By now, you’ve realized that publishing on the web isn’t as simple as posting your print content and calling it good. The online environment not only requires that you wear many hats, but also that you show more of yourself and welcome the new, key players who drive content.
Today, publishing is a multi-dimensional endeavor—you can’t be just a magazine, you must be a cohesive dynamic resource—made up of print, web, apps and mobile platforms that help you provide greater depth and dimension to your content.
That’s a tall order, but it is achievable, as Forbes Media is proving—with an approach to creating content that is based in what they call the content continuum. Lewis DVorkin, CPO* of Forbes, says they believe that there are professionals who create content, there are marketers who create content and there are audience members who create content.
Forbes has built their current economic model on this concept and they are seeing results. In 2011, they recorded growth in many facets of their online business, including a steady increase towards 20 million unique monthly visitors.
What can we learn from Forbes?
- Design your interface for ease of use and with intuitive architecture, so that your content is delivered easily and consistently across platforms.
- Make it easy for your staff to write more online, more often, in order to provide greater depth to the content.
- Initiate and generate content online; give your key contributors their own page so they can build an audience and community around their content.
- Expand your contributor base, using incentives that allow them to share their expertise and grow professionally.
- Treat readers as participants and give them ample, easy opportunities to comment and connect, on your site and through social networking. They will drive content by providing their own insight and expertise.
- Give your advertisers access to your publishing platform so they can cultivate an audience—with their own brand of narrative and personality.
- Don’t re-use; re-focus. When applying content to various apps and platforms, be deliberate about what you post where and refocus it to drive relevance.
- Refresh your content frequently.
Using these tactics allows you to engage all players in the content continuum cleanly and seamlessly—reinforcing the idea that the vacuum is old news.
*CPO is the acronym for Chief Product Officer. It’s an executive marketing title that is comparable to chief marketing officer (CMO) but usually specifies an emphasis on tight integration of management, product development and strategy.