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How to Increase Online Audience and Strengthen Financial Independence? Recommendations of the Expert Evgheni Gladin

25 April 2019
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Why is it important to produce quality content and why each editorial office should keep an eye on analytics?
Representatives of the six media outlets, who reached stage II of the small grants competition under the ‘Understanding Audience Through Digital Assistance’ project, learned how they could develop their online audience and strengthen their financial independence.
The training was organised by the Independent Journalism Center during 23-24 April 2019, with the support of the Russian expert Evgheni Gladin. He has been working as an Internews consultant since 2014.
The participants spent two days discussing the importance of quality content, sharing platforms; they analysed the profile of their audience, trying to understand who their audience is and what information it needs.
‘You need to understand that producing content is not enough. It is important that it reaches the reader. The amount of information that nowadays media consumers have to deal with is huge, while competition for readers’ attention is very harsh. Finding an approach that would differentiate you from other media institutions and help you keep your readers is essential.’ the expert said.
Discussions also focused on how Mediator or Google Analytics tools work, how the data are stored and provided to the online audience, what are the key performance indicators of a media website and on how to use analytic data for daily and future planning.
‘All this information helps you know how many readers you have, who they are, what materials they read, or what is the average time they spend on the site. It also helps you understand whether the articles you post meet their expectations or how much they interact with your website. Finally, analysing these data you gain a better understanding about the readers’ profile, their interests in terms of information and about how you can develop your editorial policy depending on the preferences of the readership.’ Evgheni Gladin explained.
The participants in the training shared their project ideas and the expert made recommendations about how they can develop their audience, what aspects could be monetised or what content format would be appropriate for a particular media outlet in terms of increasing its audience.
The six media institutions have two weeks to send their detailed project proposals. The jury will select four institutions that will receive EUR 5,000 in grants to implement online audience development initiatives during 5 months (1 June – 31 October).
Alongside their activities, the four media partners will be provided in-house consultations with the participation of two international experts and one local expert in areas such as audience analysis (Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics, etc.), content production planning, advertising sales and online monetization.
The ‘Understanding Audience Through Digital Assistance’ Project is implemented by the IJC with the support of Internews and it is financed by Sweden. The project aims at contributing to improving the quality of media content and the financial sustainability of media institutions through a better understanding of the needs of the public.