7 things we learned from top digital publishers in Europe

7 things we learned from top digital publishers in Europe

1. Everyone should pay attention to engagement data:

“It used to be only viral publishers or digital specialists that would be interested in this sort of data, nowadays it’s essential that everyone is able to understand what’s happening.”

Erik Carlsson – Schibsted

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2. Get information overload under control

A common complaint in newsrooms is that there is too much information to make sense of. Analytics dashboards and tools with dozens of metrics can seem impenetrable to most journalists. This stress is further heightened with the fear of missing out on a story going viral.

Simplifying information flow to highlight only the most important metrics was a key takeaway from Huffington Post Spain.

It’s a psychological issue. Our editors and writers now have the feeling of having everything under control. It is not the same to think “I missed something” and “This tool is telling me what is interesting for our readers in Spain right now.

Guillermo Rodriguez – Subdirector, Huffington Post Spain

3. Get people on board as early as possible if you want everyone’s buy-in.

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When Schibsted rolled out a project to make reader behaviour more understandable to journalists, they got those people involved from the planning stages.

“With this project, we involved everyone early on and held workshops to define hypotheses about our users.”

Antoaneta Nikolaeva – Digital Business Development, Schibsted

The result was that when they introduced the finished system, they already had people who could explain it to colleagues and champion it, having themselves been a part of its creation.

4. Live in the moment.

“The historical view in the past was interesting, but nowadays it does not create any value. It’s only Realtime.”

Daniel Härtnagel – Editor in Chief, Wunderweib (Bauer Media)

Historical data is vital for post event analysis, but for newsrooms and journalists, it’s become essential to have a real-time view of what’s going on. Whether that’s in their country, in their city or about a specific subject, understanding what’s going on, as it’s going on, has become essential.

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5. Instagram is booming and driving traffic.

We know that Instagram is becoming more important for all kinds of publishers. Most news outlets have some kind of presence to help build their brand. It was the same for Sonia Got Leibar from Spain’s Mediaset group.

“In the beginning, our only goal was to create those communities of fans and have a communication channel with them.”

However, Instagram as a traffic source? Instagram Stories has enabled the possibility, but is it actually significant? According to Sonia, yes.

“Instagram as a traffic referrer has become a very relevant actor. That has been a big surprise: we did not expect that links were going to perform so well.”

Read more in our 2018 interview with Sonia.

Sonia Got Leibar – Social Media Manager, Mediaset.

6. Post when your readers are reading, not only when you’re in the office.

There’s a great summary about the growth of Spanish news publisher Publico here. One of the key takeaways was them analysing their hour on hour engagement to see that people were engaging at all hours. By pushing the newsroom into scheduling posts, they were able to capture a larger market share. The number of posts they made per hour stayed consistent, but the number of hours in which they were posting increased.

This is something that we’ve seen adopted by multiple newsrooms across Europe.

7. Keep it simple and visual

A key factor to encourage everyone in the newsroom to pay attention to data is beautifully simple and involves having some large TVs around the newsroom.

“Big Screen all the time. That is my number one tip.

There will always be people who don’t use the tools available, for whatever reason, but we have important data up on screen and they will frequently ask about it.”

Wesley Scholte – Journalist, Hart van Nederland

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