3 massive opportunities for digital publishing today

We’re, at heart, a publishing software company here at YUDU so, understandably, the future of publishing, both within the digital space and more broadly is of great importance to us.

This naturally drew us to Danny Wong’s recent blog: 3 Massive Problems with Digital Publishing Today. Danny highlights some key issues in the industry, such as plummeting ad sales and the problem of unpredictable web traffic sources.

This doesn’t derail us from thinking about those overnight success stories, based on Google’s algorithm changes though. The role of industry speculation is to draw conclusions based on macro level economic trends. However, there’s also scope to focus on and learn from the micro and on those who have cracked the industry in spite of the climate. These snippets of opportunity are the core of our focus in how we help and support our clients as they adapt to the digital age.

Content on all platforms

Danny rightly identifies the clunky and often limiting legacy technology that publishers have used to leapfrog ahead as a problem.

However, he fails to acknowledge the plethora of simple software available for publishers to adopt so that they can concentrate on the quality of their content. Enhanced discoverability tools are available distinctly for this purpose.

What publishers imperatively need are strategies that empower them to push content out onto all platforms without having to worry about complicating existing workflows.

In order to keep up with a market where tablet shipments have now superseded over PC shipments within the space of a few years – flexible responses are now urgently needed to adapt to a technology landscape that would have been unimaginable five years ago.

Our emphasis has always been on empowering adaptability through our publishing software, allowing publishers to switch between platforms as and when their strategies require.

Some readers will want to read their favourite magazine within an app-based environment, with a download function that allows it to be stored on their device; others will want to read in a browser environment whilst flicking from site to site. Publishers need to be on all platforms to give their readers this choice, and to eventually expand their subscription base.

Publishing opportunity: To create content that can be accessed as easily in app, in browser, on desktop, tablet and phone meaning that readers can be reached everywhere.

Native advertising

It is becoming increasingly obvious, given shifting sources of revenue that a number of brands, and probably most academics will shun the concept of native advertising, the equivalent of an ‘advertorial’ in the digital space.

Danny correctly remarks that: ”readers today are still easily baited by a fun listicle, they are far more discerning than ever about what they spend their time on.” At last week’s PPA event Hattie Brett, Editor of The Debrief – a mobile-first Bauer publication for young women, demonstrated that the relationship between publisher and advertiser is changing. Bauer doesn’t run isolated advertising campaigns, but integrated partnerships with brands, “helping them speak to this audience by delivering content in a credible and authentic way”. H&M and Bacardi were amongst the first to partner with Bauer for the site launch last year, and are supporting and contributing to the editorial voice. Sponsored content has a proven track record for this demographic as well, with Buzzfeed as an excellent template for other publishers to build success upon.

Publishing opportunity: To develop strategic partnerships with brands, and delivering sponsored content in a credible way

Return on Investment

Leveraging the power of social media and keywords, it has become easier than ever before to generate significant upticks visitor traffic to a Website.

Readership garnered through these methods, while useful, can be somewhat fickle however and those who respond to adverts, will happily swap loyalty to one site for the next shiny thing.

Since some 55 percent of all website visitors stay no longer than 15 seconds, publishers need to develop and roll out quality content as part of a general strategy to increase retention rates. This type of content can be generated from assessing Analytics reports and getting to understand readers from their online behaviour.

As part of this, it is best not to rely on any one source of traffic, instead, diversification of traffic sources should be a strategy goal in of itself, to help insulate from the seasonal nature of web search and social media discovery algorithms.

Once traffic has been generated the rules on returns have changed, as marketers are increasingly no longer equating success with simple monetary returns, which can be difficult to track.

According to this Forbes article: Understanding the New ROI of Marketing goes further than just analysing how content is shared. The most-shared articles are often the least-read, meaning that sharing doesn’t really indicate how much a readership cares about the content.

The new ROI of marketing goes even further than these shares and the traditionally recorded impressions, as a measure of success. It also encompasses return on engagement, objectives, and opportunity into the mix.

Publishing opportunity Use online tools to bolster website traffic dramatically, and deploy an array of techniques to maximise ROI.

YUDU have been helping publishers and companies deliver their digital content for over 10 years. To discuss your publishing projects with our team, email marketing@yudu.com

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