How to Transform Your Editorial Department into a Profit Center, continued . . .

January 27, 2014

It’s refreshing to think of your editorial department as a profit center.  In our last post, we focused on how an Enterprise Publishing System (EPS) can help you shave costs by increasing efficiencies. 

Now let’s discuss how an EPS can help you make more money -- without sending your editors out on sales calls!   You can establish a mindset that your content has value in addition to advertising or subscription sales.  It's important to look at the indirect value of audience engagement that comes when site visitors view more content and stay longer on your website and when relevant, related options are presented with Search results, or when reading an article or post, or viewing a gallery or video.  Once you start bringing more traffic to your site, it's easier to test new tactics and transform value-added features to new revenue streams, and make more money!

1) Where is the Money? By now, you know that one of the largest benefits of an EPS is its ability to centralize your functions, but let’s get into the nitty-gritty and look at how the ability to easily gate your content, for example, can lead to big gains:

  • Add newsletter content as breaking news on your website: if you traditionally send out a print newsletter or pdf file to subscribers, you're missing opportunities to further monetize your audience if subscribers don't come to your site to access their subscriptions.
  • Gate your premium content, alongside free news stories: engage readers and demonstrate the value of your subscription products. With an EPS, this step is as simple as checking a box in the editorial toolset.
  • Metered content builds on the gating effect. When readers can view a limited number of premium articles, you'll increase registrations from your most likely subscribers.
  • Share content across publications: provide fresh content across publications and more importantly, increase the value of each customer as they add subscriptions, without increasing marketing and sales efforts.
  • Monetize your archives: a stellar taxonomy system makes archived stories much easier to find and read—so that they have a longer life among your audience and reach new audience members. With an EPS, it's easy to test pay-per-view and pay-per-issue tactics.
  • Your EPS will dynamically create Topic Pages - pages that aggregate Articles, Events and Products, based on semantic tagging.  Why not monetize that by selling sponsorships to companies with products related to the content on each Topic Page?
  • Think outside the banner ad box:  an EPS brings together a wide range of resources for your readers.  Be alert to ad or sponsorship opportunities as new features bring more traffic: sponsored Buyers Guide or Directory listings, Events, Topic Pages, Polls, Galleries, Video Channels, even Advanced Search - be creative!

2) Increase Reader Engagement and Account Value. You know it's true: the more time your readers spend on your site, the more likely they are to buy something. With the abilitity to contextually relate content with multimedia and products, an EPS helps you to maximize engagement opportunities.

  • Readers are spending a lot of time viewing images and videos along with written articles and posts. As you add and relate articles with videos, slideshows and podcasts, you are likely to reach a larger variety of readers and engage them more deeply.
  • Deliver value-added resources with articles.  Your readers are likely to buy products related to an article they are reading, and your site will become their go-to resource.
  • Present multiple content types in Search results: you'll reduce your bounce rate and increase sales when you present downloads, events, listings and other related reources your site visitors may not be aware of.
  • Make it easy to add a subscription, pay to view an article or access a download: built-in, secure eCommerce supported by a PCI compliant infrastructure and secure payment gateway - without sending buyers to another site - will build trust and increase returning purchases.  Reducing friction will increase sales!

3) Increased Loyalty and Brand Awareness. An EPS makes it easy for your editorial department to deliver dynamic content to improve your site's performance and make it more visible to Search Engines.  Add the ability to comment and share on social media, and you'll see your traffic - and prospective customers -  increase by leaps and bounds!

  • Expert Search Engine Optimization tools should be regularly upgraded to keep pace with changing search engine protocols.
  • Built in SEO tools increases the skill and expertise of your editorial staff, without paying big bucks to an SEO consultant.
  • By delivering content linked to other content on your site, you make it easier for Seach Engines to crawl your site.
  • Linking also makes it easy for readers to find your publications across search engines.
  • With an EPS, you can create content once and deliver it through multiple channels, making it easy for readers to access content online when they want it, not based on your print production schedule and without the risk of cannibalization.
  • With timely news and updated resources, you give readers good reason to visit your site frequently.
  • People like to share comments, particularly related to images and video.  Offering the ability to interact with other readers will increase engagement and brand loyalty.
  • Along with commenting, your readers will like to share your content on social media - Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook - which will expose your publications to thousands of potential subscribers without spending anything on marketing.
  • Automated newsletter tools, with the ability to deliver a teaser link back to your site, allow you to target segments of your audience, bring them back to your site and present another sponsorship opportunity to advertisers.

You don't need to tear down the wall between Editorial and Sales to transform your editorial department into a profit center.  Before you know it, you'll be adding sales reps to keep up with the new opportunities!