Le Monde – driving content strategy with an analytics approach

As the most widely read newspaper in France, Le Monde has a range of publications and websites, including the main French-language news site lemonde.fr. Adopting an analytics-based approach is an essential part of the media group’s editorial strategy, providing the highest possible quality of content to their readers.

 

12% increase in engine traffic – 2019 vs. 2018

Recovery of 15% of traffic lost to ad blockers

 

The Challenge

To preserve the media brand’s tradition of journalistic excellence within the scope of their digital transformation, Le Monde had to rise to several challenges. Maintaining the rapid turnover and precise timing of news was critical, both to remain competitive and stay ahead of the game. They also needed to ensure that a data-driven approach was fueling their journalistic strategy, which involved evangelizing teams in a data culture. Finally, they needed to effectively measure a fragmented audience in a context of multi-device usage with a mix of identified and unidentified visitors depending on the media consulted.

Adopting an analytics-based approach was therefore essential to Le Monde’s drive to enhance content, acquire audiences and optimize conversions.

 

Outcome

Piano Analytics data insights enabled Le Monde to optimize their content production chain and use analytical data to identify which content works well to maximize its exposure.

The Le Monde team was able to activate the right conversion levers at the right time which led the editorial staff to gradually switch from a publication mode based on the flow of information to a driver's logic where each piece of content is published in the most effective time slot. This involved the staggered publication of:

  • cold content in the evenings and weekends (personal life, travel, etc.)
  • other topics covered earlier in the morning (money, finance)
  • social content on Sunday evenings due to a peak audience observed in this segment; and
  • thematic content published more in line with readers' expectations (cinema on Wednesdays, sports reports early in the morning rather than at night).

 

"Site indicators are extremely valuable. For example, we track the referrer (URL) of each article to find out which pages generate views. We are also able to differentiate the editorial nature of each article, but also the size, date of publication, whether they are free or paid, whether they are read by subscribers or anonymous... A maximum amount of precious detail to produce in depth analyses.”

Pierre Buffet, Head of Digital Studies, Le Monde Group

 

Le Monde used analytics to guide their push strategy which led to a better distribution of mailings. By targeting the most promising slots in terms of audience, Le Monde increased the number of clicks per push by 13%.

Piano’s solution also allowed Le Monde to recover between 5% and 15% of its traffic lost to ad blockers, while respecting the (legitimate) will of Internet users not to be subjected to advertisements.

 

Conclusion

By working with Piano, Le Monde recorded a 12% increase in engine traffic in 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Ensuring they worked with comprehensive, never sampled and reliable data significantly increased their traffic across the board and enhanced the value of their real audience. Piano also met the group’s need to have a trusted third-party tool to provide in-depth solutions on critical issues such as ad blocking and respect for the privacy of Internet users.

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