What Digital Publishers Should Do
before Choosing a Technology
An advertising agency once asked me to develop a digital publishing platform for them. They came to me with an idea, but before we could act on that idea, we had to get back to basics: the development of a digital strategy.
Image Credit: GettyImages
Going digital anyone? If ten years ago anyone claimed that more than a half of The New York Times readers would have given up on their morning paper, it would sound nonsense. However, the Pew never lies talking numbers. Publishing goes digital, keeps growing and searching for the “right” technology. The technology that stems from the right digital strategy. In its turn, each strategy starts up with market research. And all together they set up a two-step way to the right technology for digital publishing.
2 Steps to the Right Technology
STEP I. Perform market analysis
Goals at this stage:
- Determine the target audience and ways to engage it;
- Find channels to deliver content;
- Make the audience get attached to digital edition.
Going digital does not simply mean converting print content into a digital format. First, you shift to targeting different audiences, which means different preferences, needs and expectations. Secondly, you have to deal with various delivery channels, including socials like Facebook or LinkedIn and a whole bunch of mobile apps. At this stage what you do is collect necessary information, digest it, and start modeling. This is how the foundation of your digital strategy is born.
Consider the giants. The Times, for example, selects content for print and digital forms separately. This is how e-paper archive and the website editions differ. Not to mention the add-ons to digital content that help to engage the audience.
STEP II. Develop a digital strategy
Goals at this stage:
- Select digital tools that enable smooth content delivery;
- Work out effective content monetization policy;
- Retain readers and advertisers.
This is when the fun begins. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, every digital publisher has to rely on his or her own “right” technology. Such technology should be aligned with the results of market analysis and, clearly, rely on a strong digital strategy.
First, a digital strategy should align with content monetization policy. Your business plan should work, and your platform should bring. Therefore, choosing the technology, you need to ensure it will be able to deliver steadily and retain readers and digital advertisers.
Secondly, it’s a digital strategy that determines the variety of content delivery features, from live streams, charts, images, and maps to interactive tools like ESPN’sPickCenter.
Another colossus, The New York Times, is a great example of how one smart strategy changes the way digital publishing uses technologies. Look at these two versions of the same article published online and offline. Compared to a flat printed format, digital article allows for stronger reader interaction with relevant content offers, retaining via around 20 links to the sources, and deep social media engagement.
Image credit: New York Times
Eventually, these two steps turn the path to the right digital publishing technology into a secure enterprise. Market analysis provides data background, and the digital strategy answers the question what we want to achieve with the right technology.
This is an updated abridged post, the original article was published at Mad Marketer.