As publishers turn to a number of new initiatives to diversify their revenue, reader revenue has taken center stage thanks to its stability, impact, and scalability. Publishers who are able to roll out meaningful paid subscription options see increases in both revenue and reader loyalty, but finding new subscribers is hard.

We recently sat down with Louis Deering, Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at Star Tribune, and Ido Ram, our head of account management here at Keywee to talk more about how publishers can leverage Facebook to efficiently find new subscribers.

The answer? A content based funnel.

Louis’s team at Star Tribune recently switched its focus: rather than just targeting super-engaged website visitors with direct response ads to get them to convert, the team shifted its focus on the early and mid-stages of the funnel: finding new users and building a habit that includes Star Tribune content. In order to do so, the team relied heavily on Facebook sponsored content. As Louis told Digiday reporters, “When we specifically optimized campaigns toward mid-funnel, that would help bring the rates for our bottom funnel back up.”

With Keywee’s help, the Star Tribune team uses sponsored content at every stage of the funnel: at the very top to bring in new audiences, then to keep casual readers coming back. Once someone is coming back regularly, the team uses its best content to get the user to register (which makes them 30X more likely than the average reader to subscribe) or subscribe. Star Tribune even uses sponsored content to engage and retain current subscribers and win back lapsed subscribers.