4 tools to kickstart audience development
The average American spends 66 hours a month online. While publishers can't make readers spend all of that time on their webpages, they can make sure readers are engaged with the brand, even if they are spending time on another domain.
However, it will require a few helpful tools:
Sites like Yahoo Answers! have been leveraging the collective knowledge of crowds for years, but the answering communities often have to account for a wide range of questions and the answers are often lacking any sort of expertise (Mahalo has tried to fight this by offering cash).
Don't let portal sites take traffic from you -- instead, offer your own Q&A feature. Vendor You Said It offers a white label question and answer platform for publications looking to take advantage of this growing type of community. Niche websites especially would be wise to take advantage of their own question and answer communities, especially trade magazines with readers who are often experts themselves.
Q&A sites aren't just good for readers, they also typically score high in search engines results, especially given that many people type questions directly into search engines.
You Said It offers several different packages starting at $50 a month, which includes tools to encourage the community to self-moderate, freeing your editorial team to, you know, create editorial.
By this point in the game, your publication likely knows how to create video content. However, do you know how to measure the success of your videos?
Tubemogul allows video makers to not only easily distribute content to all of the video uploading sites such as YouTube and Blip, but also to keep track of viewership statistics across the Web, helping you anaylize when and where your next video should be.
While Tweetmeme.com has become a cross of Digg and Twitter, showcasing the most tweeted links of the day, Tweetmeme's real value to publishers comes in the form of its "retweet" widget.
In an age where the conversation around content takes place on social media, not in the comments section, Tweetmeme's widget allows publishers to show off how many times content has been passed a long while providing retweet functionality for readers. As a bonus, publishers can easily see all of the users who tweeted content -- even if they didn't include an @reply.
Have a Facebook page with lots of fans is nice. But having one collecting audience data is even better.
Thanks to Facebook Insights, page administrators now have a worthy analytics package to help make sense of all of the interactions taking place on their fan pages. Facebook Insights offers detailed demographic information, age breakdowns, media consumption charts and more. Facebook will even let you know what content elicits the most reactions.