Multichannel Content Playbook


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Multichannel Content Playbook

  1. 1. Publisher’s PlaybookMulti-Channel Content Strategies sponsored by sponsored by: Next
  2. 2. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CONTENTS 14 41 Magazines and curation: A reality Sponsor content: Why should you check consider a multi-channel content strategy? 16 Cross-platform content: The new 43 imperative Sponsor case study: The Christian Science Monitor 24 5 things the Financial Times 45 does right Sponsor success story: Elle 4 28 46 5 innovative strategies to build Sponsor success story: Car and Seven pillars of content digital revenue Driver management system (CMS) ROI 9 33 47 How GEO scales international Sponsor success story: Clear Publishing staffs adjust to address content to local markets Channel Radio mobile workflowsponsored by 36 48 Editors as the new audience About the sponsor specialist 2 / 48
  3. 3. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content SPONSOR’S MESSAGE Reach a broader audience through new channels As a Publisher, launching a media portal or transforming an existing one into a profitable business can be challenging, especially with all the various channels to consider. From print, Web, mobile and now the tablet, a multi-channel strategy is a key competitive advantage for any Publisher. But there is not always a clear solution. eZ Systems has been a trusted platform for Publishers for over a decade. eZ delivers unsurpassed multichannel capabilities that enable Publishers to reach out and engage your audience, accelerating your time-to-market while reducing your implementation costs. eZ is pleased to sponsor this Publisher’s Playbook to spark new ideas that support the power of multi-channel publishing. Gabriele Viebach CEO, eZ Systemssponsored by 3 / 48
  4. 4. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content SEVEN PILLARS OF CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS) ROI BY PRESCOTT SHIBLES Whether you have a $100,000 online business and are considering a $30,000 investment in a new website or a $10 million business looking into a $1.5 million redesign project, the discussion often starts with a question about the capabilities of the current content management system (CMS). Building a case for a new CMS can be daunting, since you are essentially trying to prove that an investment that could equal a year’s emedia profits will lead to explosive growth down the road. The good news is that the cost of these systems has dropped dramatically, and the technology advances made in recent years can lead to tremendous business improvement. As in all technology projects, you must look for cost efficiencies and revenue opportunities to justify the costs. We’ve developed a template of a CMS request for investment spreadsheet that lays out investment expenses and the return on investment. Before diving into each of the business drivers that create ROI, let’s review some options on how to use these technologies to create efficiencies. There are two ways to calculate the return on investment with regards to staff efficiencies. The first is to look at potential cuts that can be made based on the improved capabilities of the system. The second is to look at opportunity costs, i.e., all of the products that could be launched and generating revenue with the time the staff currently spends on production work. While staff cuts will gain you more buy-in from executives because of the simplicity (and the short-termsponsored by savings), opportunity cost is a more flexible and reliable way of actually reaching your ROI objectives. Here are some of the opportunity costs that you can build a case around: 4 / 48
  5. 5. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content SEVEN PILLARS OF CONTENT 1. Editorial efficiencies MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS) ROI cont’d Legacy CMS systems often require editors to resize and upload multiple versions of the same image, one for the thumbnail on the featured article area of homepage, a smaller thumbnail for headlines, and a final size for placement in an article. This doesn’t seem like a lot of work, but I know editors that spend over 10 hours a week on image resizing. A CMS with an automated image-manipulation system can free up those hours and reallocate ... use time sheets those resources to new product development. to identify the time Additional time savings can be achieved by leveraging easy-to-use, what-you-see-is-what- developers spend on you-get (WYSIWYG) interface instead of formatting manually with HTML. This allows editors to edit and post content in an environment that feels like a word processor: placing projects that could be images, formatting text, and creating sidebars and other related assets. capitalized (new product 2. Technology staff efficiencies development) versus Older platforms often require greater technical skills to operate, put less control in the time spent on bug fixes hands of business users, and become less stable as work-arounds and developer hacks pile and maintenance. up. Moving to a new platform can reduce the time your development team spends on fire drills and bug fixes, time better spent on new product development and deployment. To quantify these efficiencies, use time sheets to identify the time developers spend on projects that could be capitalized (new product development) versus time spent on bugsponsored by fixes and maintenance. If the ratio of development hours vs. maintenance hours is below 5 / 48
  6. 6. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content SEVEN PILLARS OF CONTENT 50/50, moving to a new platform could save considerable maintenance man-hours. MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS) ROI cont’d Identifying the number of developer maintenance hours saved can help you create a model for the number of new products you can launch with the help of a new CMS. 3. New product launches The lifeblood of a successful digital publisher is the ability to bring new products to market quickly. Once you’ve identified the time savings of your editorial and technology staff, you can make a case for reallocating those resources to new product initiatives. To make your case stronger, create a list of ideas, their revenue potential, their complexity, and the estimated costs. Assume that not all of the ideas will pay out as expected; instead, apply a “confidence” percentage of this revenue potential to your ROI model. 4. Increased traffic Content management systems can help increase site traffic in a number of ways. Just about every CMS product has been tweaked and tuned for search engine optimization. Semantic technologies and text mining can improve tagging and keyword optimization. Sites such as,, and have seen traffic increase by 30% within a year of implementing a new CMS. Improved site search and related content capabilities can help keep users on your site longer and make them more engaged. This additional traffic can be monetized through Google AdSense, endemic advertising, or promotion of paid content offerings.sponsored by 6 / 48
  7. 7. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content SEVEN PILLARS OF CONTENT 5. Better ad targeting MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS) ROI cont’d Imagine automatically retagging thousands of articles from your archives and being able to charge five times as much for the ad impressions served on those pages. This is now possible due to some of the technology advances in the past two years. In fact, Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, recently said that content management systems are becoming the new ad systems. Armstrong also told TechCrunch that AOL was making an investment in a secret CMS project to help the company better serve relevant ads and content to readers. ... content management systems are becoming 6. Personalization the new ad systems. Sites like Supply Chain Daily and Daily Candy are using personalization to drive audience engagement and revenues by providing readers with a tailored and unique offering based on their content preferences. The London Telegraph has rolled out a technology where circulation, classifieds and editorial databases are combined to create a single view of a user’s preferences. Ed Hubbard, director of product marketing at DTI, the Telegraph’s technology provider, said of the potential impact of personalization and robust vertical behavioral data:, “The more intelligence a company has on their specific audience, the more they’ll be able to do new things. It won’t just be CPM.” 7. International efforts Automated translation tables, foreign character support (search and display), andsponsored by dynamic workflows for translations are just a few of the technologies that can help drive international traffic and revenues while reducing production and deployment costs. 7 / 48
  8. 8. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content SEVEN PILLARS OF CONTENT Putting it all together MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS) ROI cont’d Once you’ve identified your efficiencies, costs savings, and potential revenue streams, you can create a proposal that confidently demonstrates ROI. The proposal should provide enough detail – in the form of metrics such as total investment request, total savings, and new revenue projects – to make a solid case without overwhelming the business decision- makers with too much data. Free Download: In most cases, CMS projects need a payback of no more than 18 months in order to get CMS request for investment template approved. Because technology advances so quickly, you don’t want to be committed to a platform for too long a time. An 18-month payback gives you enough flexibility to switch systems every three years or so in order to keep pace with new technology. That’s not the preferred route, of course: when evaluating CMS systems, look for a platform that is flexible enough to evolve with your changing needs. Getting to payback within 18 months might seem difficult at first. These systems can take up to a year just to implement fully, depending on the number of Web sites. So, you need to phase in the cost savings and benefits. You’ll also want an annualized version of those cost savings and revenues to demonstrate the impact of the project running at 100% for a full year. Finally, you’re going to want to detail how resources will be reallocated in order to meet the revenue expectations that you are laying out. The spreadsheet template that eMedia Vitals has provided gives CEOs the right amount of broad information and detail they’llsponsored by need to approve an investment. The hard work is in the detail behind this document, but it provides a good structure and approach for ensuring that your CMS project has maximum impact and as little risk as possible. 8 / 48
  9. 9. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content PUBLISHING STAFFS ADJUST TO ADDRESS MOBILE WORKFLOW BY ELLIE BEHLING In many ways, it seems like the iPad was plopped down on the desks of editors and production staff with a note that said, “Congratulations! Please factor this into what you’re already doing.” While support for mobile devices has added to the production plate, many publishers have found it difficult to justify budgeting for dedicated mobile staff when the medium remains such a small percentage of revenue. But we’re beginning to signs of more mobile- related hiring as publishers realize that mobile is becoming a more important channel for content delivery. On a day-to-day basis, mobile workflow varies widely depending on the type of publication (newspaper vs. magazine) and frequency (daily vs. weekly vs. monthly). It also matters whether the publisher develops the app internally or externally and whether the app includes unique or repurposed content. For many publishers, editorial is one area that requires significant workflow modifications to support mobile, according to Bill Tallent, CEO of Mercury Intermedia, which creates iPad apps for newspapers such as USA Today. Mercury’s larger clients have hired full-time mobile staffs, Tallent said at a recent conference hosted by the Reynolds Journalism Institute. (USA Today reorganized last year, putting a bigger emphasis on mobile.)sponsored by 9 / 48
  10. 10. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content PUBLISHING STAFFS ADJUST TO Tallent advised publishers not to skimp on editorial attention in mobile. “It’s tough to do ADDRESS MOBILE WORKFLOW cont’d this because I know that there are staff cuts constantly in the editorial department, but when you put out an app that has typos and mistakes in the copy, customers will ding you,” he said. “We’ve seen quite a few apps out there where the quality of the presentation, the quality of the copy in an application doesn’t even approximate what it is in the paper itself.” A new kind of editor for mobile A perusal of job boards surfaced a hodgepodge of media jobs focused on mobile. Like the Web, content and production jobs blur in the mobile space. In the last couple of months, The New York Post advertised for a “part-time iPad news editor” and Consumer Reports was looking to hire someone in “iPad production.” The Washington Post recently advertised for a “mobile engagement producer.” This hire will manage content on the mobile site and apps, Mobile Editor Anjuman Ali told Poynter. Mobile content positions that blur editorial and digital production roles is a natural evolution, said Kate Byrne, vice president of the technology group at Future US, Inc. The publisher’s free Mac|Life app, launched this summer, has seen about 460,000 downloads, and the recently launched paid version has received about 12,000 downloads. While developing for mobile, Byrne quickly spotted a gap between editorial and development workflow that needed to be filled. She said publishers increasingly require editorial staffers to be more nimble with activities like coding in addition to content — a request she likened to asking those “who are poets by nature to become quants.”sponsored by 10 / 48
  11. 11. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content PUBLISHING STAFFS ADJUST TO Byrne’s solution, which is already budgeted into the publisher’s 2011 headcount, is to ADDRESS MOBILE WORKFLOW cont’d create the role of a digital producer who resides in editorial but acts as a liaison between development and editorial. Keeping the job editorially focused is important because the technical side lacks an overarching understanding of all the moving parts, such as how editorial works with the business side, she noted. “Eventually, I think this is what the next-generation editor-in-chief will be, though we’re not there yet,” she said. “Like anything else, if it starts to make Byrne envisions the digital producer being able to determine what content appears where, depending on the screen size or distribution channel. It could mean bringing more people money, I can hire with broadcast backgrounds into the print world, particularly because video has become a core piece of digital and mobile, she said. whomever I want...” Some publishers acknowledge that they don’t know exactly how mobile workflow will work until they start trying it out. The American Lawyer publisher ALM, which plans to launch several apps this year, is taking a wait-and-see approach to determine any workflow or staffing changes. Staffing needs could depend, for example, on the type of content in the mobile app. Currently ALM is trying not to beef up staff, using outside developers and beginning with repurposed content, Jill Windwer, vice president of digital products and for ALM, explained in a recent interview. Creating unique content for the app would require additional staff, she said.sponsored by “Like anything else, if it starts to make money, I can hire whomever I want,” she added. 11 / 48
  12. 12. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content PUBLISHING STAFFS ADJUST TO Layered on top ADDRESS MOBILE WORKFLOW cont’d Across much of the magazine world, creating digital editions for mobile devices has been layered on top of the regular production workflow. For instance, with Condé Nast’s highly publicized Wired app, editors and designers on the print side worked side by side to determine additional content to enhance storytelling for the iPad. “It’s a concurrent workflow,” Scott Dadich, executive director of digital magazine development at Condé Nast, said at the American Magazine Conference last fall. At the time, Wired had not assigned additional full-time staff to app production but had hired freelancers for additional projects, such as video work, as needed, he said. On the other hand, Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated decided to hire extra staff to keep up with the weekly pace of putting out an iPad app on top of a magazine. “We’ve had to add two people just from the sheer workload,” Chris Hercik, creative director of Sports Illustrated Group, said at AMC. Like Wired, the staffs seamlessly move from print and mobile. Moving mobile in-housesponsored by These skeleton mobile staffs may begin to grow as mobile becomes more integrated into the organization, particularly on the technology side. While relying on external technology 12 / 48
  13. 13. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content PUBLISHING STAFFS ADJUST TO vendors can lessen the load, many publishers are still finding that developing an app can be ADDRESS MOBILE WORKFLOW cont’d labor-intensive for in-house staff. Cox Media Group’s app for the Dayton Daily News was developed by Mercury, but still required a concentrated amount of internal staff before launch. Speaking at the Reynolds Journalism Institute conference, Ray Marcano, director of digital strategy for Cox Media Group Ohio, said newspapers with a circulation of 150,000 to 200,000 should plan on having about a dozen people working on an app – from marketing to circulation. Smaller publishers are finding ways to do it for less. Greenspun Media Group launched a location-based app for Las Vegas Weekly without relying on external vendors. Rob Curley, the publisher’s senior editor of digital, said the editorial and technology staff work closely to maintain the app and website. Eventually more publishers may take their app development in-house. Despite working for a firm that develops apps for publishers, Mercury’s Tallent believes publishers should eventually plan on developing mobile apps internally, just as they do for their websites. Hiring app developers, however, isn’t cheap. “It’s going to take at least three years for supply and demand to equalize in the labor market for app developers,” he said. So publishers face a bit of a Catch-22: They need to create successful apps with limited resources in order to have revenue to invest back into them. Executives admit they’re going through a learning process. Speaking at the Business Insider conference recently, Kevin Krim, global head of web properties at Bloomberg, acknowledged that iPad developmentsponsored by is difficult to integrate into an organization: “Anyone who tells you it’s been easy has been lying to you.” 13 / 48
  14. 14. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content MAGAZINES AND CURATION: A REALITY CHECK BY ELLIE BEHLING It’s easy to forget that just because we talk about a concept a lot in the media industry – e.g., “curation” – doesn’t mean traditional publishers are doing it. That came to my attention at a conference for consumer magazines last week when Matt Robson, SEO specialist at Hearst Magazines, noted that print-based publishers still aren’t completely on board with linking to content from other sources. While many consumer media companies are supplementing original content with curation, it’s not the focus of their strategy. But it’s time for a reality check: Publishers could be hurt as curation grows in importance. Here are three points about content curation that Robson brought to my attention, speaking at the MPA Digital:Technology conference in New York. Robson joined Hearst as part of its acquisition of Hachette Filipacchi Media. Opportunity for aggregation in new verticals Media outlets covering the media and technology space (like this one) are generally more open to curation. We might forget how new it is to publishers in other niches. magazines Publishers in verticals like politics and media/tech are leveraging curation, even focusingsponsored by their entire strategy around it (e.g., Mediagazer). But there aren’t as many aggregators for verticals like finance or entertainment, Robson noted. 14 / 48
  15. 15. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content MAGAZINES AND CURATION: Resistance to linking out A REALITY CHECK cont’d Even in 2011, media companies are not entirely comfortable linking out to other sites, although we know doing so can help get link juice to improve SEO. Digital media companies are comfortable with linking, but Robson said there’s still resistance from traditional media companies. GigaOm’s Matthew Ingram did a nice piece recently about why it’s still so hard to get some media outlets to link. ...traditional publishers The need to be a better content hub are focusing too much on original content Publishers would be better off if they did link out more often, becoming more of a service- oriented venue for the topics they cover, Robson said. “Going into a service model of the rather than becoming Web is potentially disruptive to current traditional publishers,” Robson said. But it’s also an opportunity for media companies to revamp their strategies. a hub consumers come back to. He said traditional publishers are focusing too much on original content rather than becoming a hub consumers come back to. The reader’s mindset is: “I read your feature; what reason do I have to return to your site tomorrow?”sponsored by 15 / 48
  16. 16. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: THE NEW IMPERATIVE BY ROB O’REGAN Media companies are being asked to get more out of their content development efforts as they extend and enhance their publications and brands across a broader array of distribution channels. Just as the Web did not replace print, smartphones and tablets will not replace the Web – this is not a zero-sum content game. As distribution platforms evolve, the landscape is changing dramatically. Forrester forecasts that the number of tablet users will grow from 26 million this year to more than 82 million by 2015. A report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers projects that digital circulation revenues for consumer magazines will rise to $611 million by 2015, up from $4 million in 2010. What’s the impact on publishers? Supporting more platforms and channels means more content to produce. Not an easily achieved mandate when declining print revenues warrant tighter budgets and smaller editorial staffs.sponsored by What’s the answer? Publishers need to get smarter about their content development efforts. We must continue to explore creative ways to repackage everything we produce 16 / 48
  17. 17. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: across multiple platforms. When I worked at IDG, we called this approach “skinning the THE NEW IMPERATIVE cont’d pig.” Nothing from your reporting, research or data gathering efforts goes to waste, unless it’s completely irrelevant to your audience. (In which case you should question why you’re investing in it in the first place.) Skinning the pig requires a rethinking of all aspects of your business, from journalism principles to content creation to organizational structures. ...when none of Journalism the constraints of Twitter is a news platform. Think about that. Whether it’s a former White House staffer traditional media... posting the first tweet about Osama bin Laden’s death or New York Times reporter Brian applies, everything Stelter’s Twitter-based reporting on the Joplin tornadoes, Twitter has become a legitimate platform for breaking news. can be different... This is one aspect of what The Economist’s GL Austin calls “journalistic nuclear physics”– the concept of “blasting the atomic unit of journalism, the article, into its constituent quarks, and reassembling them as something else.” Austin posits that when none of the constraints of traditional media – format, deadlines, etc. – applies, everything can be different, including how stories are packaged and distributed to an audience. The Knight Digital Media Center offers another phrase to describe the trend toward content disaggregation: a Lego approach to storytelling. The concept, put forth by blogger Amy Gahran, involves creating discrete story “modules” that work in different ways acrosssponsored by different formats. Mobile users, for example, might want smaller chunks of content to consume quickly on a smaller screen. On the Web, “each story module would include 17 / 48
  18. 18. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: navigation and context indicating that it’s part of a bigger story or theme. This would make THE NEW IMPERATIVE cont’d it easy and inviting to explore the wider story,” Gahran wrote. Content Social media and mobile are significant driving forces behind concepts such as the Lego approach. Mobile in particular presents new opportunities to repackage and redeploy content in useful and innovative ways for consumers. Publishers continue to explore ways to expand beyond digital replicas of print magazines, as they learn more about the content consumption habits of smartphone and tablet users. Utility apps are one option that’s gaining momentum. These are what Hearst Magazines’ EVP John Loughlin calls “standalone consumer experiences” – apps that help a user accomplish a task, be it shopping, cooking, traveling, working out or virtually any other daily activity. Martha Stewart this week released a handful of purpose-built recipe apps around cookies and smoothies and cocktails. Special issues are another option for repackaging content for smartphone or tablet users. Theme-based collections of content are a no-brainer for publishers with deep archives or those that already produce buyers’ guides of products or services in their market. PaidContent this week noted that 28 of Conde Nast’s 37 apps to date are utility or special edition apps.sponsored by A third way to repackage content in an app format is through RSS feeds. Publishers such as The Atlantic are pulling RSS feeds from their website into a packaged app that delivers breaking news, videos, or blog content to mobile users. 18 / 48
  19. 19. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: A fourth example is the “single,” which is emerging as a way to preserve the concept of THE NEW IMPERATIVE cont’d narrative, long-form journalism with fresh packaging. ProPublica has published a series of articles as Kindle Singles, and the early returns are positive. These are all examples of what some on the industry are calling “content extensions.” In March, Hearst hired David Kang is its first creative director of content extensions. “By reimagining the magazines as brands, the content can extend across multiple platforms to create new print books, ebooks, digital tools, mobile apps ... that work to build and extend Hearst’s content franchises,” Kang told Mediapost. Workflows As content types and formats evolve, so do the workflows for creating the content. More magazines and newspapers are adopting a Web-first approach to publishing – even long-running print brands such as The Atlantic, the Christian Science Monitor and Vance Publishing. • The Atlantic attributed its first profit in decades (last year’s fourth quarter) in large part to a 70 percent increase in digital revenues, the result of a digital-first strategy. • The Christian Science Monitor took the “web-first” mantra to an extreme – abandoning its daily print edition for daily news on the web. It changed the entire culture of its newsroom with a four-pronged strategy that included increasing the frequency of Web posts, emphasizing SEO, and monitoring Google trends for hot topics.sponsored by 19 / 48
  20. 20. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: • Vance, a trade publisher of agriculture titles such as Pork magazine, two years ago THE NEW IMPERATIVE cont’d deployed a web-first strategy that effectively reversed its editorial workflow: instead of researching and writing a lengthy print article, then repurposing it for the Web, writers now will post a first take of breaking news at 200 words, following with an update at 400 words, then producing a longer second-day story that is subsequently repurposed for the print publication. As the culture changes, so must the systems needed to support it. At the crux of this shift lies the content management system. Poynter’s Matt Thompson had a great post this week about how content management systems are evolving. His key point: “There’s now a genuine expectation that a CMS will play nicely with videos stored on YouTube, or comments managed by Disqus, or live chats embedded from CoverItLive. Other environments such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr come with their own suites of tools. And increasingly, what we call a ‘content management system’ is actually a combo of multiple tightly-integrated systems.” Gehren from the Knight Digital Media Center also chimed in on the evolving CMS: We need tools that automate cross-linking between story modules, as well as much of the navigation and design that visually ties together collections of modules into a story. Simply generating an index page from a tag or category is not sufficiently engaging or usable. Such a tool would turn your collection of story modules into an obvious mosaic, not scattered scraps or a dry list. It would present your content in a way that allows peoplesponsored by entering a collection at any point, via any module (no matter how small), on any device, to easily find and explore other parts of that collection—and to see how they’re related. 20 / 48
  21. 21. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: Org structures THE NEW IMPERATIVE cont’d The cross-platform imperative also requires changes to the organization structure itself. Forbes has been remaking its newsroom to suit the vision of Chief Product Officer Lewis D’Vorkin. At the core of this “new newsroom” is audience-centric data, which is shared across the organization. “The data forms a powerful feedback loop that informs departments in every corner of our company — and the new breed of entrepreneurial journalist that is key to powering our content engine,” D’Vorkin writes. The New Newsroom, he adds, “is about collaboration — between editorial, product, design, production — and, yes, the advertising sales and marketing departments, too.” One organizational concept that was unheard of just a few years ago is the inclusion of external contributors – including the community you’re serving. Connecticut’s Register Citizen, owned by the Journal Register Company, last year opened a community newsroom – housed within its editorial offices – that includes workstations (and coffee) for local bloggers and citizen journalists. Public Radio International’s Michael Skoler, writing for Nieman Reports, says community is “the most powerful emerging business driver in the new economy.” He adds: “News organizations need to think of themselves first as gathering, supporting and empowering people to be active in a community with shared values, and not primarily as creators of news that people will consume.”sponsored by 21 / 48
  22. 22. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: How to succeed: 6 tips THE NEW IMPERATIVE cont’d Here are six tips on how to create a successful cross-platform business: 1. Test and learn. Publishers can’t afford to pursue big, bet-the-company initiatives that offer no clear payoff. Start small, testing different content types, revenue models and price points (for paid content). This is not just an R&D mandate: Give all your employees the freedom and courage to experiment. 2. Let the data guide you. Track your experiments religiously. Find the combination of metrics that best indicate progress toward your objectives. Allocate more resources toward the projects that are working and either kill the underperformers or, if they’re strategically important, find ways to improve them. 3. Break down the silos. Cross-platform content requires cross-functional collaboration. Developers need a better understanding of editorial and the audience so they can build better products. Marketers need better insight into editorial products so they can promote them. Editors need to understand corporate objectives and the financial feasibility of new projects and products. This doesn’t require a dismantling of the church/state divide, but it does require a more open approach to content development. 4. Be consistent with your brand across platforms. The structure and tone of a tweet is much different than a long-form magazine article, but editors’ behavior on social media must not stray too far from the overall message of your publication. For initiatives thatsponsored by stray far from the core, consider launching under a different brand. 22 / 48
  23. 23. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT: 5. Differentiate with quality. The pendulum is swinging back from search-optimized dreck THE NEW IMPERATIVE cont’d toward quality content. Invest accordingly in quality as you extend your content into new channels. As Journal Register CEO John Paton recently noted, “Lousy journalism on multiple platforms is just lousy journalism in multiple ways.” 6. Monetize everything. At the end of the day, it’s all about driving revenue. No projects should be allowed to go forward without a clear business benefit. During the industry’s transition from print to digital, creating a real business case for new content development is simply a matter of survival.sponsored by 23 / 48
  24. 24. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 THINGS THE FINANCIAL TIMES DOES RIGHT BY RON MWANGAGUHUNGA Many publishers are following the FT brand despite the fact that readers are cut off after 10 articles per month. I, for one, hit my 10-article limit within the first few weeks of any month. At the risk of stating the obvious: FT pays for itself by providing actionable financial information with a nice mix of news, reporting, blogging and video. Felix Salmon rightly notes on Reuters that despite all the digital kudos, all is not wine and roses on the print side. “Daily print circulation was 485,000 at the end of 2000, and dropped at a rate of about 5,000 a year to 440,000 at the end of 2008,” writes Salmon. “The rate of decline has accelerated sharply since then: print circulation is now 390,000, which means the paper has been losing around 25,000 print subscribers per year over the past couple of years.” That having been said, FT has 206,892 paying digital subscribers, up 71% year on year, according to a January blog post. “For us to have over 200,000 digital subscribers, which is where we now are, means that we are halfway to replicating the scale of our paying print business -- and that’s a big deal,” noted Robert Grimshaw, managing director of, in an interview with Beet.TV. Here are five things the FT does right:sponsored by 24 / 48
  25. 25. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 THINGS THE FINANCIAL TIMES 1. The FT is advertiser-friendly DOES RIGHT cont’d Customer data truly matters. If it didn’t, there would be no friction in the relationship between publishers and Apple. But there is because advertisers want to know more about their audience. John Ridding, FT’s chief executive, recently said, “we’ve moved almost from the dark ages to an age of enlightenment in terms of understanding our readers.” To that end, the FT is great at mining and collecting consumer data. “When a reader signs up for an online subscription, the FT can track every click,” writes In 2010 advertising Eric Pfaner in The Times. “That makes it easier to tailor content and new services to on FT increased their interests. When customers let their subscriptions lapse, The FT can pursue them via e-mail and other means in an effort to get them to reconsider.” at double digit Advertisers have noticed: In 2010 advertising on FT increased at double digit rates from rates from the the year previous. year previous. 2. The FT is not afraid to experiment The FT is involving readers more and more, fostering community. Early this year, FT launched FT Tilt, its seventh professional-niche spin-off and an innovative departure from the conventional news story format. FT Tilt goes more deeply into emerging markets -- a hot financial topic nowadays -- with a comments section that is “subject to status,” allowing members who have demonstrated their professional interest in the emerging world to publish their own stories alongside sector analysts. Interesting. That’ssponsored by just the sort of innovative thinking that all publishers should be doing. 25 / 48
  26. 26. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 THINGS THE FINANCIAL TIMES The FT is also pushing social media. At social media week last month, MB Christie, the DOES RIGHT cont’d head of product management for, said that as of December social media traffic at the site was up 83 percent over the last year and contributed to 130 percent more site registrations than the year before. 3. The FT is loosening up on emerging markets The aforementioned FT Tilt is more than just a digital-editorial experiment, it is also a naked grab for mindshare in emerging markets, an area of great potential growth for publishers. “Western business media such as the FT has tended to cover the emerging world with a colonial mindset, focusing on New York and London,” wrote my colleague Ellie Behling, covering Social Media Week last month. FT editor in chief Paul Murphy said of FT Tilt, “the organization needed to be tilted.” Further, the FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Awards will have an award category in Emerging Business. Are you maximizing youfr growth potential in emerging markets? 4. The FT gets mobile About 45% of FT readers access content through mobile devices. The FT iPad app is also quite popular. Further, FT is well-positioned to take advantage of mobile advertising. “The big thing for us over the past 12 months or so has been seeing the evolution of mobile as asponsored by commercial platform, as a place to do business,” Grimshaw told Beet.TV. “We found a 26 / 48
  27. 27. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 THINGS THE FINANCIAL TIMES lot more interest from advertisers so -- now we’re seeing about a third of advertisers in DOES RIGHT cont’d the digital space asking for mobile elements when they give us advertising briefs. You go back a year, those briefs would have been relatively rare.” 5. The FT fiercely guards its content’s Terms and Conditions page is forbidding, perhaps excessively so. Anyone who has ever tried to copy even the briefest excerpt of text from the FT site has been subjected to that stern warning. Salmon calls it “user hostile.” That having been said, overall I find that this fierce guarding of content justifies the Financial Times as a premium-subscription based product. Publishers, of course, don’t have to go quite as far as FT. But the idea is pretty sound.sponsored by 27 / 48
  28. 28. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES TO BUILD DIGITAL REVENUE BY ELLIE BEHLING Media companies are experimenting with strategies to make money beyond traditional advertising and paid content, either to supplement existing business models or find new ones entirely. Here are five innovative ways publishers are digging for new digital revenue streams. 1. Single-copy sales Selling content a la carte rather than packaged into a full publication — the iTunes model applied to journalism — is emerging as a new way to sell magazine and news content. Nieman Journalism Lab calls the “singles model” a way to “circumvent traditional constraints on publishing.” ProPublica is one media company that’s experimenting with how publishers can successfully break out of the bundle. The news organization recently published an article as a Kindle Single, which is generally narrative writing longer than most magazine articles but shorter than a book. The platform to sell content is another sign of the renaissance for narrative, long-form journalism. The first ProPublica Kindle Single (a 13,000-word expose about Pakistan) sold 1,900 sales for 99 cents a piece (the publisher keeps 70 percent) and has been a regular in the top 10 of Kindle Singles bestsellers, according to Nieman Lab. ProPublica’s General Manager Richard Tofel saidsponsored by the Single is an experiment in building new audiences. While the modest revenue won’t float ProPublica’s business boat, it does represent a previously untapped revenue stream. 28 / 48
  29. 29. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES TO 2. E-commerce BUILD DIGITAL REVENUE cont’d Selling merchandise is gaining favor among some media companies, either as a way to add incremental revenue or as a core part of the business. In the latter category, enthusiast publishers such as F+W and Interweave use editorial to drive product sales. F+W has dramatically shifted its business to focus on commerce. The Knot is another example of successfully implementing a commerce strategy. The publisher diversified its revenue, with e-commerce making up a substantial chunk, according to 2009 numbers. The Knot has become a full-blown retailer, fulfilling orders for wedding supplies such as engraved invitations. Additionally, the company teams up with other retailers for a bridal registry product, where the publisher takes a cut of all transactions. Teaming up with other vendors is one way to dip into commerce for publishers not ready to launch a full-blown operation themselves. TechMediaNetwork developed affiliate relationships with vendors and receives a share when a consumer purchases a product after reading a review. Digital coupons are another growing way for publishers to incorporate commerce and take a cut of the sales. But the blurring of content and commerce isn’t always smooth. A New York Times executive said at a conference last fall that it was tricky to try to sell movie tickets in movie reviews. Publishers are still looking for the balance of commerce in their business model, but it’s clear incorporation of commerce will be a vital part of the business model going foward.sponsored by 29 / 48
  30. 30. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES TO 3. Marketing services BUILD DIGITAL REVENUE cont’d The new era of custom publishing is another example of the changing roles of media companies, beyond being strictly editorially driven. In the last few years, UBM TechWeb remodeled its business to make B2B marketing services a central part of its business. While the company still offers traditional marketing services such as advertising, it has also created ongoing relationships with customers to manage branded websites and communities. In some cases advertisers are beginning to request custom content that is editorially driven – which might sound kind of contradictory. Here’s the idea: A single advertiser will back content about a specific topic for a specific audience but still want content maintaining editorial independence and therefore consumer trust. Studio One Networks, a content syndication company, uses this model by producing editorially independent content in a specific niche requested by the sponsor. Like commerce, publishers are still experimenting with how to lasso the opportunity to create content for brands that is either strictly marketing or a new kind of editorial product. 4. Value in archives Publishers that have been around for a while have an opportunity to turn their dusty archives into memorabilia, and many are doing just that. The Chicago Sun-Times sold itssponsored by entire archive of photos last year to an enthusiast. That’s not a good example of creating 30 / 48
  31. 31. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES TO more incremental revenue through a digital storefront, but it shows the willingness for BUILD DIGITAL REVENUE cont’d people to pay for “old” content. A service called Image Fortress works with publishers like The Chicago Tribune, powering archiving and monetization services to preserve and sell photo archives. It’s a step in the right direction for publishers to start profiting off of their legacy, rather than letting it weigh them down. Archives are still an untapped opportunity for publishers to create revenue streams. Beyond Archives are still an selling archives — a very tangible example of archival value — publishers could repackage and attract new readers of old content. Early examples include The New York Times’ topic untapped opportunity pages, which aggregates information around a topic by leveraging semantic technology, for publishers to create and valuable databases like New York Magazine’s Restaurant Guide. revenue streams. The New York Times’ Michael Zimbalist said at paidContent Mobile last year that archives have “information shadows” publishers could be compensated for. “It is entirely possible that there will be new sources of value unlocked from content archives, which will be become part of the business model that will sustain content businesses in mobile channels,” he said. 5. New ad formats It might be ironic to talk about advertising as an innovative digital revenue strategy, but there’s still life in the online ad model. Creative advertising formats offer new opportunitiessponsored by for publishers to sell advertising in new places. 31 / 48
  32. 32. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content 5 INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES TO For instance, companies such as Solve Media and NuCaptcha offer ads in the CAPTCHA BUILD DIGITAL REVENUE cont’d security tests many publishers use to authenticate users. Social media is another new venue where publishers are finding new advertising opportunities.’s Real Time Ads pull in messages from an advertiser’s social media accounts into a widget. As of November, the publisher had approximately $15,000 in annual contracts using real-time ads, according to Mashable. These are only a few of the new tactics (some of which are a spin on the old tactics) publishers are using to try to build additional revenue, even if it’s just a little bit here and there. What other strategies work for publishers? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.sponsored by 32 / 48
  33. 33. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content HOW GEO SCALES INTERNATIONAL CONTENT TO LOCAL MARKETS BY ELLIE BEHLING GEO magazine’s digital strategy could be a model for other publishers: Take one strong international brand, add a centralized technology platform, and scale it to local markets. GEO is published in 21 countries by Gruner + Jahr of Hamburg, Germany. The monthly magazine focuses on in-depth journalism and photography (akin to National Geographic). Last year GEO’s website rolled out localized versions to nine countries, including Spain, Finland, Russia and six Eastern European countries. GEO licenses its brand (print and/or online) to local publishers for a fee. International content is centrally produced and provided to the local partners, who tailor the edition and add their own content. As André Möllersmann, head of international brands and licenses at G + J, said last year: “The result is a local magazine in local language with outstanding editorial quality and a local touch.” As different models for localization emerge, GEO’s strategy serves as an interesting example of how centralized technology enables a publisher to scale by providing locally filtered and community-driven international content. In a phone interview, Möllersmann talked about GEO’s digital strategy. Centralized technologysponsored by Local content publishing is difficult to make profitable, so G + J decided to focus on centralizing it, he said. From Hamburg, the company develops and hosts all of the sites for partners in other 33 / 48
  34. 34. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content HOW GEO SCALES INTERNATIONAL countries. (Two countries also host on their own.) The company uses the open-source eZ Publish CONTENT TO LOCAL MARKETS cont’d for content management. Individual countries are in charge of their own editorial operations and advertising sales. The business model is mostly advertising-driven, in addition to some merchandise sales. Local content Each country has full responsibility for its editorial content, Möllersmann explained. Editors Individual countries are of the main brand select internationally relevant content to deliver to local editors. Translated international content usually makes up about 80% of the content and local content comprises in charge of their own about 20%. editorial operations and “On the content side we’re offering a package but the responsibility editorially lies with advertising sales. country,” he said. User-generated content is also a part of the mix, easily integrated thanks to the photo-driven nature of GEO. Most of the markets feature a photo community where photographers, whether hobbyist or professional, can share photos. Continuing scale GEO centralized platform model has been applied to other G + J brands – most recently the lifestyle magazine GALA. The International Parenting Network, sprung from the parentingsponsored by magazine ELTERN, has rolled out in nine countries on the centralized platform. The parenting 34 / 48
  35. 35. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content HOW GEO SCALES INTERNATIONAL content has especially proved successful in this model, Möllersmann said: In France, G + J’s CONTENT TO LOCAL MARKETS cont’d website had a traffic increase in 2009 of 254%. G + J has also started dipping into mobile. The magazine currently offers one iPad app rather than different ones for each local site. The company’s GEO Selection began as an English- language app but is now also available in German and soon Spanish. The company opted for an English-language version first to help expand its U.S. presence and because English-language apps have the largest reach, Möllersmann said.sponsored by 35 / 48
  36. 36. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content EDITORS AS THE NEW AUDIENCE SPECIALIST BY ELLIE BEHLING I recently met an audience development manager at a major B2B media company, who explained his job to this effect: “We’re the ones who get the audience for those of you in editorial to write about.” When you put it that way, it intrigued me. I responded something along the lines of: “Well, that’s actually part of my job as well.” Not only are journalists interacting more with our audience, but increasingly we are, directly or indirectly, charged with creating content aimed to maintain and attract an audience — a.k.a. audience development, right? Media companies and audience development managers should be leveraging this approach to their advantage. Meanwhile, journalists should be honing their skills to be individual brands and audience specialists. The trend is part of the greater move and necessity of editors to understand the business side of media. In a previous post, I spoke more broadly about how the role of the editor is changing to incorporate more marketing, audience development and business development. Here are three specific ways editors are taking on larger audience development roles. Editors as audience specialistssponsored by Search SEO has been one of the biggest drivers to get journalists and media companies thinking about their audience. Content strategy continues to evolve like the search landscape. Beyond just 36 / 48
  37. 37. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content EDITORS AS THE NEW AUDIENCE optimizing for Google, the thought of “giving users what they want” has dramatically shifted SPECIALIST cont’d some of the thinking behind how content is conceptualized and delivered. I recently had an email conversation with Robert Keenan, vice president of Online Media for B2B publisher at Edgell Communications, about the emerging role of journalists as audience developers. He offered a helpful insight: Here’s what I tell editors. In the old days, editors relied on an audience development department to build lists and it was their job to maintain the relationship. And, one of the great ways to judge that was through the annual re-up rate for the publication. But, those days are long behind us now. Just look at the impact Google has had on our business. Today we not only need to write stories that engage users, we also have to write in a way that allows Google to effectively rank and index our content. Therefore, as an editor writes a piece of content, it has to be done in a way that it generates audience through the search engines. Social media Social media has obviously given editors the unprecedented opportunity to interact with our audiences and create engaging content catered to them. Editors are crucial to building and running communities and growing relationships with readers, just like we’ve always been. Now the results are simply more measurable in our number of retweets or the length of time a reader stays on the page. In the last couple of years, most media companies have transferred the reins of social media to editorial rather than marketing, though it’s different in many organizations — and an examplesponsored by of an area where marketing and editorial collide. It’s common at a small media organization to find an editor running most of the social content and managing and encouraging Twitter 37 / 48
  38. 38. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content EDITORS AS THE NEW AUDIENCE followers and Facebook fans (either for their own following or that of their organization). SPECIALIST cont’d Editors, essentially, are filling the role of “social circulation managers.” Being their own brands We’ve all certainly heard this observation enough: Journalists are their own brands, whether they work at The Washington Post or are Perez Hilton. Google is now even highlighting individual content creators in search results. ...finding editors with These days, finding editors with solid brands is the same thing as finding solid editors, period. Steve Buttry, director of community engagement and social media at the Journal Register Co., solid brands is the wrote an insightful post this week about how part of having a good brand is being a good journalist. “Branding” is not undermining the traditional editorial skills. “Branding is never as same thing as finding important as being able to deliver the goods,” he said. solid editors, period. Rather than fighting it, publishers can make use of these journalists as individual assets and audience ambassadors. Think of every journalist as a club with its own newsletter, representing another channel of communication to benefit the larger media organization. When you “buy” a journalist, you’re getting his or her list. New audience development roles The expanded roles editors are taking on don’t make the audience development department irrelevant (no, we don’t want your business job). But it’s important to recognize how the two are overlapping. To go back to the opening example in this post, let’s just say an audience developmentsponsored by manager shouldn’t feel the need to explain what they do to a journalist – and vice versa. 38 / 48
  39. 39. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content EDITORS AS THE NEW AUDIENCE If editors are charged with creating content with the audience in mind, audience development SPECIALIST cont’d managers are charged with turning that audience into revenue. “On the audience development front, this also means there needs to be a change in the way users are engaged,” Keenan said. “Specifically, audience development managers and executives have to now learn how to mine the data they receive from content developed by editors in order to increase conversions to newsletters, websites, lead gen products, and print vehicles.” Audience development managers can also help interpret the audience for journalists to better serve them. It’s a throwback to the binder of audience research editors have always been provided by audience development departments. Now we have high-powered analytics at our fingertips. The new newsroom It’s important for media companies of all types to recognize and encourage the growing role of journalists as audience developers, arming them with the right training and tools. Enthusiast publisher Interweave, for example, made a significant investment to train its employees in skills like SEO, social media optimization (SMO) and content marketing. Forbes’ recent newsroom restructuring is the perfect example of how the roles are changing. Lewis Dvorkin’s new newsroom houses an audience development team within the editorial department and puts audience data at the center of allsponsored by initiatives (as shown in in the diagram). “The New Newsroom is 39 / 48
  40. 40. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content EDITORS AS THE NEW AUDIENCE about collaboration – between editorial, product, design, production – and, yes, the advertising SPECIALIST cont’d sales and marketing departments, too,” he wrote in a recent post. In addition to reconsidering the structure and training of the newsroom, publishers should be recruiting editors who “get” how to engage and produce for their audience. An editor-in-chief of an organization (particularly in B2B) has often been recruited for their brand and respect, and that attitude is trickling down to all editorial staff. If journalists are going to be pivotal in bringing in the right audience, it’s still as crucial as it’s always been for media companies to bring in the right journalists.sponsored by 40 / 48
  41. 41. Publisher’s Playbook: Audience Development Strategies Multi-Channel Content SPONSOR CONTENT: WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A MULTI-CHANNEL CONTENT STRATEGY? Device users, and Today, leading media and publishing companies are turning to eZ to optimize their digital business. particularly iPad owners, Enable your editors have shown that they Keeping content fresh on any digital channel is not an easy task. Whether you are arespond to advertising on new site publishing content by the minute, or a monthly publication working on quality releases, the ability to publish content to any channel is the key to a publisher’s success. eZ digital devices. provides a rich tool set that makes authoring and editing content simple and engaging. Editors can publish any content regardless of the channel in a quick and easy manner. ( Drive more advertising revenue Understand your visitors and allow advertisers to better target their audience. Fresh and engaging content will enhance the advertising relevancy. Optimize your site allowing visitors to experience more pages and raisesponsored by 41 / 48