How Media & Publishing Brands Can Benefit from Mobile Messaging

Email newsletters have won over media & publishing companies with their potential to build audience relationships. The technology of email hasn’t changed all that much over the last few decades, and yet, email is still the channel of choice for publishers who want an algorithm-free content delivery channel.

Of course, email isn’t the only longstanding channel that gives you a direct link to your audience. While SMS marketing is commonly associated with delivering deals to shoppers, it’s also a channel that publishers can use to connect with their audiences.

In a previous blog post, we talked about the advantages that SMS/MMS offers media & publishing companies. Now, we’ll discuss more specific ways that you can use text messaging to connect with your audience on this direct channel. While not all of these methods will work for all media companies, mobile messaging is versatile enough to find a home in even the most niche media brands.

1) Deliver SMS breaking news alerts.

When users receive text messages, they’re likely to open them – and they’re likely to open them fast. The immediacy of text messaging makes it great for sending need-to-know information quickly. Local newspapers or radio stations can use SMS to, for instance, alert users when local schools are closed.

Sending news alerts via text also offers opportunities for branding and building audience relationships, particularly for local publishers who may have audience members who prefer text messaging over other channels. Publishers like have even monetized their SMS channels by making SMS updates available by subscription only, or as an added perk for existing subscribers. As The Atlantic points out, providing additional value for paid subscribers is key to retaining them.

2) Engage your local audience with mobile messaging.

Another way to keep local media audiences engaged is to get them involved. SMS can help with that.

For radio stations, mobile messaging can be used to field song requests or even listener opinions on a topic the DJ brings up on-air. During live events like sports, SMS can help you solicit audience participation and get real-time reactions from your most engaged users that can be incorporated into coverage, such as through live onsite text feeds.

Getting your audience involved in the conversation is a fun way to drive loyalty; when audiences know there are opportunities to join the conversation, they may be more likely to stick around.

3) Incorporate SMS in your radio contesting.

Speaking of radio, iHeartMedia stations like 96.5 KISS FM in Cleveland use mobile messaging to increase the efficacy of their promotional efforts.

Streaming services may have changed how audiences listen to radio, but the radio contest is an ever-enduring part of the audience experience. SMS makes contest entry easier than ever, making mobile messaging a must-have for any media company that runs contests.

With Upland Mobile Messaging, you can even conduct contest logistics (such as drawing a random winner) from within the messaging platform, allowing you to streamline the process and engage your audience with contesting more efficiently.

4) Run audience quizzes, polls, and surveys.

Ultimately, SMS/MMS is a two-way communication channel. You can use this to your advantage to drive brand loyalty through audience participation. Polls and quizzes can keep your audience engaged in a more interactive way.

Another benefit of polls and surveys? They allow you to learn about your audience. The insights gained from asking your audience questions can be put to use in the future, allowing you to deliver more targeted messaging in campaigns to come.

5) Supplement your nonprofit business model by using SMS to drive donations.

As media and publishing brands get increasingly creative to drive revenue, some have turned to nonprofit or audience-supported models—particularly in the media & publishing space. It’s possible that nonprofit media brands can tap into its potential as well.

Your most engaged audiences will be the ones most likely to contribute to your cause, and direct channels to your audience give you a foothold to create these highly-engaged donor audiences.

6) Increase brand awareness with innovative mobile messaging campaigns.

For media & publishing—an industry brimming with experimental efforts to engage audiences—perhaps the most important power of mobile messaging lies in its potential for brand awareness. When you land on an idea to engage your audience in a unique way, text messaging can help you drive direct engagement and empower these campaigns to be more successful.

Take Univision, for example. Univision used Upland Mobile Messaging to launch a nonpartisan campaign for voter engagement. Ultimately, Unvision’s campaign directly led over 200,000 people to register to vote. Not only did their campaign grow their mobile list by 160,000 and drive brand awareness, but it also fostered civic engagement—an admirable end, no doubt.

To learn how you can implement mobile messaging in your program and engage your audience in new ways, talk to us!

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