How to leverage career content to drive audience development
The demise of the print edition of Newsweek has started a lot of conversations around digital-first initiatives, the death of print, the future of long-form journalism, etc. One topic that has flown under the radar is the fact that print editions do not lend themselves well to product innovation, data acquisition and data mining.
Digital, however, is another story, where publishers can pursue many angles to capture a more holistic view of their audience and leverage that information to build community and drive new marketing programs.
Marketers are increasingly asking for customized solutions from publishing companies, ranging from events, to integrated product platforms, microsites, webinars, campaigns, etc. This approach is no longer exclusive to B2B marketers. While at Kiplinger, our clients began to ask for more customized solutions as a way to drive thought leadership, leads, or even to penetrate new markets and capture new audience. They wanted Kiplinger to become an extension of the marketing department, much like an agency or data vendor.
Publishers, lean by many standards in terms of infrastructure and resources, need to proactively offer their clients innovative ways to target their audience to stay relevant. Being “entrepreneurial” and “acting like a startup” are catchphrases that are bandied around quite a bit, but a more tangible tactic for publishers is to take an inventory of their assets and then find ways to leverage them.
Case in point: In my role with Arden Operating Company, I have worked closely with our RCR Wireless News and Telecomcareers properties. These two brands have been covering the telecom and wireless industry for years (RCR for over 30). In digging through our assets, we have leveraged the strength of both brands to develop a powerful platform that provides a 360-degree view of the wireless industry. The combination of RCR Wireless News and Telecomcareers.com enables us to present to all levels of executives and decision makers throughout the wireless industry, regardless of role or function.
Moreover, with the resumes from Telecomcareers in our database, we are able to connect with groups of individuals who have worked at the same companies, attended the same schools, and in some cases share the same interests. We are able to get a granular view of the industry everyman and present them with deeper relevance than other sources – which translates into competitive advantage. More importantly, as new resumes are added to our database every day, we have a self-funding audience development machine that serves the community.
The revenue model for new media is based on stacking dimes with multiple client offerings (either developed or via partners). As such, many companies can provide a job board or career site solution to augment content and audience development efforts. But to provide value, this type of offering needs to be more than a feed from a standard job board or a widget for an additional revenue stream.
Instead, such an initiative needs to be viewed as almost a new business unit if it is to be successful. There must be a concentrated effort with vested ownership in its success to connect with the audience and the client. When I was part of eFinancialcareers, there were sales, marketing, social and content stakeholders. At Telecomcareers, I recently entered the world of Google Hangouts by hosting a weekly show where I interview executives about the current war for talent in the wireless industry, career enhancement opportunities and even who’s hiring.
The platform we’ve implemented for our telecom brands provides opportunities to:
- develop a pristine and holistic database
- increase average revenue per user (ARPU) through the ability to penetrate an enterprise beyond the marketing department, since all functions need talent acquisition services
- create a community not only for sharing information but to help members find new jobs – a service that can drive immense brand loyalty
By leveraging content and data around a business professional’s greatest concern – his or her job – the publisher becomes a partner with that individual, their company and their industry. In other words, the publisher becomes an integral part of that industry, not just one of many that cover it.
Wallace Ryland has been an executive at companies such as The Kiplinger Washington Editors, eFinancial Careers/Dice.com and Marcoa Publishing. He was named to the Folio 40 in 2011, and is currently an Executive in Residence for Arden Operating Company.