Digital innovation remains one of the biggest priorities and challenges for publishers in 2022, particularly for those with shrinking but still hungry print operations to feed. And with the variety of platforms, formats and business models emerging and evolving at a rapid pace, there are many opportunities. How do you prioritise and trust the growth in your digital products?
Digital panic and FOMO is real. But rushing to a format or the latest shiny new thing isn’t always right. When you are looking at competitors’ successes and innovations, check first that you have the set up to implement the fabulous new things.
Look at what works and see if it maps naturally to a digital strategy. Tracing connections between current outputs and growth opportunities can provide a useful guide. And then work through:
- Use: where and why will your customer interact with your products and services in a digital environment?
- Discoverability: how, where and why will customers find them? Influencers, classic digital marketing. We all know classic SEO is dead.
- Value: how does usage and development cost stack up against the price to the customer and the business?
There are many ways publishers can evolve. You might just need a better CMS, front end, marketing system or delivery mechanism.
Don’t just throw everything – advertising, affiliates, ecommerce, paywalls and micropayments – at the wall. In print, you picked a priority from subs or advertising. Do the same in digital.
Pick your goals. Make them realistic for the business you have now and the one you want in future. Be honest about your appetite, investment, commitment and buy-in so you have the skills and resources necessary to give them the best chance.
Align goals to your strengths. This doesn’t mean doing more of the same in a digitised way. Find what makes your business tick and translate that into digital possibility.
Truly unique content? Authority and perspective? Commercial partners wanting to reach your audience? Identifying what makes you special will help determine priorities. If you have confidence in your purpose and why customers choose you, you already have the ingredients to create amazing digital products and services. You just need to find the right experts to bring them to life.
To progress digital plans without overburdening critical teams, find people whose business it is to create the solutions you need. While you empower those at the heart of your business to do more of what makes them – and your audiences – love what they do: generate the best content, find the most engaged audience and connect with the most lucrative commercial partners.
Let technology help with the rest.
Pick your goals. Make them realistic for the business you have now and the one you want in future.
With a combined experience of over 70 years in the publishing industry, we’ve worked with names like Future, EMAP, The Economist, Which?, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer on both B2B and B2C products. We grow digital products with real revenue. We automate and accelerate your publishing operations to help you achieve your digital ambitions.
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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.