The footballer turned actor Eric Cantona once said, in reference to his pursuit by the media and fans, "when the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea".
The analogy might equally apply to the search for greater digital market share, except this time we mean the big fish instead of the seagulls. Here are three things we learned in the last week about maintaining digital growth:-
- Hook up with HTML5: going platform independent lets you keep valuable customer data, stay responsive and catch additional audience share. The Financial Times HTML5 based web app is now already more popular than its native iOS apps with 2m users. This puts the European publisher well ahead of HTML5 newcomers in the US like The Chronicle in Washington and indeed the Boston Globe.
- Challenge traditional TV content: simply bring the same content to the web - albeit integrated with your existing journalism. Bild just bought the exclusive rights to highlights of the Bundesliga - a strong statement in a very competitive paid content market in Germany. It's a trend that looks set to continue with Premier League highlights already available through English news websites like The Telegraph and the Guardian.
- Encourage homepage addicts: if your content is still free, you need to ensure users are coming back to your main page several times a day. As the MailOnline's Publisher Martin Clarke says, you need "crucial loyalists" who are "addicted to the homepage" - and are now pushing the website into profit. Those at Digital Media Europe will also remember the presentation from Anders Berglund and Kalle Jungkvist - where they showed the same principle at work in the rolling, frequently updated and almost infinitely long Aftonbladet homepage. And that site has been profitable for a while now.
Of course it would be remiss of us not to mention a 4th tip. Join our digital media study tour of London, Paris and Berlin in June and you can meet the FT, MailOnline and Axel Springer in person, as well as a host of others.
Photo: Some rights reserved by john.purvis on Flickr