Case Study Lessons: Content Innovations That Pay Off for B2B Subscription Sites

By Minal BopaiahA number of niche industries have been disrupted by the Internet, and few as radically as the travel industry. That’s why Northstar Media had to come up with a way to reinvent the wheel while driving in order to retain its audience of travel agents and agencies.In 2011, Northstar launched travel42, a subscription site that not only leveraged three of its existing databases for the travel industry, but also added customizable reports. Now its audience can create individual reports that summarize the facts on more than 5,700 destinations, 10,000 hotels and more than 300 cruise ships for clients.Unlike user-generated reviews on free sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, travel42’s reports are dry and sterile — just what travel professionals want. Instead of a love it/hate it feel, travel42 produces factual reports that adhere to a strict style guideline, making it easy for travel agents and their clients to compare the details of various destinations and hotels. And, travel agents can add their own logo, name and contact information to each of these reports.We’ve seen other database companies, like Equilar, add another layer of customizable content to its data points. By doing so, these DataContent sites are providing an invaluable service to B2B audiences — one they’re willing to pay for.Other B2B companies that are getting fierce competition from user-generated site might want to consider adding a layer of user-designed content to their offering. By doing so, your site becomes integrated into your audience’s workflow, making you a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. And that’s often the difference between profitability and bankruptcy in this new digital world.You can read about the details of travel42’s offerings, including their pricing and creative way of acquiring B2B subscribers, in this week’s Case Study on Subscription Site Insider.

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