Jagran New Media’s Big Data-Driven Content Strategy: According to the IAMAI Kantar’s ICUBE 2020 report, the number of active Internet users in India touched 622 million in 2020. The report also claims that in the next 5 years, India’s Internet population will grow by 45% to reach 900 million by 2025. The exponential growth in India’s digital population has presented digital publishers, especially newsrooms with an excellent opportunity as well as a unique problem i.e., how to acquire, retain and engage Naya Bharat, which is joining the Internet mainstream. Jagran New Media – the digital arm of Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL) - a top Indian media conglomerate, has taken a step in the right direction to develop technology and data-driven solution to this challenge.
The Challenge: Evolve a Value-Based Content Strategy
Jagran New Media (JNM) is one of India’s fastest-growing digital publishers with over 180 million page views per month, five pages per visitor and a unique user base of 36 million per month. The central theme of JNM’s content strategy is to produce factual and credible content that empowers new India or the Naya Bharat. Coming from the pedigree of Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL), one of the most trusted media brands in the country, JNM has adopted an audience-first approach to produce content that empowers its audiences to make better life decisions. With this core value system at the heart of JNM’s content strategy, applying the traditional digital metrics of page views, unique browsers, or monthly active users, which are commonly used by digital publishers, was not apt. Another challenge was to train and help JNM’s editorial team to adopt and adapt to data-driven content practices that can help drive engagement on the platform.
To solve this unique puzzle, Jagran New Media was invited to be part of the Google News Initiative (GNI) APAC Data Lab Program. Jagran New Media (JNM) partnered with MightyHive and Tatvic to develop and implement a data-driven solution that uses reader data to make editorial decisions faster and relevant to the newsroom.
The Solution: Data-Driven Editorial Dashboards to Decode User Behaviour
Taking a technology-first approach, a data-driven solution was developed and implemented for JNM’s Newsroom, which would help decide user behaviour and design a content strategy that met their expectations. The solution was implemented in three simple but effective steps:
- Creation: As the technologist, Tatvic designed a dashboard that used the visualisation powers of Google DataStudio to integrate raw data using BigQuery and a Tag Manager system for the collection of data on user behaviour across JNM platforms. JNM team along with strategy partner MightyHive identified new metrics that can help transform the raw data into insights to assist editorial decisions and engage audiences. These included four key pillars i.e., recirculation rate (the rate at which readers visit another page on the website after their initial page view) and session duration, or the amount of time a reader is active on the site.
- Optimization: As part of the second step, MightyHive and Google teams optimized the data that was being collected through BigData Query into effective and efficient solutions. By redesigning the data and table structure, the optimization exercise resulted in 95% cost savings.
- Management: Change management, i.e., enabling the editorial team to use this new digital and data-driven solution as part of the content strategy was the third step and the most important and key to the success of the project. With regular training, the editorial team evolved a data-first content strategy as part of their decision-making process. The teams also evolved the ROSA framework, which made content performance the primary mainstay of data-driven journalism at JNM.
The Result: Significant Growth in Engagement among Brand Lovers
Within three months since the implementation of GNI driven Dashboards in JNM Newsrooms, the results were quite evident. The data-drive approach to editorial planning and content strategy led to a significant increase in engagement by Brand Lovers, the most valuable audience segment for a digital publisher.
The unique content planning solution developed with help of MightyHive and Tatvic has helped JNM increase in Completion Rate of articles viewed for Brand Lovers, which is where the user reads at least 75% of the article. Along similar lines, JNM has also seen a 15% rise in the Recirculation Rate for Brand Lovers i.e., users consuming more than one subsequent article detail page.