Dataconomy's Elena Poughia: our rule is 'audience comes first'

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With so much negative coverage of publishing, we at Bibblio are shining a spotlight on the many vertical publishers that are thriving. Welcome to the "Vertical Heroes" series of interviews.

In this edition, Dataconomy's CEO and founder Elena Poughia gives an outline of how their platform bridges the gap between data science and business, as well as their Data Natives meetup events. Founded in Berlin, Dataconomy focuses on industry giants and disruptive startups alike, honing in on the most interesting applications of data technology, from fintech to healthtech. Dataconomy has been a big data news hub since 2014 and has experienced a steady and impressive growth in readership across that time.

Elena spoke to Bibblio CEO Mads Holmen about how they dedicate content to answering their audience's questions, using their events alongside their platform and how they work with sponsored content.

Elena Poughia, CEO and founder of Dataconomy
Elena Poughia, CEO and founder of Dataconomy

Mads: Hi Elena. Let's start by finding out more about your publication's target audience. Who are they?

Elena: They're researchers in the field of big data, machine learning, AI, cloud technologies, IT and more. We're also talking data scientists, human resources and tech talent acquisition specialists, tech founders, c-level execs, corporates and students.

M: What different types of content are you offering them?

E: As Europe’s leading media and events platform for the data-driven generation, Dataconomy helps pioneering brands share their success stories. We also host commentary from leading global experts in the field, connecting them to our vast network of entrepreneurs, researchers and students.

In addition to this thought leadership, our site also offers insights, careers guidance for aspiring scientists, and fascinating case studies from companies on the cutting edge of data science.

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M: How large is Dataconomy in terms of audience?

E: Our articles on the topic of data science have an average of 3,000 views within a month of being published. Our site receives 160,000 monthly page views with 85,000 unique visitors a month.

We have around 55,000 followers across our social media, with 400,000 impressions per month on Twitter alone. In all, our global community sits at around 75,000 data-driven professionals.

Dataconomy's home page
Dataconomy's home page

M: You’ve managed to grow impressively - what has been the secret sauce?

E: No media platform can be successful without high-quality content that answers the questions of its target audience. This is the main reason for our success - highly-curated, educational content that brings value to our readers, be it the latest trends in the industry or technical and research articles aimed at giving very specific knowledge.

We also dedicate content to career enhancement and provide relevant tips for our community to make advances in their profession. Another reason for success is community building. Through our event and community platform, Data Natives, we engage with our target audience through a series of worldwide meetups where we invite experts in the field of data to come and talk about specific topics.

Data Native's site promoting their November 2019 event
Data Native's site promoting their November 2019 event

We know that one of the best ways to connect people is to put them in the same room and let them communicate. Through the Data Natives events, our audience finds out about Dataconomy, find jobs and creates startups - we think it's a great outcome.

Dataconomy has a large pool of contributors who write high-quality content on numerous topics - we wouldn’t be able to be so successful without an engaged and loyal community.

M: What’s your social media strategy, and how important is it for you to be present on those platforms? What’s the newest trend you’re seeing?

E: Social media is pretty important to engage with our audience and authors on other communication channels. We managed to grow our social media accounts to 55,000 followers by regularly sharing our own content. We post daily on Instagram and Twitter, we ask our audience for their opinion, we give back to the community not only through the content but through special offers, events invitations, contests.

M: Do you work with branded, sponsored or affiliate content?

E: Branded, sponsored and affiliate content is tricky to market, however the key to engagement is finding the right angle to make even sponsored content useful and educational for the audience. Our rule is 'audience comes first', and that’s the only way to provide our clients with great results. Sponsored content is curated by our editors who work together with clients to co-create valuable content.

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Publishing in peril

Web users have enjoyed free access to content for years, which has meant some digital publishers are having a tough time of it. To make money they either put up a paywall or rely on ads and clickbait. Google and Facebook offer easy ways to share content, but these referrals are fickle, hard to monetize, and dependent on algorithms that can change in a heartbeat.

In this ecosystem, quality journalism cannot thrive, replaced instead by sensationalist content and filter-bubbled fake news. The experience for users is jumbled and distracting, putting customer loyalty at serious risk.

Help is at hand

Bibblio's discovery platform lets publishers increase engagement, build loyalty and improve how they monetize. Our AI understands the context of each content item, recommending it at the right place and time, recirculating the publisher's content and personalizing their audience's experiences across any touchpoint.

Using either light-touch self-serve tools or running deeper integrations with support from Bibblio's engineers, these successful publishers have found smarter ways to deliver value through their sites, gain a better understanding of their audience and return their focus to quality editorial.

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