Since its launch five years ago, digital newspaper Bastille Post – a joint venture with the Sing Tao group – has undergone a spectacular growth, currently registering every month over 3 million unique visitors, 70% of whom are under age 35, and with more than one million Facebook fans.
“We’ve done well, considering the fierce competition in the local digital paper market due to its low entry barrier,” says Lo Wing-hung, publisher of Bastille Post, currently with traffic ranked 11th in the market according to Alexa. “What I think distinguishes us from our peers is that we are a 100% digital paper, and not a hybrid.”
Lo points out that on a global basis, 85% of internet users work through their mobile. “Therefore, we look at minute details like the fonts we use,” he says. “Nobody can read it if they are too small.”
Content-wise, Bastille Post is highly reader-centric, and screens topics carefully for authenticity. “While we cover hard news like everybody else, we also make a point of following up on hot talking points, and what some may regard as trivia,” Lo explains. “Take the earlier Trump-Kim historic meeting for instance, we keep our readers entertained on such topics as their lunch menu, and their attire for the ice-breaking summit.”
It also endeavours to satisfy readers’ curiosity, like an educational feature it did on dissecting the difference between ice and hail, which was very well received.
Lo points out that Bastille Post features raw, unadulterated photos that tell the story as it is with greater impact. “That’s the way our predominantly young readers like it!” he adds.
To keep Bastille Post relevant and user-friendly, Lo emphasises the constant need to update and fine-tune their format in the ever-changing digital media scene. He is also mindful of keeping up-to-date with market trends and new technological applications.
Looking ahead, Lo sees the need to nurture more talents in the digital field, for example in data analysis, to help lift the digital paper’s sensitivity to market sentiments and preferences.
In terms of advertising revenue, Lo says their major source of support comes from sponsored content for which they are producing more than 500 videos a year, and delivering for clients.
“We are acting like an agency to provide a total solution to online marketers in mounting mini campaigns,” he adds. “Our future development will focus on segmentising the market, for example for women, pet lovers, history buffs, travel enthusiasts, and more.”
Lo is also pleased with the response to BastilleGlobal Facebook launched last year, which has secured as many as 4.5 million fans.
The article was brought to you by Sing Tao Group