Knowledge Base

Tips for Driving Growth

Much of our focus at FlatPlan is around driving growth for the publishers we work with. Our tools for driving growth help here, but our experience with the platform means we can offer guidance around driving growth through best practise, content and tech, which we pass to teams with our regular communications. Here are some key pointers to help drive growth on the app:

  • The vast majority of your traffic is likely to arrive from the Today feed, Editorial Groups and Recirculation areas. These areas of the app are controlled by an Apple News algorithm and human editors, so appear based on reader interest, quality and timeliness.
  • Your article pages are the areas you have the most control over, allowing you to turn a visitor into a loyal reader who regularly returns to your content.
  • Initially, focus on driving ‘Follows’ for your channel. When a reader chooses to click Follow they are surfaced your content more regularly, offering your best opportunity for increasing strong, sustainable traffic levels. FlatPlan Follow mechanics reduce friction from readers, allowing a reader to follow in one click.
  • Promote your strongest stories. You can do this by logging into News Publisher, visiting a Section and clicking the Star next to a story. Each promoted story will appear at the top of your Channel homepage and promoted stories are more likely to be shown in Recirculation areas in the app.
  • Include internal links in your articles to drive people around your channel. A person that views lots of content from your channel shows Apple an affinity for your stories and will therefore see more from the publication, creating a virtuous circle. If you already include internal links in articles on your website Apple News converts these links to work in the app automatically.
  • Post frequency is important on Apple News. Where possible we recommend delivering all of your stories published on your website to Apple News, rather than drip-feeding a smaller number of stories.
  • Use clear, concise, keyword-driven headlines and bold, eye-catching thumbnails/lead images.
  • Longer articles give the Apple News algorithm more context to work with, so where possible create stories above 750 words.
  • Apple News uses natural language processing, however, so well written pieces will perform better than badly written, keyword stuffed articles.
  • Craft a strategy for pitching to Apple News’ editors. Learn about their likes and pitch your strongest work, without flooding their inboxes.
  • Features with great design generally have a higher likelihood of being featured. Apple likes great storytelling. At FlatPlan we offer bespoke builds for one-off articles – get in touch if you would like to know more.
  • If you share an Apple News story to Twitter, be sure to mention @applenews. They often retweet.
  • Go one further than covering interesting topics: cover them with a unique perspective you haven’t observed elsewhere.
  • Urge users to share your articles via their own social media profiles.
  • Good design with clearly legible type will make the experience better, encouraging users to return to your channel.

The following points may serve as helpful guidelines when experimenting with the above:

  • Try to pitch early to editors for timely pieces and feel free to pitch stories after they have gone live if a preview isn’t possible.
  • Articles featured in Top Stories are always featured the day they are published.
  • Articles generally get featured in Editorial Groups in the afternoons (UTC).
  • Articles featured in Spotlight are added between 04:00 and 06:00 (UTC).
  • Articles featured in Editorial Groups consistently reach very high numbers of users.
  • The most successful articles within Editorial Groups tend to be visual in nature, hosting a good number of images.
  • Articles featured in Spotlight tend to reach high numbers of users, although there is some broader variation with this metric. This variation is a result of position within the Spotlight feed and/or the territory in which it was featured.

Next steps...

No matter what stage you're at in your discovery of Apple News, we'll help you get the information you need to make the right decision for your media business.

  1. Are you an existing Apple News publisher?
    Our expert team can audit your existing Apple News channel to ensure your integration is stable, determine how optimised your channel is, and provide recommendations that will help you make the most of your setup. Book a free audit now.
  2. Looking to integrate Apple News with your media business?
    Leading publishers use FlatPlan to grow their media business by leveraging the power of Apple News. With help from reader engagement tools, we help publishers reach new readers, nurture them into loyal followers and then funnel them to first-party data strategies on owned properties. Book a free consultation now.
  3. Still learning about Apple News?
    We're always providing insider knowledge and expert advice to our network of publishers. If you want to access that same material, head over to our Article pages, download our free Guide to Apple News eBook or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
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