“Every single editor I’ve spoken to feels they’re flying blind,” says Rob Barrett, digital chief at Hearst Newspapers.
One of the key challenges this year for news was balancing national news with regional news, pop culture and viral content. As reach is still an important metric for newspapers it is almost impossible to do that without mixing viral items into the news mix. Data analysis on newspapers’ websites has shown this and has been incorporated in print outlets as well. Reporters are using real-time data, their editorial experience and talent to create a mix attractive for the daily reader. This has been successful for their websites and gives opportunities to print that have been overlooked. Talk to us if your newsroom has problems tracking digital ePaper publications. We are happy to help create more engaging reading experiences with you.
Time is not the best index of engagement
It is easy to assume that engagement increases purely because a video takes longer to watch and thus increases reading time. According to the American Press Institute, on average, people only spend 7 percent longer on stories with video or audio than without. However, more people are actually viewing stories that include those enrichment elements, and more people are sharing them with their peers.
While there are myriad ways to help readers stay focused in an article through the usage of multimedia, those enrichments should be used wisely. The video or photo should be part of the storytelling and assist the reader’s focus. Just adding a photo slideshow won’t do for some articles. With long form articles and major stories, photos should be part of the whole storytelling process.
Enhance the experience
Different elements of a story should complement each instead of offering redundant information. Too many pieces of information overwhelm the reader and they will give up on it. Elaborate infographics are often too difficult for readers to understand. Simplicity is best when it comes to creating a comfortable reading experience.
Since last year Twipe has conducted intensive research together with the large Belgian publishing group Mediahuis, the University of Leuven and iMinds, in order to build up a much deeper understanding of engagement of readers with digital publications. The goal of the Digital Reader Engagement initiative is to measure and predict reader engagement of digital publications. The aim is to improve the daily publications by integrating daily editorial insights in the newspaper production process using advanced machine learning.
Learn more about the backgrounds of the research and get insights into this new editorial workflow tool here.