The publishing business model is undergoing a transformation. More and more digital content creators supplement their advertising dollars with revenue directly from the reader through “digital products” – for example, content behind a paywall (known as “paid digital memberships”), webinars, ecourses, ebooks, etc.
Personalization is a growing segment of online marketing. If in the past a one-size-fits-all was enough, today’s audience demands more. The idea behind personalization is a straightforward one: personalize your message and you’ll see better results. Think about it like calling someone by their name instead of just shouting, “Hey you”; in which case are you more likely to get a response?
Take a look at Medium, and you’ll find a passionate community of smart people who love great content: you’ll see commenters, sharers, and writers who are seeking out a forum to share their thoughts. Founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams in 2012, Medium has created an entire social media ecosystem around thoughtful, engaging content. And now, the company is opening its doors to publishers who are seeking new opportunities to reach new audiences.
Many traditional publishers have prematurely thrown in the towel on digital. “I have a website, but no one wants to advertise on it.” “I have an iPad version of my print magazine, but only a tiny fraction of my audience subscribes.” “I have made pdf’s of all my articles but no one is downloading them.”
That vocal bunch known as ad block users are quickly becoming one of the most sought after audiences on the internet. This untapped audience, if you can reach them without trivializing their concerns, is a massive opportunity for marketers.
Native advertising is on the rise for publishers—and that’s a good thing. In recent years, media companies have been dealing with the perfect storm: industry-wide programmatic ad revenues are on the decline while ad blocking is on the rise. The bottom line for these trends is that consumers are extremely picky about their online experiences. Readers want and will always want great content, but they don’t ads to interrupt their browsing experiences.
As a marketer for a media company, the world is your oyster. From SnapChat to Instagram and even classics like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, you have a wealth of available options to bring into your distribution strategy. If you sit down and ask yourself which you’d like to pursue, you’d likely respond with ‘all of them’—each social media channel and social network brings a unique set of strengths and weaknesses to the table. Why not cast your net wide?
The digital ecosystem is undergoing a lot of changes. From Twitter, to Google, LinkedIn, and even Bing, how do you keep track of it all?
Publishing revenues may be moving online, but that doesn’t mean print is dead.
In fact, parts of the media industry are moving in the opposite direction and investing in print as complements to their core brands and user experiences. While magazines, on the whole, may be waning in sales and migrating to a digital environment, other types of products continue to remain popular among readers such as textbooks, case studies, companion books, and niche magazines. And as the American Marketing Association points out, even circulation-based magazines are still popular: rather than reaching a broad scale audience, however, it’s the most engaged buyers who are continuing to read them.
Media companies are beginning to experience something that is akin to a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. As the Internet becomes more mainstream and global, with new populations and devices making their way online, web traffic is waning. There are many newcomers to the digital media market: brands are creating content to promote loyalty and engage their audiences. Independent writers are launching blogs and building their own followings. Audience fragmentation is the new norm, and media companies are struggling to hold on to their audiences.
When it comes to email marketing, one of the biggest challenges that media companies face today is the ability to translate insight into action. The reason? When publishers deploy email campaigns, it’s usually to deliver some value to the advertising side of the business. There may be partners who are sponsoring newsletters, or marketing teams may be looking for added-value ways to drive more traffic to display ads.
Events are some of the biggest opportunities in media today. Just take a look at companies like O’Reilly and FastCompany that thrive on their abilities to unite crowds together. With a global, worldwide audience, media companies are in a great position to take their brand-building platform to the next level and introduce new revenue streams.