The Digital-First Publishing Strategy: It’s About Time


The Digital-First Publishing Strategy: It’s About Time

June 7, 2012

When it comes to content strategy, if digital -firstor web-first isn’t rolling off your tongue just yet, it won’t be long. Newspapers and other media began adopting this approach in 2007, yet it’s only begun to gain traction in the last couple of years, as print publishing is blended into online publishing workflows.

What is a digital-first approach? Simply put, it means that writers and editors create content in the context of producing stories for the web that can then be adapted and delivered via print and other mediums as part of that workflow.  Magazines, eCommerce sites, and others are being won over by the inherent efficiencies of creating content once and delivering it via multiple channels.

MIT’s Technology Review is one of the latest reputable hitters to make this move and while they aren’t abandoning print, and still value its virtues, they aren’t unrealistic about where the business is—on the web, first.

Yet, editor Jason Pontin makes it clear that web-first can mean different things for different publishers and editors.

“We’re uninterested in one idea frequently packed inside the words: that digital-first publishers should throw open their editorial pages to so-called content from a ragbag of constituents, including nonwriters and marketers. For a media company to declare itself digital first is mostly a matter of emphasis. Most simply, we feel we can better serve our various audiences on electronic platforms: we can do smarter and link-y journalism, design more beautiful and interactive experiences, and create higher-value and unique advertising opportunities for agencies and their clients.”

Employing a successful web-first strategy is not rocket science, you just need the right tools so you can focus on what you do best: time and again it comes back to creating quality content and engaging your audience effectively with that content.  In online publishing, you can get bogged down with cumbersome workflow processes and technology glitches . . . or not.

You can utilize a strong SaaS Content Management Platform, which is built on the principles of web-first.

  • Create content once and deliver it via multiple channels.
  • Customize your workflow, so that writers and editors can access, alter, create and post content, when and where they need to.
  • Take control of advertising and lead generation opportunities to provide your sponsors with more direct access to your audience.
  • Develop social direct relationships with your audience, so they can easily share, discuss and respond to your content.
  • Automate and integrate processes, particularly cross-platform content delivery to email, RSS, mobile and other channels, to eliminate cutting and pasting while reinforcing version control.

Hispanic Market Weekly is another publisher embracing web-first and creating greater audience engagement opportunities through the flexibility of an online platform. Readers now access a diversity of pages, relevant, related content, value-added features —all delivered without redundancy or limitation by a specific format or standard.   Hispanic Market Weekly is more nimble than ever, testing and delivering new products and value added features to readers and advertisers.

Does your platform give you options?