should we be using social media? Only if we can manage expectations – and even if we cannot. It starts with understanding that there is more to social media and social media marketing than Facebook. At last count, there were three or four dozen similar and/or complementary social media outlets competing for audience niches, just in North America.

Yes, you should be using social media. And yes, it makes sense to start with Facebook. Just don’t forget the rest and don’t expect social media to be your audience or revenue saviour.

Is there anyone left to call? Just landlines in North America, but that doesn’t mean telemarketing is even close to being dead. Both inbound and outbound telemarketing and tele-service remain a critical component of incremental marketing. Don’t hang up; just make sure you’re dialing for dollars, not fishing with nets.

Should we be using mobile marketing? Yes.

E-mail marketing? Yes, of course.

But don’t forget to enlist every other contact point with your community to drive awareness, interest, and engagement. In-newspaper, single-copy inserts, rack cards, bill stuffers, Web ads, carriers, kiosks, crews, vehicles, and more.

It’s that second-to-last tactic – No. 999 – that combines with everything else you are doing every day to grow audience and revenue.

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