What do you think of when you hear the word “funnel?” Before I became a media reporter, I thought of the Tin Man’s hat from “Wizard of Oz.” Or those delicious cakes dusted in powdered sugar at the fair.
Now, I think of this concept that’s becoming pretty popular in newsrooms that are trying to better understand and attract audiences. Maybe you remember hearing about the funnel with that buzzword-packed Tronc video from a few years ago.
Erica Smith, online editor and director of digital strategy at The Virginian-Pilot, knew the concept before she worked in journalism.
“I worked at a marketing agency for awhile, and funnels often were used to develop plans and show progress,” she said. “I also was familiar with funnels in relation to the lean startup model.”
The Virginian-Pilot was part of Poynter’s first Table Stakes class, and that’s when Smith first heard the concept applied to journalism. She spoke with me this week via email about how the Pilot is thinking about funnels and why it’s a term that could use a lot more clarity.
The funnel concept is usually applied to turning readers into subscribers/supporters
The Economist has a detailed piece on how big and small newsrooms approach the concept. WIth the Pilot’s digital subscription funnel, Smith said, there are five levels. Here’s a graphic she shared.
“So for us, it starts with awareness — the number of people coming to our site, particularly local users,” Smith said. “We’re also interested in how
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/oh-so-thats-what-funnel