You’ve heard this before and probably said it yourself, often: publishing content is no longer just about the content. It’s about building relationships across multiple channels and countless formats. Of course, well-researched, relevant content is still what drives engagement, but you have to do something—well, many things—with it, in order to drive revenue. Your audience has higher expectations than ever, they are better educated about their options and they seem to have little time. That’s why you don’t want to waste any when trying to connect with them.
Hence, integrations are an important piece of the puzzle. When done correctly, they save you and your readers time and frustration. Let’s think about it for a second. How many moving parts are you working with?
- Content Production
- Social Media
- Buyer’s Guides/Other Advertising
. . . and the list goes on.
It can get overwhelming quickly. And outside of becoming a tech company yourself, a lot of resources are required to pull it all together. It’s true, some people try to cobble it together, all of us want it all under one seamless roof, but inevitably, as the industry shifts and evolves, we need to be able to incorporate other software and systems into our main platform, so that we can keep up and continue to grow.
Let’s talk about where to start:
1) Always Prioritize the Reader Experience. Yes, it’s extremely important for any integration to improve your workflow and be easy for you to use. But, what does that look like on the reader side? Make sure anything you integrate does not disrupt and ideally, improves the reader experience. Does the integration:
- Allow your readers to access content across multiple devices with familiar navigation?
- Avoid inundating readers with repetitive news and calls to action?
- Deliver a contextual, individualized experience?
2) Keep eCommerce Safe and On Site. Integrating eCommerce into your site is a proven method for increasing sales—and one of the most straightforward improvements you can make. We know that sales are often dropped when shoppers are directed off site. We also know it’s easy to make eCommerce a comfortable and safe endeavor for our readers—which helps to build trust; which helps to build relationships . . .
4) Avoid Data Silos. You might be picking up on something here. Key integrations point to one thing in particular: data. Deep data. There is no question that deep data poses a problem for most publishers and can inhibit customer relationship management. You know it as well as the next guy or gal. Your data is probably scattered across inboxes, filing systems, various databases, hard drives, file cabinets, your co-worker’s brains . . .
- On average, managers search through 3 different sources of information every time they need to answer a question.
- An Accenture survey showed that most managers store their most valuable info in a data silo that others can’t access (only 16% store it in a shared location).
- The IDC reported that knowledge workers spend more than 11 hours per week searching for information, compiling information from separate sources and recreating previously finished work that they can’t find or is inaccessible. This could equate to $19,732 wasted per worker per year.
The point is, audience data, when integrated, becomes actionable data that streamlines work processes and increases traffic, time on site and purchases. That sounds like a relationship that works.
We realize that these can be big steps to take, but they think about what it takes to build the foundation of a friendship. There is always a flourish of energy and effort early on that translates into something that lasts long into the future.