Back to Media

Hans-Christian Kock, Kristeligt Dagblad

Presentation at SlideShare: How we work with Facebook to boost our business.

October 1, 2015

I could have talked about a lot of digital things, but today I am planning to talk about how we work with Facebook—how we work with content marketing.

Subscription, it’s my passion. Its data and I love data and I eat it for breakfast. And I work at Kristeligt Dagblad which is based 120 years ago. When we talked about culture before, for me this is where we start. This is where we are, but this is also where we start.

New York Times said in October, our organization was built for the print era and must be redesigned for the mobile. And we could say that as well. But of course we are digital. Of course New York Times’ digital, but how do we work with it. How do we get forward? We have to look at our organization first.
We are around 110 people. And we are getting more and more digital. Right now we are rebuilding our office so that digital has to be in the center. And we are very data driven. We have four people just working with data, analyzing, looking for more. And all marketing is lead generation. Just who we are.

And of course as a media house, we are very content driven. We have a strategy to provide purpose in our readers’ lives and we aim to do it. And we have a lot of content that you can’t get anywhere else. That’s it. This is who we are.

But of course when we look at it as people having a lot of thoughts, who are the readers of a 120 years old newspaper. It’s Denmark. They probably live there. This is probably the reader and his wife. But this is not the truth. They live here. We have 40,000 paying subscribers. Every blue dot is a subscriber and it’s all over. If we have to say something, they are around Copenhagen—richer part in Copenhagen and richer part of. This is where our subscribers live. This is our story. But we have another story. Our traditional marketing channels generates less leads. They are more expensive and they have a lower conversion. We’ve always been marketing ourselves as a free trial marketing, which is 60 years old saying try it for free for a month. This is not new. Trial is not new for us at all, but it’s new that they give less and less.

So our challenge is to find new ways to reach potential subscribers. And this is what we are talking about. So why Facebook?

I am sure all of you know this, but 25% of all internet traffic in Denmark is from Facebook. So people use it as a browser. People read news from it. People use it for everything.

3.5 million Danes have a Facebook Account and 2.5 are on Facebook every day on average, 14 times a day, almost an hour a day. No media has ever been that strong in Denmark. No TV, no nothing. This is the strongest media in Denmark ever.

If I tell me Facebook friends about your brand, it’s not because I like your brand, it’s rather because I like my friends. This is what we use Facebook for. There’s a lot of feelings about Kristeligt Dagblad and who reads it. The thing is if we have stories that matter to people to do a purpose for people, we can get people to share it. And share ability is one thing that is very important on Facebook.

So this used to be our funnel. We made an offer, there was some consideration and they were purchasing it. But as I said before this was generating less and less and more and more expensive. What was it that we were using the trial version for? We were using it for people to get to read our newspaper and when they read it, we had actually people wanting to buy our newspaper. But now we couldn’t have people to get to try it and it was getting too expensive. So we said, okay, what can we use Facebook for? We can get people to read our articles.

Very slow, finding this out, we were not that fast thinking that our articles was our best sales argument. But 1.5 years ago we started doing it and the thing is our content is a lot stronger than our brand. So we can get people to read our stories and in that way our brand gets stronger and we can get people to try the newspaper. So our acquisition funnel gets a lot bigger.

When we look at an article, it only creates value when it’s read. When nobody reads an article, it has no value. But we can see now that our content is much stronger than traditional commercial. You never had so many trials. We’ve never had so many people wanted to try our newspaper and when we say, okay try is for four weeks or people want to try it now, but because they have been reading some of it. So our content kills our traditional marketing.

So we use our content, as we make, as a media every day and we make a lot of it. We use it for commercial purpose now. For a startup company of course your articles are for commercial purpose, then again we are a newspaper. We want to produce it and somebody else sells it, normally. But we changed this. People still write for the newspaper, but now we can use it in the commercial department as well. lit.

This is very important for us.

So we do embrace Facebook. We don’t see it as our enemy, as some media companies do. We see it as our friend. And it gives us possibility of depth segmentation, gender, age, interest, education, geography and a lot more. And we can get a lot of very high return on investment on traffic campaigns. We can get leads. We can get advertising on our page.

See here, in a week, more than a million reach. More than 100,000 people interacting with us and our articles. When we use segmentation, we have more than 80 different target groups. It could be one who lost a son. It could be something about Christmas. It could be about relationship. Everything again things that matter for people. We can use different segmentation and we can have up to 10 different segmentation groups for one article and then we close them down if it doesn’t work. All about data, all about conversion rate.

So how did we do on traffic? We started out here and to there it’s about 62% growth. And we used to be the top 60 site in Denmark. Now we are top 25, aiming to be top 20 site in a couple of months. But what to do about traffic.

We measure which content is best for our lead generation. What is best to get subscription? And this is not a job for a journalist. This is a job for a data specialist. We have a Google spreadsheet, which takes in from Facebook which articles we published, the date, the reach it has, how many clicked on it, the engagement rate, how many unique visitors it has, the conversion, how many leads it gets and the conversion rates.

From Facebook, from Google. Because we can’t put it in Google, because they don’t measure Facebook that well. So we have to take it from our own. We use some Bell metric stuff on our own page. We have to take it from Google Analytics, and we have to take it from Facebook and put it down so we can manage it afterwards.

So our homepage, when you go into it, it’s much more than content. It’s e-commerce. as we call her. You will see her. She’ll visit you and she will hunt you down if you don’t signup first time. We’ll use retargeting—free trials. Then it works. Then commercial works.

If you see down here, people actually liked the ads. It’s not normal that people like ads on Facebook.

So how does it go as our site as a lead generator. This is 2014. We actually started out there. Slow start. This is 2015. We are up more than 300%. Almost made 19,000 trials in 2015. And we are heading even further in 2016. But this is not without any problem.

Our organic reach has decreased. Facebook changes very often. The algorithm of Facebook changes 2—3—4 times last year. Price is going up for advertising very—very fast. It’s 4—5—6 times up. So we have to really do deep segmentation, and close down, which is very time demanding.

A year ago, we can just publish an ad and it would work very fine. But if we do that today, our money is gone. So we have to use time to do it. And this is time demanding and it’s very hard for the organization. So we have to find out a great way to use that.

I showed we were on a growth last year. All time highest level of reach. Every week we reach more than 850,000 people on Facebook. Normally more than a million. We have a growth in active subscribers, also in our print newspaper. Not many papers can say that. We have a growth in digital traffic. We have improve in retention. So we have paying subscribers who stay with us longer. I can’t say it’s because of that because we can’t say that. Maybe they hear a lot about us from other places. We can see we’ve had a very improving retention, because we have a growth in our revenue.