In this highly competitive online business environment, publishers need to define and implement a digital publishing strategy to exploit a variety of income streams and evolve with the changing landscape of the industry. Several research studies have highlighted that the publishing landscape will evolve at a very fast rate over the next few years, thus, necessitating digital publishers to be agile, forge new customer connections, and cast their nets wide to benefit from additional revenue streams. While traditional revenue streams such as online ads and digital displays are still relevant, exploring additional options will benefit in the long run. While digital advertising remains relevant, it may become less valuable overtime on the back of an increasingly technological world in which people have less attention to spare for digital ads. Adblockers are becoming increasingly common and so there is a need for a solid digital publishing strategy to explore other options. With modern data collection and ad targeting technologies, you can connect with your audience more directly and add to your revenue streams. Here, in this article, we look at digital publishing strategies that can help you improve your revenue.
Know your audience
As a publisher, you would want to expand your audience base. Adding new readers is important, however, while devising your digital publishing strategy, make sure that you don’t overlook your greatest asset, and that is your existing audience. You may ask your readers to subscribe to your website, newsletter, or blog. You may also offer a free subscription for some period or access to a few titles for free as an incentive. The subscription form will help you collect data on demographics and in some cases, their reading preferences also. You can establish a connection with your audience with personalized messages and an engaging experience. Treat these visitors like sales leads and convert them into paying customers with an attractive offer so that they become part of your database. For instance, you can offer a free issue of a magazine, or a few articles in your journal. Once you have a database of customers who have actually seen your offerings on any of your digital platforms, you can market to them on a regular basis till they become your customers.
Engage with your readers
Now that you know who your online readers are or those who have shown interest in your content, focus your digital publishing strategy in offering them what they want. It is important to keep in mind that people visit your website or e-commerce platform to understand the type of content you offer. With analytical tools, you can identify what pages are getting the maximum traction, what books or articles every person on your database is searching for and reading, the videos they are watching, the newsletters they are downloading, and what links they are visiting for more information. Information such as this will bring alive your audience and help you plan your offerings to match their requirements.
It is also important to include social media in your digital publishing strategy. You can use these social media platforms to open direct conversations with your readers and engage with them. These interactions would also help to know your audience and their needs. Customer reviews are also a great means to identify what is working and what is not with your audience. Once you know their requirements, you can tweak or modify your offerings and ensure greater sales, and consequently improve your sales revenues.
Invest in contextual ads
To illustrate with an example, you may be selling textbooks on various CAD/CAM software. It is highly likely that people who are interested in this software may be interested in learning how to use them. One way to reach this audience is to invest in contextual ads either on Facebook or Google. So it may be there are some popular blogs on the software, you may wish to advertise your offerings. This will help you generate new leads which you can at some later stage convert into buyers.
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Implement paywalls as a part of your digital publishing strategy as this will help you to generate additional revenues from your content inventory. Several digital publishers have adopted this digital publishing strategy to their advantage. Paywall content is only available to those who pay for it. So it may be that you publish research journals. You can offer the abstract section of the article for free so that the readers know what it is about and also pointers to what they can expect in the rest of the article, for which they would have to subscribe and pay to access. This digital publishing strategy works if you have a very strong brand and are known to offer high-quality, unique content. You can also follow a tiered approach in that you can offer some archived articles for free, or maybe access to the archives for a specified period of time, after which the readers would have to make a purchase. The free content works as bait to draw in the audience and if they like what they read they are more likely to convert into paying customers.
Offer responsive content
With deeper internet penetration and easy availability of smartphones, more and more people are consuming their content on mobile. However, there are still people who are more comfortable reading on a larger screen or on dedicated reader devices. In order to ensure access on the device of their choice, make sure that your online content is responsive in nature, or in other words, fits in with the screen size of the device. For instance, the customers reading your ebooks on their smartphones should not have to scroll horizontally to read the end of the sentence as this would disrupt their reading experience.
The online medium provides digital publishers with several avenues to improve their revenue. As a digital publisher, you can attract your customers via your own online platforms or through contextual ads placed on relevant third-party websites or blogs. No matter what avenue you explore as part of your digital publishing strategy, it is important to keep in mind that there is a huge amount of information available for free on the Internet and people will buy from you only when you offer high-quality content that is engaging, credible and relevant to their needs. And while it is tempting to add to your customer base, make sure to retain the loyalty of your existing audience. Use modern data collection and analyzing tools to know your audience, understand their likes and dislikes, and fine-tune your content offerings to meet their audience. With all the different marketing strategies you can use to increase your audience, nothing works like positive word of mouth.
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