Saturday, September 28, 2013

Knowing Where Your Audience Lives

Anyone who has walked across the Chico State campus on Wednesday (Orion Day!) has seen, but maybe not noticed, what I see every week:
• Orion staffers at a table in The Gauntlet handing out copies of the newspaper
• Students sitting on benches, tables, retaining walls and other perches with their heads bent over mobile phones
• Stacks of papers in racks waiting to be snatched up by those same students.

There are fewer papers waiting in those stacks on days when there's breaking news (as there was this week), of course, but too many newspapers remain on the racks when the distribution crew makes its rounds the following Wednesday. 

That shouldn't be a surprise. The Orion's primary target audience -- students -- prefers to get its news in digital form. Here are some numbers to think about:
• The Orion prints 5,000 copies every week, but only about 2,000 are distributed on campus.
• Since Sept. 12 (when the new website launched), has had 11,885 unique visitors who have made 22,091 visits and viewed 175,000 pages -- an astonishing 7.92 pages per visit.
• The Orion mobile app, which has been slow to pick up new users, has 429 unique users in the past 30 days. They made 1,968 visits in that time.

(Click on the charts below to see the actual statistics)

Even assuming many or most of the app users also use and some small percentage of students pick up their papers off campus, it's fair to say The Orion's most important audience, students, are much likelier -- maybe as much as five times likelier -- to get their news online.

Can you think of a better argument for making sure the website is updated at least daily, what everyone agrees is what the online audience wants and expects?

No comments:

Post a Comment