With more and more content being consumed online, publishers are going beyond tactical one-offs, and taking an urgent and more thoughtful strategic look at the transition to digital publishing as a core part of their business.
However, with huge challenges such as device fragmentation, developing a digital publishing strategy can be overwhelming. If you are a publisher in the midst of creating and/or rethinking how to penetrate the digital realm and how to engage your audience, here are 3 tips from Germany’s Brantalist founder, Dirk Barmscheidt.
1. Adapt instead of copy.
The core of print and digital content products is and must be similar: high-quality editorial work (research, selection, commentary). The execution is totally different.
Mobile device users like summaries and overviews, and are mostly time-stamp driven. Print readers are mostly in a lean-back situation. They want and are able to read long versions. Tablet users are between these two media.
Rule 1: Analyse your target group using your brand and content on the dedicated devices, and produce different, nearly one-to-one content solutions for every device and usage class.
2. Monetisation (paid content, ad sales, and syndication).
The way to create a sustainable business model is one of the most discussed issues in the digital publisher strategy.
Let’s have a general look at this point: A business, which is based on a single line of revenues, is a weak one. Negative economic cycle periods will kill a company that is not able to generate revenues in other ways.
Rule 2: Create products that are able to establish paid content and ad sales at the same time. The share of revenues could individually be in the range from 10% up to 50% of one of these lines of revenue.
And don’t forget to think about B2B content syndication. In the early stages of the Internet, content syndication was one of the big stories, and now we have the technology to do this.
3. Distribution (pricing and market places).
From my point of view, the distribution is the last bulwark of the print area within a publishing company. To put distribution in perspective, the people who work on this front are like the ad sales guys driven by KPIs. And these KPIs are coming from the management team.
The current aim is to build a user and customer database. But why should the digital user give his address? There is no need to do this. And the second major obstruction is the pricing. In most cases, the print pricing is the goal.
Rule 3: Use a one-click buy on digital-only pricing. A digital distribution strategy can only be successful if it is only done digitally.
Publishers today are faced with many choices when mapping out their digital publishing strategy. But we’re certain that Dirk‘s tips can serve as your cornerstone in engaging with this rapidly evolving part of the publishing industry.