Strategy for Growth
Marginalia.bg is a Bulgarian distinctive news-and-views media platform with a focus on human rights. During “Deepening Digital – reconstructing the Central European local media through digital growth strategies” project, Marginalia team tripled their audience and doubled their YouTube channel views.
The main idea, which came from their mentor, was a diaspora audience engagement initiative. The site targeted a completely new group of readers – the nearly 3 million Bulgarians living outside their homeland. This initiative was tailored not only to further enhance Marginalia’s reach, but also to attract readers who may evolve into small-scale donors.
Setting the Stage
Prior to launching the initiative Marginalia had a small, yet loyal readership coming mostly from inside the country. The team and their mentor planned to strategically extend a network of collaborators across five European countries hosting a significant Bulgarian diaspora: Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Greece, and the Czech Republic. These correspondents, themselves members of the Bulgarian diaspora, embarked on a mission to capture the personal narratives of their fellow diaspora members.
Under the banner named “Connecting Diaspora Voices”, Marginalia correspondents subsequently curated content (both textual and video-based) that resonated with readers in Bulgaria as well as with diaspora members in other nations. The stories adhered to a consistent structure, featuring a set of 10 questions that delved into the level of integration in the host country and the relationship with the homeland, including its language and culture. Special attention was given to diaspora members with Roma backgrounds.
The editor-in-chief Yuliana, along with video and audio editors Marta and Tommy embraced the mentor’s idea and demonstrated exemplary commitment and proficiency in implementing the project. The output, encompassing up 52 interviews was published on Marginalia.bg and promoted across various social media platforms.
Facebook post presenting first interview from “Connecting Diaspora Voices” project.
Source: Marginalia Facebook page
The initiative led to three extraordinary results. Firstly, Marginalia tripled its audience due to the new segment, as well as significant increase of video production and expansion beyond its conventional textual format.
Second, the newsroom also tripled its loyal audience, indicating that while the overall audience increased substantially, a sizeable portion demonstrated repeated engagement with the platform’s content.
Finally, the audience showed a heightened level of appreciation and affinity for Marginalia’s brand.
Interview with Marginalia’s correspondent from New York, Source: www.marginalia.bg
As mentioned, the most significant value resulting from the mentorship is the acquisition of a new audience segment. To further capitalise on the collaboration, Marginalia should continue nurturing its relationship with the diaspora by curating more relevant content.
Regarding revenues, the outreach to the diaspora community lays the groundwork for potential donor engagement in the upcoming period. However, the opportunity for revenue generation is contingent on effectively converting some of the new readers into donors.
“We extend our gratitude to Veselin, our mentor, for the brilliant suggestion to connect with Bulgarians residing abroad. The response from our readers was truly overwhelming.” – Marginalia team