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Digital food for thought

Producing digital content is one thing, successfully distributing it is another. BlueToad’s Paul DeHart serves up three helpful tips.

By Paul DeHart

Digital food for thought

Publishers often struggle with their digital content distribution strategy. Here are some quick thoughts when pivoting your focus to digital.

First, don’t underestimate the value of credibly delivering content to your readers. Today’s reader expects the delivery of device-appropriate content on phones and tablets (and even desktops). For example, readers want to see content on their phone that is easy to consume and formatted for the small screen (not a PDF replica). By providing them with a digital edition that delivers on these technology expectations, you are strengthening your brand and connection with your audience.

Publishers have also started offering readers audio versions of their articles for convenient mobile consumption and integrated video and image feeds for digital-exclusive content. Ultimately, happy and loyal readers equals value.

Second, plan on retraining your audience. You’ve most likely spent years providing a less than satisfactory digital edition experience, especially on phones. If distribution changes have shifted your focus to digital, the transition in delivery expectations will be even more severe. As a result, your readers will require some retraining on what to expect when interacting with your brand.

And it won’t just happen naturally. You will need to proactively tell readers about what you’re doing and the value of staying digitally connected to your new mobile-friendly, branded content experience.

Finally, you should rethink your monetisation strategy and how to incentivise advertisers. In a sea of undifferentiated and free content on the internet, value has shifted from the content itself to the expert curation and delivery of that content.

You should certainly consider gating your content with a digital subscription or membership registration, as readers have demonstrated their willingness to pay for valuable, trustworthy content of interest.

As for advertising, your digital numbers will more than likely be different than your reported print distribution, so you will also need to reconsider your advertising packages and be prepared to continue demonstrating value to advertisers. Your print ads won’t just translate to digital but will instead require you to put some real thought and effort into the strategy.

Achieving the above does not need to be difficult or time-consuming. Using platforms like BlueToad, you can upload a PDF and still deliver readers engaging, device-appropriate content with little to no work. It’s time to start gaining value from your digital edition.

Your print ads won’t just translate to digital but will instead require you to put some real thought and effort into the strategy.

About us

For more than a decade, BlueToad has been the digital content partner of choice for thousands of publishers across the globe to create and monetise beautifully responsive digital editions and web content. With an office in London, BlueToad is now focused on providing its GDPR compliant and award-winning solution to publishers in Europe, offering mobile editions, responsive web content and audio publications.

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This article was first published in the Publishing Partners Guide (PPG) 2022, which is published and distributed by InPublishing. You can register to receive InPublishing magazine here and view the digital edition of the PPG here.