Removing the Guesswork From Building a Loyal Community
How can publishers deepen audience relationships? What's the secret to higher engagement, longer time on-site, and increased retention?
Quality content comes first — but what comes next?
Insight From The Industry
The Most Powerful User Experiences Are Rooted In Community
Publishers are always on the lookout for features that increase stickiness—there’s a reason the New York Times just acquired Wordle for a price “in the
low seven figures”: as an addictive puzzle game, it more or less guarantees a huge influx of new readers visiting the Times’ site every morning.
“Conversation serves the same function: it turns publishers into destinations, building communities that readers want to constantly check in on.”
“So — how should publishers move forward?”
Make it easy for users to engage quickly with your content
A simple one-click poll, added to the top of the conversation can go a long way towards driving engagement.
Reactions and polls also provide a rich, actionable store of first-party data, which they can use to improve content offerings, more precisely target advertisements, and more.
Give your readers real-time updates
Live Blog turns faceless bylines into actual people — personalities your readers can actually get to know. It deepens the bond with your audience and keeps them immersed in your reporting.
direct line of communication to experts
Reader questions are also valuable for informing your editorial strategy. If you’re seeing the same kinds of questions crop up over and over again, that’s a good sign it’s a topic of interest among your readers.
Join the conversation to boost engagement — and quality
Designated badges can help identify editorial staff, whose contributions can then be highlighted. Meanwhile, our ‘Best’ sorting feature keeps the best comments towards the top, positively influencing the overall discussion.
Let readers track the content that matters to them
With OpenWeb’s Topic Tracker, users can actually follow and receive notifications on
the topics they care about the most. That way, content relevant to your readers’ interest doesn’t get lost in the daily churn.
Curb toxicity to build loyalty
The calculus here is simple: toxic conversations repel readers, respectful ones bring them in.
Allow readers to leave reviews
Readers love leaving reviews. When you give them the option to do so, it boosts engagement across the board: the reviewer spends more time on-site, as do the people who read the review, some of whom will leave reviews of their own.
Surface your top content to your users
That’s why we built Popular in the Community — a tool that doesn’t just highlight articles: it also draws attention to popular, high-quality user comments. This sets reporters and readers on an equal plane, and shows readers that their contributions are valued — not as an afterthought but as an integral part of your site.
Notably, highlighting UGC also dramatically increases the quantity of clickable content on your site at any given time — giving readers even more reason to stick around.
Among users that register with OpenWeb, we see:
Encourage readers to register
Think, again, of Wordle: whether the Times paywalls it remains to be seen, but the increased daily engagement will inevitably boost registrations and subscriptions either way.
OpenWeb users who engage with content that’s trending:
Pay attention to what your readers actually want
Data insights are delivered via real-time Slack notifications or weekly digests on trending topics, articles of interest, engagement, and more.
Take advantage of contextual targeting
Contextual ads, unlike third-party ads, are displayed based on what a user is actively looking at, as opposed to their past internet history. In other words, they’re less invasive — and as a result, they can help to nurture a sense of trust between you and your readers.
Plus, contextual targeting thrives on first-party data — which is precisely what most of the tools discussed here are designed to generate.
Let's have a conversation.
We help publishers gain independence from traditional social media by fueling millions of high-quality conversations across thousands of communities with more than one hundred million monthly users.