Loyalty as the key performance indicator

“Driving loyalty requires focusing on quality. Readers and reporters will be grateful.”

In the coming year, publishers will focus on building direct relationships with audiences and learning as much about their readers and viewers as possible.

As business models shift from pageview-driven display to direct sales — whether subscriptions, memberships, events, or courses — key performance indicators evolve.

In 2018, journalists will become more attuned to loyalty metrics and the types of stories and distribution methods that encourage repeat visits.

Reporters and editors will receive stats on how many people within the loyal audience segment read a particular story; audience development editors will focus on Facebook, Line, email newsletters, and other platforms that drive readers to visit repeatedly.

There will be new community roles in newsrooms as publishers launch and host Facebook groups and pages with the aim of encouraging loyal behavior. Example communities are Quartz’s At Work (closed) Facebook group, The New Yorker’s (open) Facebook group, and the Huffington Post’s unbranded Facebook pages (such as the one for introverts.

Loyal audiences are more valuable than flybys: they consume more (a one percent increase in loyals will give a far greater uplift in pageviews); they’re more engaged (they scroll deeper and watch more videos); they are more likely to share stories and behave as brand ambassadors; they are more likely to agree to be contacted and provide an email address.

Publishers will decide on an appropriate loyalty rate to target for their brand. High-volume news providers may not consider a reader loyal until she visits 10 or 15 times a month. Niche publishers are more likely to consider 4 or 5 visits a month as a sign of loyalty.

Subscription publishers will measure the relationship between the frequency of returns and the propensity to subscribe.

Driving loyalty requires focusing on quality. Readers and reporters will be grateful.

Sarah Marshall is head of audience growth at Vogue International, Condé Nast International.

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Paul Ford   Go global

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Burt Herman   Things get real

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Jake Levine   The return to now

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Errin Haines Whack   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts