As more print publishers embrace a digital content curation and creation strategy, it might help to understand why a traditional content model will ultimately fail in the digital sphere. And knowing that can help us understand the shift required by publishers trying to make a buck online.
As ad revenue declined, publishers looked for ways to monetize their content online. We support a diverse revenue stream, and think this kind of thinking is good for business. Yet we have to be careful to understand that it’s the ad revenue, not necessarily reader interest, that has waned over the past few challenging years.
Advertisers in the digital space are looking for more engagement and more opportunities for conversation that in our printed pieces. And rightly so; print is a static medium while digital begs for interaction and constant change.
So how to realign your company’s thinking to create a successful digital content business model? Flashes and Flames offers a four-pronged approach in their article “How newspapers and magazines everywhere can get WISE to become profitable on the Web.”
In a nutshell, the article advocates the following:
W – Go Web-Wide
Forget being your readers’ primary go-to source and realize that in your online space you will need to be a content aggregator and curator as well as creator.
I – Look to Infotising
F&F advises that “Publishers must move decisively away from being mere suppliers of advertising space to helping advertisers engage with readers.” The type of advertising being done in print is not effective online. Recognize this and work with your advertisers on models that work for them in this new space.
S – Serendipity
In your content, continually surprise and delight your audience so they become addicted to the idea of coming back to see what’s new. “Web publishers must seek to captivate readers by including the offbeat, humorous and surprising especially (but not only) in information searches.”
E – Engagement
Be proponents of the continuous and evolving dialog happening online. In your print edition, letters to the editors are fantastic. Online, this model doesn’t work. Social channel comments and retweets have taken the place of formal editorials. Join your readers in this evolving conversation.
The article does a great job of explaining some of the intricacies in creating this kind of WISE content model online. We’d love to hear from you. Are you on board with these ideas? Have you tried anything similar in your own business? Comments welcome.