Magazines Register

Data-Driven Content: Using Analytics To Connect With Readers

We’ve all been a recipient of targeted ad campaigns. You casually mention needing a new duvet cover to your neighbor, and suddenly your social media feed is filled with ads for gorgeous bedding sets — and you’re searching websites to replace that dusty old bedspread!

Many companies have tapped into the power of analytics to target specific consumers — because it works. So how can magazines use the same data to create content for their publications?

Step one: Collect the data

As a starting point, you should know or learn the following about each of your subscribers:

  • Demographics
  • Profession
  • Geographic location
  • Buying patterns
  • Pain points
  • Content preferences
  • Consumption channels (i.e., digital or print)

Seems simple — but how do you actually collect this data? If you’re not already capturing it at the order level, you can conduct customer surveys or include a simple questionnaire on your website. Your sales team has a wealth of knowledge about your readership, so make sure they are involved in the process and share their valuable insight.

Step two: Organize the data

Data should be organized in a thoughtful manner that’s most useful to you. Segment your subscribers into categories, such as income level, content preference, and geographic location.

Step three: Identify trends

Now that you know who your readers are and have organized the data you collected, it’s time for analysis. You should start to see trends: Are many of your readers retirees living in the Pacific Northwest? Do you attract people within certain industries in certain metropolitan areas?

Step four: Create a plan of action

Develop a strategy to both retain existing readers and attract new ones. Consider taking advantage of the micro magazine trend, and create personalized, short print runs of highly targeted content. See how readers respond and which micro magazines gain traction. Invest in the ones that do and cut the rest. Your strategy will likely evolve, and that’s OK.

Letting data inform your content will transform your connection to your readers but be mindful of getting too mired in the minutia. Data analysis is useful at both the micro and macro level — remind yourself that behind each data point is a living, breathing person.

Do your research and take a cue from the most successful companies. They’ve already done a lot of legwork in understanding how to use data to inform business decisions. Once you’ve found the mix that works best for you, your bottom line and your readership will thank you for it.

Contact your Sheridan representative for a consultation or visit our contact page to learn how Sheridan professionals can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.

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