#Roulartacares for readers.
Since 13 March, we have been experiencing a time like nothing we have seen before. Covid-19 has thoroughly changed our lives. We all went into lockdown to fight the coronavirus together. As an essential business, Roularta Media Group (RMG) stayed active. The news journalists made extra efforts to keep our readers extensively informed about Covid-19 and other current topics. The lifestyle editorial teams came up with all kinds of creative initiatives to provide our readers with relaxing reading breaks every day in these lonely times. In short, #Roulartacares for its readers.
Our readers really appreciated the efforts made by the editorial teams. People have been reading more than ever. RMG has continued to commit to its subscription policy, with 13,279 new subscribers in April as a result. Libelle and Femmes d’Aujourd’hui are top of the bill, with an impressive 6,031 new subscribers in April. Knack and Le Vif/L’Express will henceforth be keeping 2,066 new subscribers informed.
With the motto #Roulartacares, RMG has set up its temporary but promising subscription initiative ‘mijnmagazines’ to broaden the scope of the necessary information and leisure material it provides. This new project (a digital kiosk) has enabled more than 6,000 new readers to try a ‘mini print subscription’ to one of the strong Roularta brands. It has revealed many interesting data insights for the future.
That reading magazines has become more popular since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis is also clear from press retail figures. They were already noticing increases in sales of Roularta magazines of up to 30% in March. This trend continued into April: individual sales of Trends have risen by 47% in the last two months. Sales of Le Vif/L’Express have grown by 35%. No less than 5,800 more copies of Libelle were sold in March and April than in January and February.
The hunger for information has also strongly increased the traffic to Roularta’s news sites (knack.be, tendances.be etc.). In March, in fact, we recorded double the number of visitors as in the same period last year. In the period from January to April 2020, we recorded 15,600,000 unique page views, an increase of a good 30% compared to the same period last year.
Visitor numbers on our women’s sites rose by a third to a half between January and the end of April in comparison with 2019. For the Flair NL and Flair FR websites, we recorded 18,800,000 and 12,000,000 more unique page views between 1 January and 30 April 2020 than in the same period last year. The rediscovery of cookery has sent visitor numbers of Libelle-lekker.be soaring to record heights. Since the first measures were announced, the number of unique page views has doubled in comparison to 2019.
The coronavirus measures are hitting our local partners hard, and this has also had repercussions for RMG’s local media. So that it did not miss its Sunday date with readers all over Flanders, De Zondag went entirely digital, leading to significant growth in its digital range. The Krant Van West-Vlaanderen also witnessed an unprecedented surge in its digital community, with 32.16% more users and 37.12% more unique page views.
After 5 weeks exclusively in digital format, De Zondag appeared on paper again on 3 May. This paper edition was met with great enthusiasm: in many bakeries and supermarkets, the displays were already empty by 9 o’clock. Following De Zondag, De Streekkrant and Steps will also be reappearing soon. De Streekkrant will be landing in people’s letterboxes again from 20 May onwards. Steps will be looking to the future on 13 June with a special Staycation edition.
The Covid-19 crisis means that people are looking for more and more information. That is especially true for people in hospital or in rehabilitation. With a department like Roularta Healthcare, we are thinking of all our care providers. After all, Roularta HealthCare - the publisher of the medical titles Artsenkrant, de Apotheker, AK-Hospitals, Belgian Oncology and Hematology News (Bohn) - is donating 12,500 euros to the Covid-19-projects run by the Solidarity Care Fund and the Dr. Daniël De Coninck Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.
#Roulartacares, which is why we are also thinking of all the patients, distributing free newspapers and magazines in hospitals. KW cares too! Under this motto, the Krant van West-Vlaanderen distributed 2,500 newspapers free of charge for 5 weeks in 16 different hospitals in West Flanders.
With all these initiatives, Roularta wants to contribute to a warmer society.
#Roulartacares, which is why we are continuing to work as hard as we can on our strong, high-quality media brands and innovative initiatives, because consumers – our readers, viewers, listeners and surfers – need us now more than ever.
#Roulartacares for advertisers
The past few months have been a huge challenge for all companies, with first a shutdown for safety reasons and now with a cautious restart. But challenging times can provide great opportunities. RMG also wants to use the motto #Roulartacares to stimulate all Belgian advertisers with new insights, initiatives and attractive solutions in order to help them relaunch their activities after the lockdown period. After all, we can only give the Belgian economy a new start if we work together, in solidarity.
To begin with, #Roulartacares includes a big “coronavirus” consumer survey, which a good 19,000 readers of Roularta brands have taken part in. We have drawn very interesting consumer insights from this for each sector (home & decorating, tourism, fashion, beauty, automotive, finance, retail, food & beverages, etc.) as well as for each media brand. We look forward to sharing the results with our customers/advertisers. The editorial teams will also be responding to these insights in the coming weeks and months, developing interesting special reports and themes. For example, there was a first fascinating special editorial report on ‘the world after the coronavirus’ last week in Knack (De wereld na Corona) and Le Vif/L’Express (La vie après).
Another #Roulartacares initiative for our advertisers is content-to-commerce or CTC: a new approach in which social media posts can simply be shifted through to our familiar editorial environment. This increases the reach of an existing social media post, meaning that the post scores particularly highly on engagement without needing to create new material. As part of the relaunch strategy for many brands, RMG is offering this digital format until the end of August at a favourable CPC rate (cost per click) on all Roularta sites.
#Roulartacares also means working together with other media in the advertisers’ interests. That is why RMG is now launching the WOW MagPack in collaboration with DPG Media and Mag Advertising: a unique combination of the four strongest Belgian magazine brands Libelle, Femmes d’Aujourd’hui, Dag Allemaal and Ciné-Télé-Revue, with a net coverage of 1.8 million readers and more than 2.2 million contacts, reaching almost 1 in 3 of the people responsible for purchases (main shoppers).
Over recent weeks, RMG has also launched many podcasts through its different media brands. Trends and Trends-Tendances are giving entrepreneurs more information than ever about how they can best survive this unusual time. The Libelle podcasts are inspiring female readers even more with real-life stories. Advertisers can join all these new podcast projects.
Trends Business Information, the Roularta department that offers entrepreneurs insights based on financial and commercial information, has created a resilience indicator that indicates the extent to which companies can cope with the coronavirus crisis. Every business can enrich its customer and prospect databases with this information or do individual checks at the online platforms TrendsPro and TrendsTop.
Kanaal Z and Canal Z are bringing enriching online webinars to the TV screen, so that many interesting topics reach a far wider business audience. This is an unprecedented initiative on the Belgian TV scene. All these webinars were created through partnerships with advertisers.
Communication always pays off, especially in more difficult times. So stay present, restart your business with a positive boost and be aware that #Roulartacares.