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The Case for Digital Editions

If you’re considering launching a digital edition but are not 100 per cent sure that it’s the right thing to do, here’s some advice from BlueToad’s Paul DeHart.

By Paul DeHart

The Case for Digital Editions
Paul DeHart.

Why a digital edition? It’s a question we hear often at BlueToad. With content creators publishing to print, web and social media, they openly wonder where the digital edition fits in.

The answer is simple – digital editions (in one form or another) have remained relevant over the past couple of decades because there is an audience that wants and now needs the unique experience of a digital edition.

Digital editions offer a curated, packaged and delivered content experience similar to print but with obvious digital benefits and on the devices that matter to readers. It’s also a controlled, curated content experience very different from your website.

Professional content creators can leverage this important content gathering and selection process as something that truly sets them apart from the masses publishing content online. Developing high quality content that grabs the attention of readers is particularly important when you consider that our attention span has dropped to 8.2 seconds, which is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish, according to a study by Microsoft.

The digital edition format has a beginning and an end. It is a structured content experience – whether replica or responsive – just like your print edition. This familiar and trusted form serves as an immediate cue to your readers that they are reading content that has been more carefully and thoughtfully put together for them.

Curated content that appeals to your readers and provides value to them helps your brand stand out in the larger digital marketplace and attract new readership. Readers are developing quite a different expectation when they visit an online publishing site with its typical endless stream of content. Instead of trust, there is uncertainty. This sends the reader on a lengthy quest to confirm and corroborate what they are reading. If you structure and deliver your content in the same way, you are sending them the wrong cue.

Now more than ever, readers are looking for clarity, organisation and brand guidance in the sea of undifferentiated content that has become publishing on the internet. Content curation can help establish your brand as a respected go-to source for meaningful digital content.

With fake news competing with credible journalism, publishers can use their digital editions to better signal their reputation for delivering more trusted and inspiring information through curated, packaged content.

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 award-winning solution to publishers in Europe and transforming traditional digital editions into engaging and mobile-friendly content hubs.

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This article was first published in the Publishing Partners Guide (PPG) 2023, which is published and distributed by InPublishing. You can register to receive InPublishing magazine here.