As we move closer to the end of this ever-changing and surprising year, there is one thing that continues to be a theme in all of our conversations: the value of first-party data. We like to think of first-party data as the bread & butter for media companies. First-party data delivers an incredible advantage over other data sets because of the type of audience that it encompasses. Audience members included in first-party data are more niche and highly engaged compared to their third-party counterparts.

 “Having your own first-party data is similar to having that protective moat against your competitors,” says our COO, James Capo. “Our clients have many competitors in the same spaces. While cultivating outstanding content is expensive and requires a specialized editorial team, the value that will come from that data will be stronger than any outside list. This also means that it will be difficult for competitors to achieve this high-quality content and first-party data.”

Acquiring new first-party data and retaining that audience does take time. A great way to start is getting back to the basics of focusing on content, as content is king for media companies. Providing strong, coveted content attracts audience members who are willing to share information on themselves in order to access your content, and further build out your first-party datasets.

Strong content can be simple and does not necessarily mean new content. The opportunity is often overlooked to go back and review evergreen content you have previously generated. Your data tells the story of what was read the most and by who. Why not go back and pull out the greatest hits? Look at what people were actually reading. After identifying the best performing pieces, you can repurpose them alongside the new content generated. You can also use the content as inspiration for new launching points for your editors.

If the point is to grow your audience for say your newsletter or subscription services, but there is no content to excite people and keep things fresh and engaging, it will be hard to attract and keep these new customers. Your strategy has to be both about acquisition and retention. These niche editorial pieces will gain the attention of specific, unique audiences that are extremely interested in the information on hand, AND they will keep the attention of audience members that you already have attained.

One of the biggest benefits of attracting these tailored audiences is that they are more valuable for advertisers. Not only can you monetize your first-party data through subscription revenue, but through the advertising partnerships as well. Having identifiable consumers that are engaged in the topics you are providing and also trust you with their information is a great advantage for advertisers to resonate with them through their ads. You know exactly who your audience is and what they are interested in, so you can partner with companies and target them with advertisements that they would like and benefit from seeing.

Overall, do not forget that your brands offer an extremely unique position in the market. Major news publications and many of your competitors do not have the breadth of information to write about the niche pieces and directly target those audiences like you can. There are not many brands that know the ins and outs of these specific markets like your brands do. Your editorial can literally move markets – billion dollar markets – because of the audiences that it generates. This content is not covered anywhere else, making it incredibly niche and incredibly valuable.