Few things are more frustrating than pouring your time and effort into creating a great publication for your business, only to find that your hard work isn’t translating digitally.
To effectively push your content through multiple channels - online, mobile, social, or email - you’ve got to put a lot of thought into the technical components that support your publication’s strategy. To help you get to the root of the problem, we’ve identified five of the biggest mistakes that publishers make in getting their publication to go digital successfully.
5 Reasons Digital Might Be Getting the Best of You
You’re Not Paying Attention To Your Website Traffic
Your audience is your livelihood, your bread and butter. If you’re don't understand who they are and how they tick, you’re missing a big opportunity to flex your digital muscles by serving users personalized content that matters to them.
You have little to no insight into how a person reads your print magazine or journal. With a digital publication however, you can track audience behavior online to gain insight into their interests, how and why they’re making decisions, and even how they got to your site in the first place.
Use this data to segment your content and ads. You’ll be able to monetize your audience better for your advertisers if you’re pairing content with a reader's interests to increase the likelihood that they will take action. These more accurate “matches” between content and reader are a major differentiator for advertisers looking to sponsor content online.
You Aren’t Offering Enough Variety To Your Advertisers
Are you only offering advertisers banner ads, with no other options? If you aren’t providing differentiation in your media kit, advertisers may go elsewhere, especially if your one limited option isn’t quite the right fit.
Be sure to have a wide variety of digital products to choose from, ranging from simple to more complex. Banner ads are a great fit for advertisers who want something quick, easy and fairly inexpensive per click or impression.
But for those advertisers who want to invest in more powerful down-funnel options, and are willing to pay for more tangible results, it would be beneficial to offer them sponsored content options with more precise targeting capabilities.
Look into options to make your website and email mobile-friendly (content offers included!), it’s well worth the effort.
Your Data Lives In Silos
Do you have all of your data in separate, unconnected databases? If so, you’ve gotten yourself into a situation where it’s nearly impossible to get a complete or clear picture of your readers. While you can theoretically market based on website behavior, subscription information, or any other data you might have on a particular reader, combining this data is a manual and very tedious process that doesn’t allow you to see more cause and effect or big-picture behavioral patterns. You’re really missing the opportunity to have much more powerful and relevant marketing automation.
When you can combine all the data on one person and look at it as a whole, your chances of providing them content that’s the best fit increases a lot. But this is hard when those data sets aren’t talking to each other!
For instance, let’s say you have subscription information in a database with your sales team, and reader site behavior in another database with your marketing team. By combining them, you could serve customers a series of targeted emails leading up to their renewal date so they’re reminded of the value of your publication right as they need to take action.
If you’re still sending out generic, untargeted emails that lack personalization or contextual content, you’re guaranteed to see poor performance across the board—low open rates, abysmal clickthroughs, few conversions, and probably a lot of unsubscribes.
Additionally, if you’re using paid lists to deliver content, you run the risk of throwing content at people who don’t actually want to see it.
Instead of making these mistakes, pay attention to what actions your readers are taking with your email outreach, and clean out the low-performing portion of your audience, you’ll end up with a list that might be smaller, but will be significantly higher-performing.
The other problem with email lists? Especially if they’re siloed, you may be sending too many emails to your readers—subscription renewals, newsletters, events, special publications, etc. Combining these lists or creating coordinated email schedules will minimize this and reduce the risk of reader fatigue.
Don’t get stuck making a great publication that you aren’t able to deliver to the right people online. If any of the above sounds familiar to you, a quick fix could prove the key to connecting with a relevant audience and making your hard work pay off.
Originally published Jul 6, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017