Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions

Publication Date:

May 30, 2012


Jan Schaffer and Erin Polgreen

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What people are saying

"“We feel these numbers only give us part of the information we need. We’re interested not just in breadth of engagement but more in depth of engagement.”"

— — Survey Respondent

Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions

The rise of social media tools in recent years has empowered online news startups to increase content distribution, market their sites and track users. But most say they cannot lasso data to track whether they are turning users into supporters who will help their sites survive.

According to a national survey on audience engagement, nearly eight in 10 online survey respondents said they could not measure whether their engagement strategies were also converting readers into advertisers, donors, content contributors or volunteers.

“Such an effort is beyond our capacity,” said one respondent. “We need help,” said another.

These are among key findings of a new survey, funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, focusing on how “digital-first” news sites are engaging their audiences and measuring that engagement.

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