The attention economy in audiences while engaged with community news

Reader of community news

The media space is closely intertwined with the concept of the attention economy. This is based on the fundamental principle which is the fact that media platforms exist to serve the audience. The attention economy therefore refers to the engagement of humanity with diverse elements which includes information within a particular environment with complete mental focus.

The attention economy is therefore developed around a common understanding that the media has a task of ensuring that they capture the human attention span. For businesses and brands, it’s about aggressively capturing the attention of the right audience in the form of consumers. There is a difference between a ready to buy, sceptical and oversaturated consumer. Grabbing this attention therefore entails carefully curating the right message and content, placing it on the right platform and at the right time in order to meet the minds of consumers not just for a moment but to stick in their psyche for a sustainable period of time.

When does attention economy happen?

  • Attention economy often occurs when a consumer sees a product ad or piece of information while waiting for something to happen. This can be an ad while waiting for a sports game.
  • Attention economy can also happen when a consumer is actively searching for relevant information and products for a particular need.
  • Attention economy also frequently happens when a consumer encounters information or product/business ad just after finishing an intellectually engaging activity which could be a work meeting or even an academic class.

Capturing the above indicated points of the attention economy demands that the media and in particular community news should conceptualise product ads, articles and visual content in a manner that promotes talkability. There is a huge difference between a consumer seeing something and a consumer who sees something and chooses to share and spread the word. Talkability provokes a consumer chain reaction which results in a huge audience attention towards a product, business brand or any other development for that matter through discussing and sharing news, discussing product ads and marketing campaigns and other information.

How community news media is meeting the challenge of attention economy in audiences

Local content with broader impact – Community news entities often operate on the premise of serving the immediate community. However, there are local issues which have a broader effect and resonates with audiences beyond a unique community. These issues include climate change, crime, poverty, clean water, etc. Community news entities are therefore meeting this challenge by coming up with local content which resonates with a broader audience.

Cross-platform convergence – Consumers are constantly searching for new platforms and channels where they can engage and source new information. Community news entities have therefore adopted a multi-platform approach which involves producing and publishing content across multiple platforms.

Social news – Social media is a big deal and is at the heart of information and advertising. It initiates and accelerates the speed of the news cycle and information consumption by consumers. Community news entities have therefore tapped into the power of social media to compete in the attention economy.

Short and impactful – How you structure your content determines how much attention you capture. Shorter articles and eye-grabbing multimedia have proven to be more impactful with a strong ability to capture the attention of the audience within 6-14 seconds. An increasing number of community news organisations have come to this realisation and have made serious content production adjustments.

Maintain habitual consumers of information -It is fact that tradition runs very deep in the consumer markets. There are still consumers who maintain information consumption traditions such as reading the morning paper, looking out for articles on particular days and looking for connections for more information. Community news providers have a duty to capture this audience by sticking to publishing content as scheduled, delivering newspapers on set dates and displaying ads and information on times which suit these traditionalists.

Hive Digital Media in the audience economy

Hive Digital Media has responded to the changing market dynamics and the power of the attention economy by offering services such as technical support, content creation, marketing services, SEO and conversion optimisation, etc.

Through its internal marketing and content team, Hive produces and delivers high quality content which is broadcast across the 59 hyperlocal community newspapers + social network pages in communities around the country.    Hive Digital Media has tapped into the strength and deep-rooted reach of Caxton’s Local News Network (LNN) by creating content which is distributed across a brand safe environment to interest categories within the Caxton network of brands. The audience is also directed to the article via social media, newsletters and display advertising.  This is done by offering social media boosted posts as part of an overall content campaign to ensure that content on a Hyperlocal website reaches the right audiences on 3rd party platforms like Facebook in order to drive higher traffic and interested audiences.

Hive has also recently invested in a publisher-oriented DMP (data management platform) called CARBON DMP. Using the DMP, Hive is able to collect & deliver relevant, targeted campaigns that can be charged to clients at a higher premium. Using this DMP, Hive is able to create brand specific audiences which can be retargeted based on brand and business needs. The DMP offers a centralized overview of your readers and enables you to identify your most engaged audiences.  Precise targeting can be driven through audience interest or location data to deliver primed mobile brand messages. Carbon provides Hive with high quality 1st and 3rd party data that opens up opportunities for new clients and helps Hive to understand readers in new ways.

How this works is that:

  1. A reader visits an LNN site and is captured in the DMP for targeting later on.

2. Once Hive knows more about the readers and their interests, targeted campaigns aimed at reaching them are considered.

3. Hive pushes the new DMP audience to the Ad Server (GAM).

4. Hive sets up a new campaign to target the specified audience.

5. The relevant reader visits an LNN site, and will see the relevant targeted ad.

From the above, it’s clear to see that the attention economy will continue to drive how media disseminates information and how brands engage with the markets. Hive Digital Media has positioned itself to be the trusted media entity with community news which captures the attention of audiences.

Hive team can be contacted at [email protected].

Patrick Mumbi

DATE: Sep 3, 2021
AUTHOR: Patrick Mumbi