Data insights not only tell publishers what their audience want, but also how they can find new audiences – and ultimately – grow their business.
FS was new to digital in 2016 and eager to grow traffic and online presence. FS has a strong 100,000 monthly print circulation and fills its pages sport, fitness and lifestyle advice – not to mention regular celebrity cover stars such as Usain Bolt, Drake and Joe Wicks. FS wanted a partner to cut through industry jargon, help them find new audiences and deliver results.
Rachel Middlewick, publisher at FS explains: ‘Our website had quite low traffic when we started – we wanted to know how we could increase it, which content campaigns and which ad campaigns were going to work.’
Campaign joined the brains behind FS and Quantcast for a one-month campaign to make this happen. For FS, the two key focuses were sports and fitness so Quantcast set to find an audience that would be interested in this content. Quantcast identified popular articles and associated search terms on the FS website. For sports they had two strategies, one focussing on significant superstars, the other on more niche sporting personalities.
For fitness, the Quantcast team developed two more strategies: general fitness (looking at search terms such as ‘burn calories’ or ‘personal trainers’); exercise specific search terms (‘running tips’).
Quantcast didn’t need lots of search terms – the key to selecting keywords is making them specific but with huge search volume. Quantcast used these search terms to build custom personas for each of the four areas – using Quantcast’s live audience data.
They created personas for the ‘exercise specific’, ‘general fitness’, ‘sports superstars’ and ‘sports celebrities’ categories. They found the audiences varied per different content type: ‘exercise specific’ terms skewed towards being female, young (under 34) and more affluent. Those interested in the ‘sports superstar’ and ‘sports celebrity’ keywords were heavily skewed towards being affluent males.
Quantcast used these personas as a baseline to model and serve ads for FS’s site to new consumers exhibiting similar online behaviours (FS had developed fresh creative for the purpose).
Quantcast and FS had regular talks to optimise the campaign. Two key campaign optimisations were made mid-way through the campaign. Some of the keywords that were not performing well were switched with new ones and FS supplied new creatives which aligned with the target audience.
Quantcast constantly measured the uplift in traffic: the key purpose of the campaign. They could track performance back to the individual keyword strategy – enabling them to tweak and strengthen each strategy. Quantcast updated keywords to ensure the targeting remained relevant to the content on the site. For example, they introduced search keywords such as ‘Anthony Joshua’ and ‘Odell Beckham Junior’ to the ‘sports celebrity’ strategy, to coincide with new editorial features.
Quantcast also acted on key themes they saw emerging from the audience insights. They saw that in the ‘general fitness’ category, people had a high propensity to search for diet and nutritional advice. On ‘sports celebrity’, they identified football and basketball as key user interested. FS supplied updated creative to act on these emerging themes.
Quantcast achieved FS’s goal to increase traffic, find new audiences and help steer their digital strategy. Middlewick says: ‘After working with Quantcast, our traffic was 7% up. In addition, we’re able to work up a more effective and optimised adwords campaign now – targeting people who will be interested in specific areas of our site – and it allows us to invest better, get more ROI and look for better marketing investment.’
But the one-month campaign also provided insights about the actual content. Ellie Lane, senior account manager at Quantcast explains: ‘Occasionally you come across some unexpected audience insights – FS have been able to act on that and make content that speaks to their target subject areas.’
James Charlton, editor, FS is thrilled: ‘It was really successful – we got an increase in traffic and impressions, which was fantastic. But Quantcast were able to give us a creative analysis. They looked at the words we used and played around with others to see what was getting the most engagement.’