During February, the month when the Audit Bureau of Circulation verified figures for print (and sometimes digital) magazines land, BikeBiz took some time out to interview several of the cycling industry's consumer facing publishers. Here we catch up with Farrelly Atkinson, the minds behind Road.cc.
Having broken through the landmark of one million unique users in one month during 2014, road.cc has added an impressive 54 per cent year-on-year to its annual visitor figures.
As one of a few big winners at the inaugural Cycling Media Awards, editor Mat Brett was gonged as an industry favourite, as was the site itself. With that in mind, the publisher has launched a trade-facing newsletter called the ‘Inside Track’, which currently lands in over 1,500 industry inboxes. The newsletter’s goal is to keep key industry buyers and marketers abreast of what campaigns are running on road.cc, which have worked well, explains jargon and encourages more digital understanding and awareness. BikeBiz is told the open rate is a very respectable 29.3 per cent.
Elaine Curtin, commercial director for the site told BikeBiz: “The UK cycle supplier industry has woken up to the digital age and are advertising more and more online. Decisions are now being made to run campaigns that meet the users head on, help dealers sell stuff and increase their own brand presence. Now our industry is showing their products where the consumers are actually researching and looking to buy kit – online.”
Having been recognised for its social media strategy in the past, it’ll be no surprise to learn that Facebook traffic to road.cc has tripled over the course of the past 12 months, while near 46,000 now follow the brand on Twitter.
Launching this month is a new feature; the road.cc Members Club. Having surveyed its readers, the publisher plans to “deliver an amazing package of benefits for a minimal annual fee,” says Curtin.
Members club details and benefits can be found here.
Recruitment and expansion is also strongly hinted at, particularly in site development, with parent company F-at teasing by saying it will “explore options in other areas to replicate what we’ve done with road.cc.”
Farrelly Atkinson also dabbles in contract publishing, producing Cycle Commuter magazine, which is distributed free of charge to Cyclescheme’s 38,000 employers and staff. 30,000 copies are circulated twice a year, while issue 11 recently racked up some 27,000 digital views, 139,500 impressions and returned an average read time of seven minutes.