A pilot project was set up between Adhese and the VRT in a sandbox environment where innovative technology could be tested on the VRT’s existing online platforms.
The goal was to show that Adhese technology can be used for the targeted delivery of VRT content with the aim of increasing traffic to and among the various VRT websites. The reasoning behind this is that visitors receiving custom content – that they find to be relevant and/or interesting – are more likely to visit a website more frequently and stay there longer.
Preparatory phase: metrics
Before it started delivering targeted content, Adhese spent a month measuring data on the deredactie.be and sporza.be websites with a view to gaining insight into the traffic and visitor behaviour on these websites. The ensuing metrics and accompanying reports were intended as a basis for hypotheses to be tested in a subsequent phase.
The data was measured through only one Adhese measurement tag placed on each of the two websites (deredactie.be and sporza.be). Cross-platform and cross-device data measurements were performed, generating several specific, predefined parameters per visitor.
The results of this investigation were significant: the data that was measured showed, for example, that there are hardly any cross-pollination between visitors of deredactie.be and sporza.be (see diagram below).
On the basis of the metrics and Adhese’s accompanying reports, several hypotheses for AB testing were formulated in consultation between Adhese, the VRT editorial teams involved and the data researchers at the VRT.
In the first test, visitors who clicked on a humorous lifestyle article (Ook dat nog on deredactie.be or Opvallend on sporza.be) on Facebook (targeting by referrer) were divided into four test groups. Each of these test groups was given different content to view at a specific location on deredactie.be and sporza.be.
- Group A: news article
- Group B: an Ook dat nog lifestyle article
- Group C: sports article
- Group D: nothing
This content was specifically selected for this purpose by the editors of deredactie.be and sporza.be and uploaded to Adhese.
Visitors who were directed to the test via Facebook were specifically targeted because their engagement with the website is usually very limited. Therefore, the goal of the test was to discover if offering specific content to this target group could increase their engagement.
The result of the test became clear very quickly (after just one week). There was no question of a significant impact on this target group’s surfing behaviour, regardless of the content they were offered (see diagram below).
Although the results of the test were negative, the proof of concept itself was a success: Adhese has demonstrated that it is capable of offering specific content to predefined user profiles.
In the second test, the target group was considerably extended: all visitors to the ‘Belgian news’ subsection on deredactie.be were recommended a number of articles automatically selected by Adhese in the top right-hand corner.
The aim of this, once again, was to increase the engagement of visitors to the website.
The articles shown were selected automatically by Adhese and retrieved from deredactie.be’s CMS. Adhese specifically retrieved articles that had been read by other readers of the article that visitors were currently reading (‘other people who read this article also read…’). As the articles offered were monitored by Adhese in real time, the selection of articles presented could change over time. The second test was run without human intervention, as opposed to the first test.
The second test led to an increase in the number of click-throughs to the articles selected by Adhese.
This pilot project has demonstrated that Adhese’s non-intrusive, simple and easy-to-implement technology succeeds in:
- Obtaining relevant, targeted and accurate data measurements across different devices, websites and platforms.
- Delivering clear, usable reporting on these results (actionable data).
- Converting the metrics and data obtained through the results into the targeted delivery of specific content to specific target groups.
What is more, Adhese technology enables real-time interventions and modifications where necessary. The results of both the metrics and the tests could be interpreted clearly and became rapidly available to both the editorial teams involved and the VRT’s data researchers.
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