News Corp Australia is the biggest media company in Australia, with over 17 million Australians consuming news and information through their suite of print and digital products every month. They are home to websites including news.com.au, bodyandsoul.com.au, kidspot.com.au, Escape.com.au, Vogue.com.au & GQ.com.au.
In April 2020, News Corp Australia launched their ecommerce strategy and we were thrilled to sit down with Jade McDade, Head of E-Commerce – Audience and Partners, to talk about their journey and what they’ve learnt in the first 12 months.
In the first of our five part series, we speak to Jade about how they made the decision to invest in Commerce Content and why they chose Skimlinks as their partner.
Why did News Corp Australia decide to invest in Commerce Content?
Jade: We were looking at how we could increase revenue from what we’re doing already. We looked at what assets we had and how we could play to our strengths and we landed on our lifestyle content.
We wanted to improve our page yield and the revenue we make from our pages, and that’s how we landed on Skimlinks and writing content specifically focused on servicing the reader’s shopping needs.
Our writers were already producing articles about shoppable products and linking directly to retailers and we’d been building trust with our audience through those recommendations. We realised what we were doing and could do well was service journalism, and we could monetise that.
When we first implemented Skimlinks, we simply ran page reports on existing content to determine if our readers were actually clicking out to the retailers and we discovered they were, and they were buying those products we were writing about. In one particular article about the best self-tans for example, we could see that we were getting ongoing traffic from search engine referrals, the clicks were really high and readers continued to click on the article week after week. So we knew that what we were doing was already working and that we needed to implement a structure and strategy around it.
You evaluated a number of partners to help monetise your Commerce Content strategy. What were you looking for in a partner?
Jade: For us it was all about scale. We’ve got over 13 million uniques on our sites, extensive volumes of content and the number of retailers we were writing about in our articles was in the thousands. We wanted to find a partner that could match our scale, do it quickly and cost effectively.
Having a really light, operationally efficient and technically efficient solution was important to ensure that we continued to provide our readers with a good user experience. We wanted to minimise the page load and have as few tags as possible on the page so that the page performs well in search and is quick to load for the reader.
That’s what’s great about Skimlinks, being able to connect with thousands of retailers and having a really light, operationally efficient and technically efficient solution.
To manually go back through all of that archive content and find what’s working would be such a big exercise. Every day now we’re receiving a click or making a sale from an article that was published sometimes as long as two years ago. And for us now, it’s a flag, where we say ‘Oh wow, look that’s still surfacing in search results, people are still reading it, they’re still clicking out, let’s go back and update that article or publish an even better new one.’ So, it really helps us identify those quick wins as well.
What else made you decide to partner with Skimlinks?
Jade: Having one solution that allowed us to access all retailers and all the affiliate networks. We wanted to move quickly and having just the one contract and contact instead of having to set up multiple agreements was key.
That was a big one for us, one contract, one agreement that then unlocked all these affiliate networks and advertisers.