'The Information' makes a case for smaller publishers adopting a paywall.
This is just a brief companion to an article I wrote yesterday entitled do publishers' paywalls kill sociability?, in which I asked a few questions around the subject of online publications asking readers to pay for content which they have traditionally enjoyed for free.
As this focussed mainly on larger newspapers, at the end of the post I suggested that I would follow up the article with a focus on smaller, start-up publishers and whether a paywall might be suitable for them or not.
This recent example was brought to my attention and I feel it makes for an interesting case-study.
During the run-up to Christmas, which companies are bidding on paid search terms for the most popular products, and which have the most effective landing pages?
I took a look at paid search in my beginner’s guide what is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? last month, and since then I’ve been a lot more attuned to this method of search engine marketing.
However I've also realised that PPC ads are for nothing, and a complete waste of searcher's time and an advertiser’s money, if conversion isn’t happening.
Referral traffic from eBay to Argos increased by almost a third between October and November, thanks in part to a new click-and-collect partnership between the two retailers.
In September eBay signed a deal that enabled its customers to collect purchases from Argos’ UK stores, giving the online retailer a permanent foothold on the high street.
Argos currently achieves around 25% of its overall traffic from referrals, of which eBay now accounts for 11%. This equated to more than 600,000 visits in November.
If one of the things we’ve learnt so far within digital marketing is that becoming more social is a key ways to succeed, does the installing of a paywall on newspaper run websites effectively mean ‘killing’ their shareability?
The most topical example of this is The Sun’s recent introduction of its subscription service. Named Sun+, this has attracted 117,000 subscribers to its £2 a week service in approximately three months.
With The Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times all having already installed paywalls at various points in their online existences, with varying degrees of success, has this made a difference to how their material is shared?
Do they even care? If they are making enough money from subscribers, then perhaps the volume of traffic is unimportant to them.
Within your own social circles, will followers of your channel be annoyed that you’re posting a link to something they need to pay for? This obviously introduces a whole new argument about the value of content, and whether it should be free or otherwise.
Our editor-in-chief Graham Charlton (pictured above) took an in-depth look at The Telegraph's metered paywall in his article earlier in the year, so let’s take a look at the other newspaper paywalls and attempt to shed some light on the questions raised.
The idea of being helpful, of providing content and resources to prospective and current customers that may not have anything to do with your organization, is a new and radical concept for many marketers.
"You mean you want me to publish content that doesn't sell my product?" The idea is simple: give people want they want and eventually they consider you a trusted resource.
But is being helpful enough? Is helpfulness really useful? Or are marketers spinning their wheels creating content that, even though it's helpful, no one really wants?
Although being helpful is something marketers should strive towards as a way to foster engagement, useful should be the end-goal: giving people content they need to solve their problems, when they need it, and in the specific format they want.
Topshop is the top UK retailer for tablet user experience, according to the latest research by QUISMA, in which 10 top UK retailers were compared in terms of their tablet sites.
Topshop, Adidas and Nike provide the easiest to use websites for tablet users, whereas Zara and H&M performed poorly when it came to helping consumers navigate their sites.
Shall we blindly take QUISMA's word for it? Nah. Where's the fun in that?
Let’s have a look at some of the individual sites ourselves to see if we agree...
A key element for loyalty programs, especially in industries like retail and restaurants, is product purchase frequency. Frequently purchased products enable members to earn more reward currency and keep the product and the program top of mind.
Does that mean that products without a high rate of purchase frequency can't implement a successful loyalty program?
They actually can, it just requires a little creative thinking and a different approach.
When taking over any PPC account, it is essential to learn from historical performance swiftly in order to make the best possible start to a campaign.
In this example account there was a clear disparity between the best and worst hours / days of the week.
This suggested that a more aggressive ad scheduling strategy was required to bring the account to an even keel (and to perform as efficiently as possible) over the course of the day and week.
‘Nofollow’ tags are an HTML attribute that tells search engines not to pay any attention to links that appear on a webpage.
It was created in 2005 by the major search engines as a way of combatting link spam and dodgy SEO practices, though its impact in helping to win that fight is debatable.
Recently I’ve had a few conversations around the use of nofollow tags so thought it would be helpful to give an overview of why they’re important and in what context they should be used.
I should add a caveat here… ‘of varying degrees of quality’.
There are definitely six examples here, but I would suggest that only four and a half are actually 'innovative'.
I’ll start with the best one, which is the reason why I began this journey in the first place. Well that and an uncharacteristic wave of festive spirit after enjoying a post-lunchtime liqueur chocolate. Then if you can tread with increasing amounts caution through the remaining examples, that would be great.
So with the formalities dispensed with, let's begin...