4 Steps to Grow Your Business This Year


4 Steps to Grow Your Business This Year

January 7, 2014

If you’re like most BtoB Publishers, you’ve probably got a list of goals for 2014 on your desk right now. The question is: are you set up to achieve those goals?

Does your plan include developing greater revenue diversity? It’s likely that you already have several moving parts to your content marketing strategy and you’re probably looking to add more. Is 2014 the year you want to add a directory or events? What about webinars and podcasts? Or how about upgrading the image and video quality on your site?  All of these things add value to the reader experience and that translates to greater engagement, longer visits and ultimately, more revenue. 

But creating greater revenue diversity probably sounds like a lot of work. You likely worry about these efforts consuming more valuable time, resources and money.  You’re supposed to be growing—which for a lot of us, means making more money and having more time while offering better products and services.

That’s why your first step should be to step back and look at your foundation. Do you have a flexible and scalable SaaS Enterprise Publishing System (EPS)? What does that mean? At its core, an EPS should be set up to grow with you. Let’s review four reasons why.

Consolidate Editorial Workflow

The days of operating in silos are over. If you are still creating your newsletters on one platform, blogging on another and selling products on another, it’s time to move over to an EPS.  What’s more, the process of creating and managing content probably requires a lot of back and forth among your team. You don’t need to make it more complicated by using multiple systems and tools. With an EPS, all your content – articles, blogs, events, lists, products - is managed from one dashboard. You can access it and publish it from anywhere instead of sharing files via email. That means that you can create and distribute more content, faster.

Test New Products

When you bring all of your content under one roof, it’s not only easier to manage, it’s also easier to test new ideas and add new products. If you see that readers are interested in one specific topic, with editorial, email, and data tools working together, it’s just a few simple steps to roll out a new newsletter targeting an audience segment, creating greater value for readers and advertisers. 

If you are stuck selling subscriptions, consider adding resources that complement news and industry information: add events this quarter, without learning a new dashboard or having to transfer audience data. What about a directory? Your advertisers can manage their own listings, and semantic tagging will ensure listings are updated with related news, automatically. You’ve increased the value of your ad real estate, just by putting all your assets on one platform.

Track and Use Audience Data

Audience behavior data is paramount for your success in reaching and engaging readers and increasing traffic and sales. Having all your data in one place and tied to your editorial and eCommerce tools give you the ability to act based on audience intelligence.

Again, it’s about breaking down silos. You aren’t spending your time trying to transfer data from one platform to another or figure out what pageviews really mean; you can align your content strategy based on data that tells you who is accessing what content (and who is not).  You can also use that data to improve renewals and develop the new products that deliver the most value to specific readers or groups.

Let Content and Audience Interaction Drive eCommerce Sales

eCommerce isn’t rocket science anymore. But delivering products and offers in the appropriate context can be tricky.  Adding reader comments and sharing to the mix can produce great results, if handled correctly.

Research shows that providing a secure, PCI compliant shopping cart and keeping the purchase process on your own website will improve sales.  Delivering a product offer at the point when a site visitor is researching a specific topic delivers value and sales.  Encouraging reader comments and sharing will multiply the impact of your marketing by leveraging your readers’ social networks without paying more for lists or advertising.

Hopefully you’re already off to a good start this year.  These four steps should help you grow your business in 2014, and we haven’t even touched on reaching your growing mobile audience!  As the month goes on, we’ll talk about more ways to support your growth this year.