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Digital publishers: how to stay ahead of the content game

Corey Brown Corey Brown

We’ve been watching the digital publishing landscape evolve rapidly in the last few months, and publishers and content creators are having to adapt quickly to stay competitive and relevant. Our recent report, Read all about it: How digital publishers must adapt in the era of constant change, outlines strategies and approaches for digital publishers to tackle the increasing challenges they face.

We based the content on both existing industry research and our experience and conversations with our own enterprise publishing clients; we’re here to expand on a few of the key suggestions from the report to help digital publishers and content creators navigate the ever-shifting market dynamics of content publishing in the digital age.

Embrace the shift towards social platforms

Our report highlights that younger users are increasingly gravitating towards social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok for information, causing traditional search engines like Google to lose traction. To stay relevant and connect with this younger demographic, publishers must embrace these social platforms and adapt their content strategies accordingly. Here are a couple of ways publishers can capitalise on this shift:

Create platform-specific content: Different social platforms have distinct features and user preferences. Publishers should tailor their content to suit each platform’s characteristics, considering factors such as content format, length, and tone. For instance, TikTok users favour short, engaging videos, while Instagram users appreciate visually appealing images and story reels. The caveat to this is to be mindful of your team’s capacity; don’t spread yourself too thin across too many channels if you don’t have the hours to invest in distributing properly to each.

Encourage user-generated content: Younger users are more likely to engage with content they can relate to and participate in. Publishers can encourage user-generated content (UGC) by creating challenges, contests or campaigns that invite their audience to share their own experiences, opinions or creations. This not only fosters engagement, but also creates a sense of community among users.

Invest in digital subscriptions

There is a clear growing importance of digital subscriptions as a source of revenue for publishers. Companies like The Times and The New York Times have successfully increased their digital subscriber base by focusing on providing their subscribers with quality content and exceptional user experiences. To effectively invest in and promote digital subscriptions, there are a number of strategies that publishers can explore.

You could start by offering various subscription models to cater to diverse audience needs and preferences, such as monthly or annual plans, tiered pricing, and pay-per-article options. Focus on providing quality, exclusive content that stands out and offers unique insights and perspectives, as well as providing immediate and obvious value for subscribers.

Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash

Another suggestion: promote the value proposition of digital subscriptions, such as ad-free browsing and access to premium content, through targeted marketing campaigns and on-site promotions. You may want to invest in a seamless user experience and ensure user-friendly digital platforms with intuitive navigation and mobile compatibility.

Prepare for the commoditisation of AI

We encourage publishing and media industries to anticipate the commoditisation of artificial intelligence (AI) and adapt their practices accordingly. As AI technology becomes more accessible and affordable, publishers need to find ways to integrate it into their workflows and leverage its potential benefits.

AI can help automate a tonne of manual and repetitive tasks in content production and management, freeing up valuable time for creators to focus on delivering unique, compelling, and creative content (the need for human touch will arguably never go away). It can also enable better personalisation of content for users, analysing user behaviour, preferences, and interests to deliver more relevant and engaging content to your audiences.

In addition, AI can play a significant role in content performance analysis, helping publishers measure the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts and informing future content creation and distribution strategies. Artificial intelligence can assist in making data-driven decisions by analysing large volumes of data and identifying patterns, trends, and correlations – powerful when your M.O. is publishing vast amounts of content.

By integrating AI-driven tools and technologies into their workflows as AI begins to become commoditised, publishers will be able unlock new opportunities, increase efficiency, and ultimately, thrive in the constantly evolving digital landscape.

You can read more about what’s in store for the digital publishing industry in these times of accelerated change and explore the strategies that will pave the way to success moving forward in our report – grab a copy below. 

Read all about it - digital publisher report