Publishers need that traffic to work harder, especially if they’re like The New York Times, where subscriptions account for more than half its revenue. To drive subscriptions, the Times, like other publishers, has been shifting from direct-response approaches to softer sells like buying traffic on social media and content-recommendation engines. Now, it’s finding success in targeting audiences on Facebook and getting them not just to visit the site but to subscribe, too.
The Times is one of a handful of publishers using a startup called KeyWee, which uses natural language analysis to find keywords in articles that are likely to be relevant to potential Times subscribers, then buying traffic against those audiences on Facebook. The NYT is also an investor in KeyWee.
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