Case Studies

Case Study: Sophi Social for The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail was posting 22 articles to Facebook daily. But, as Canada’s leading newspaper, The Globe was creating much more content than that and we wanted to share more of our ambitious journalism online each day with our audience. So, we turned to our AI-powered solution, Sophi Social, to figure out the optimal post frequency to get more articles to our readers without diminishing engagement. Sophi Social was able to identify what would be our best-performing content on Facebook and autonomously post 50% more articles. This increased reach and engagement dramatically. What surprised us even more was that Sophi Social also increased subscriptions by 215%. The Globe and Mail is Canada’s foremost news media company, leading the national conversation and effecting policy change through brave, independent journalism since 1844. The Globe’s award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs reaches six million readers every week in print and online. The Globe believes the future of journalism lies in its ability to bring readers the stories they both want and need to know. That’s why the company invested in innovation and data science, hiring data scientists from leaders in the tech industry to develop Sophi –an artificial intelligence platform for Natural Language Processing, prediction and optimization –and used it to automate digital content curation and develop a fully dynamic paywall. It’s widely known in the industry that posting too much content on Facebook will lower engagement with your content. We were posting an average of 22 posts per day and seeing high reach and engagement. But The Globe was publishing much more content than that and we wanted to share more of our hard-hitting journalism online each day with the people it matters to. We tried increasing our daily content frequency by a small amount and that actually decreased our reach and shares. So we had to keep experimenting until Sophi Social found the optimal way to get more content to our readers without any negative impact on engagement and reach. Using Sophi Social, The Globe and Mail achieved its goal of posting more content without decreasing reach OR engagement. As we honed Sophi Social, we were able to post 50% more content to Facebook (from 22 to 33 articles) and see KPIs go up across the board: These results were more than we expected as the increase in both engagement and reach is counter to conventional wisdom – our results even impressed our contacts at Facebook. What surprised us even more was that Sophi Social also increased subscriptions by 215%.

Facebook works with Sophi.io
Case Studies

Facebook works with Sophi.io

Sophi.io has been working with Facebook for a while now and they recently published a case study around our work on their website. Here’s a sneak peak at what it’s all about: The Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading daily national newspaper, achieved record digital subscription growth in 2020 by combining its AI platform and publishing strategies with Facebook tools. With a sharp focus on driving subscriptions through technology and innovation, the publisher is seeing success through a few key tactics including the use of Sophi Social to automatically select and post the best performing content. Results have been impressive, with posting increasing 3x in 6 months and a 27% increase in digital subscribers in 2020. Read the full case study here: https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject/the-globe-and-mail-sophi

Case Studies

Case Study: The Globe and Mail Paywall

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s foremost news media company, leading the national conversation and effecting policy change through brave, independent journalism since 1844. The Globe’s award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs reaches six million readers every week in print and online. The Globe believes the future of journalism lies in its ability to bring readers the stories they both want and need to know. That’s why the company invested in innovation and data science, hiring data scientists from leaders in the tech industry to develop Sophi –an artificial intelligence platform for Natural Language Processing, prediction and optimization –and used it to automate digital content curation and develop a fully dynamic paywall. The global publishing industry looks very different from the way it did 10 years ago as ad revenue has dwindled significantly. Newspapers large and small now have to innovate to find new ways to fund valuable journalism. The Globe and Mail wanted to move to a more reader-revenue-focused model to become less dependent on advertising revenue, without cutting it off entirely. The Globe and Mail turned to Sophi.io, its suite of artificial intelligence solutions. It initially put in place a highly efficient, natural language processing-based content-propensity paywall, which weighed the ad revenue expected from an article against the subscription revenue expected from it. Sophi then paywalled the article in real-time accordingly, so that ad revenue was not unduly sacrificed and subscription revenue was maximised. This resulted in millions of dollars in incremental revenue for The Globe. Sophi’s team of innovative data scientists then developed a user-propensity paywall and layered that on top of the first paywall. This was a fully dynamic paywall that considers not only reader behavior but also the nature of the content when deciding whether to present a paywall or a registration wall. This user+content propensity paywall dramatically boosted subscriptions. It paradoxically also increased user engagement and loyalty because it can tell when to let low-propensity readers see another article – thus giving visitors a better on-site experience. The Globe and Mail has seen an increase in key business metrics: • Millions of dollars in annual revenue lift from the content-propensity paywall • 222% increase in registrations • Registered users converted at 9x the rate of anonymous users • 51% increase in subscription conversions • 22% increase in registered visitor engagement • 53% increase in reader loyalty • Sophi for Paywalls selected articles that averaged 10x total revenue when put behind a hard paywall

Case Studies

Case Study: The Globe and Mail and Sophi Automation

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s foremost news media company, leading the national conversation and effecting policy change through brave, independent journalism since 1844. The Globe’s award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs reaches six million readers every week in print and online. The Globe believes the future of journalism lies in its ability to bring readers the stories they both want and need to know. That’s why the company invested in innovation and data science, hiring data scientists from leaders in the tech industry to develop Sophi – an artificial intelligence platform for Natural Language Processing, prediction and optimization – and used it to automate the curation of content on its websites and digital properties. As the media industry grappled with shrinking resources over the past decade, The Globe and Mail was looking for ways to continue to fund and produce groundbreaking journalism. This meant ensuring reporters and editors had as much time as possible to explore and shape the content that would build a better Canada. It also meant finding a sustainable source of subscription revenue while preserving as much advertising revenue as possible. The Globe and Mail put its trust in an artificial intelligence (AI) system called Sophi to autonomously run its digital properties, including the homepage and key landing pages. This let the newsroom focus on producing the finest journalism possible and let Sophi take care of placing and promoting it. Sophi’s AI engine was trained by The Globe’s editors to understand what is relevant to each page and which articles are most appropriate. Every 10 minutes, it finds valuable stories that merit greater promotion and updates every page of the website accordingly. Sophi understands how much each story contributes to subscriber retention, subscriber acquisition, registration potential and advertising dollars – looking beyond just pageviews, thus avoiding undesirable clickbait. Now, more than 99% of the content on The Globe’s digital pages is placed by Sophi.
The Globe and Mail saw a dramatic improvement in the business metrics that matter: Encouraged by this success, The Globe developed automated print laydown within the Sophi suite of tools. In a few seconds, Sophi does what two people used to take two hours to do, freeing up valuable newsroom talent. Sophi also determines what to promote on The Globe’s social media pages and in its newsletters.

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