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The Saturday Paper

The Saturday Paper attracts new subscribers with video

Video series boosts brand awareness with over 680,000 views and conversion through Reader Revenue Manager.

The Challenge

Established in 2014, The Saturday Paper has built exceptional brand trust and integrity among its existing audience. However, brand awareness among non-subscribers remains very low across the media landscape.

In partnership with Google, The Saturday Paper commissioned a series of long and short form videos aimed at tackling this business challenge. The videos were designed to showcase The Saturday Paper’s reputation of high quality, independent journalism by covering Australia’s most complex issues with sensitivity and depth.

The video series was designed to increase brand awareness of The Saturday Paper across different channels; increase engagement in a new format and drive users towards the Reader Revenue Manager purchase flow, which allows subscribers to purchase a subscription in just two clicks, using the payment details in their Google account. The campaign focused on video because this is increasingly the format of choice for young consumers of news, and because it is more likely to be shared on social media. Success was measured by the volume of impressions (brand engagement), content engagement (numbers of views), and pathway to subscriptions (click throughs to websites).

Videos were uploaded to The Saturday Paper’s YouTube Channel, social sites, embedded across The Saturday Paper website, promoted in new editions and featured in a dedicated carousel onsite. Videos were amplified via paid ads.

"The video campaign featuring Reader Revenue Manager allowed The Saturday Paper to reach new audiences and convert them into subscribers. We now have a video campaign playbook that we can apply in the future."
Schwartz Media
The team at Schwartz Media

Campaign insights and lessons learned

The video campaign saw strong results, and The Saturday Paper identified a number of insights that they will apply in future campaigns.

1) Video content helps text-based publishers reach a broader audience. Each video individually was able to reach a greater audience than almost any other piece of journalism produced that year. For instance, across all platforms (e.g. Instagram, TikTok, X, Meta ads) the ad was able to produce over 680,000 views and was shared 147,666 times.

2) Building active and engaged social followings is essential. Priority should be given to building and maintaining a social media presence which delivers high quality content and encourages conversions through subscription pushes.

3) Balancing production and amplification costs is key. Future campaigns will seek to lower the production cost of videos and allocate extra funds to amplification.

  • 236 subscription conversions
  • 2/3rds of conversions were first-time subscribers
  • 86% retention rate after 12 months
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