Make a connection with your audience and harness the power of focused communities around your niche, media groups advised publishers during a panel discussion on how B2B publications can benefit from and offer value to their readers.
John Barnes MD of digital at Incisive Media said B2B publishers have to understand who their audiences are.
It’s about identifying a type of focused audience … and understanding what the role, function, value and importance of that individual is so we can sell that focus to advertisers. We have lost sight of that in some of the market as we have been chasing eyeballs instead.
He added that the way forward with this thinking is to create an environment where “it is the most natural thing in the world to hand over details”.
It’s about having the environment to encourage sharing … if we haven’t got that we haven’t got a media business.
Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch Europe which was recently bought by AOL, added that the chase for communities is historical in the publishing industry.
We didn’t chase registrations, what we chased was communities. If you look at what publishers have done historically … in the first instance it was to chase communities. They didn’t necessarily have data about them but they chased them and enlightened those communities.
In fact he said TechCrunch’s focused community was key to its value for AOL: “it was bought for this high value community”.
Tim Potter, managing director of business publishing at Centaur Media added that community focused platforms such as blogs when used within media brands will encourage high interaction.
If you give people blogging tools within our existing media brands you get a very high level of interaction, even in markets where you wouldn’t expect it … it will take a lot for a blog to come along and challenge established media brands providing they do the right things.
But as long as the publisher continues to provide informed content, he added, it will remain “central to the debate”.
Kevin Eyres, managing director for LinkedIn Europe added that the value of the individual must also be remembered by brands.
It’s about not losing sight of humans. When you’re talking about B2B it’s a business person purchasing from another business person. Companies are leveraging their best assets – their employees – to make that more personal connection back and forth with whoever that purchaser is going to be.