With a whopping 400% hike in the tablet adoption since last year and 56% of which being used for reading news; publishers can't afford a moment to waste before jumping to handheld devices.
Since the advent of social media and blogging platforms, publishers have been worried about an extremely low barrier of entry in their field. Now, it seems like anybody can set up a blog and begin posting articles in 10 minutes! Moreover, payouts from display advertisements alone are not good enough.
With changing consumer demand, the strategies of publishers need to change.
Arm yourself with these 6 strategies to keep pace with the consumer trends:
1. Target Mobile, the home screen:
An average person spends 26% of his/her time looking at his mobile. The most common reason cited is the "fear of missing something!” So, the smart step for any publisher would be to get more screen time for themselves on the mobile.
Most online publishers have non responsive websites, not suitable for mobile devices or tablets.
Now the question is, do you want a native mobile app?
There are many platforms that bring third party content from various publishers at one place. Eg. Flipboard.
If you don't want to spend time and money towards creating a mobile app initially, you can utilize such platforms to build up a following for your content.
Later on, once you have built enough readership, you may go for your own mobile app.
But you definitely need a responsive website optimized for mobile devices and tablets. That should be the first thing on the list!
2. Focus on the reader:
Publishers always had the problem of satisfying two masters at the same time: sponsors and audience. Not anymore!
One of the biggest reasons of depression in the publishing world is the deterioration of the quality of content. That's where the bloggers came into the picture.
As the number of publishing platforms has increased, thanks to internet blogging, the demand for content consumers has gone higher than ever! The first rule of economics, ‘Demand and supply’ will testify that.
Keep the readers happy and the sponsors will follow the lead. The best way is to automate the process of getting advertisements (more about it later). Now, the publishers should focus on creating great content regularly. Now, the reader is more impatient than ever, so regularity holds high importance today.
3. Engaging your audience: The Supermarket Model
Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and other big box stores understand the fact that the consumers do not have time. There’s something to learn from their success stories for publishers as well.
Supermarket model, as I like to call it, is all about engaging the audience and giving them all they want under one roof. Offer them a buffet and they'll keep coming back.
Here's what you can do:
- Listen to your readers, community:
Nothing beats quality content, but today's readers need more than just that.
They need to engage! Understanding this, websites like Quora, Reddit, Medium has amassed a big audience. Now, the readers want to be heard!
Giving them a community where they can discuss your content, topics important to them or other events is a great option.
- Offer them events:
Events have always interested people. A cool option is to inform them about the upcoming events around them. This will not only excite the audience, but if you allow users to add their own events, this can drive revenue for you too.
If you want to start fast, it's smart to join the affiliate network of websites like Meetup.
- Take their opinion, Polls:
Let your audience poll about hot topics and voice their opinion by just a click!
This will also allow you to gain poll data and people's voice about any occurring.
This can be invaluable for your writers and businesses that want to use your poll for mass feedback.
4. Join hands with competitors:
Many publishers have been inviting bloggers to write for their websites. It's a win-win situation. It gives the bloggers the platform they deserve and publishers, access to more quality content.
One of the best ways is to allow users to submit articles on your portal. You can surely edit those before you hit publish button or deny them politely. This would get you an engaged audience and more content for your website.
Almost the whole publishing industry knows that relying on banner ads alone is a difficult thing today. No more firing against banner ads here. Now, what are the options?
• Sponsored articles: Get paid to publish advertorials and white papers on your website.
• Business directory: Let sponsored businesses make you money.
• Event directory: Let users add sponsored events.
• Classifieds: Let sponsored classifieds make you money.
• Deals and offers: Let businesses offer deals through your website.
• Polls: Let businesses allow conduct polls for mass reviews.
• Contests/sweepstakes: Thrill the audience and make money at the same time.
• Movies and theaters: Tie up with local theaters.
• Affiliate Marketing: Let third party plugins make you money and entertain audiences.
• Banner ads: Old school way to monetize.
Here are deeper insights and smart ways to monetize your website efficiently.
6. Automate; get a good CMS:
You have been running your website well. It has made good money. But, to scale it and go to the next level, you need a robust CMS that gives you the power to easily manage content, users, staff and monetization options.
The time of negotiating with businesses one on one is over. Automate it! And let your website make you money 24x7.
It saves you your biggest asset: time. So that you focus tension free on what you love; creating new content and engaging your audience.
BlackMonk is a robust CMS that allows you to do all of the above and more at one place. Want to know more?
Request a demo, explore the possibilities.
Do you have more suggestions? Did I miss out something? Get in touch with me in comments below.