Tammy Blythe Goodman
Tammy Blythe Goodman
Jul 12, 20173m read
Partner Spotlight: Q&A with Ramon Van Meer, Head of SoapHub.com
In the next installment of our Partner Spotlight series, we explore SoapHub.com, an online magazine dedicated to your favorite daytime soap operas including Days of Our Lives, The Young and The Restless, Bold and the Beautiful, and General Hospital. With website visitors primarily made up of women, SoapHub.com brings the latest news and spoilers, exclusive interviews, and special recaps to a unique audience that many entertainment experts describe as “the most passionate type of fan” – the soap fan. We had a chance to sit down with Ramon Van Meer, head of SoapHub.com, to talk about the publisher’s audience, engagement challenges, and experience with Spot.IM thus far.
How would you define SoapHub.com’s primary target audience?
RVM: Our audience consists of 95 percent women between the ages of 35 and 45 years old. The women who visit our site are extremely passionate about soap operas. Many of them have been watching for over two decades and have never missed an episode. They’re very loyal fans as well. The majority of our users have one soap that they watch on a regular basis and they really only care about that one show.
What have been your biggest challenges with regards to audience engagement?
RVM: It has always been important for us to establish a community where soap fans can get the content they want and have the ability to converse with other fans since this is ultimately what will draw them back to SoapHub.com. We were using a basic WordPress plug-in for commenting before but it wasn’t real-time so users would receive an email when people replied to one of their comments and that was the extent of the engagement. It just wasn’t enough engagement for our community.
Why did you choose to implement Spot.IM?
RVM: I saw Spot.IM on another website and I really liked the UI and the real-time engagement aspect. I appreciated the fact that you could see those comment bubbles on the side of the page that show when people are typing and replying to comments. Once we added a few more websites to our larger network, I decided to jump on board with Spot.IM because I knew that it would make engagement a lot easier for our audience.
From an editorial perspective, what types of changes have you made to make your site more engaging?
RVM: Our team of writers optimize each article on a regular basis to try to spark conversation. My contact at Spot.IM suggested that we try out their Community Question feature so now we end each article with a question like, “Do you think Ashton should get engaged”? We also sometimes ask our audience questions within the commenting area. The questions are meant to get the conversation going faster and the fans take it from there.
We noticed that your Newsfeed is on the left side of the page. Did you move that intentionally?
RVM: Yes! We decided to shift it to the other side of the page. It’s actually a great feature that Spot.IM gives you the option to choose which side you want the Newsfeed to be on and allows you to easily change it within the dashboard.
What has your experience with Spot.IM been like so far?
RVM: My experience has been very positive. We implemented Spot.IM’s Real-Time Conversation, Community Recirculation, Newsfeed, and Community Question solutions. The technology has already helped us increase page views by over a million since January and we’ve seen an 284% lift in the average number of comments our audience is leaving throughout the site.
After the implementation process, we had some initial technical issues and Nadav [Spot.IM’s co-founder and CEO] jumped on a call with me immediately to talk through the problem. He even gave me his personal cell phone number. He did a great job of turning a technical issue into a very positive experience. I really feel like Spot.IM is our partner and wants us to succeed. It’s pretty rare that founders or CEOs will hop on the phone so quickly to resolve bugs and Nadav did just that. He even followed up with me a few weeks later to make sure that everything was working up to par.
Interesting in learning how Spot.IM can increase engagement on your site? Email us at love@Spot.IM.