Multi-channel digital publishing: defining the landscape


Publishers can survive in a digital world if we can rise to meet our greatest challenge: unravelling the complex technological landscape, which offers increasing numbers of platforms for our content.

Multi-channel publishing has become more cost-effective, increasing the commercial benefits year-on-year and sometimes month-on-month. The pressure to embrace it all is never more evident than the introduction of the new Windows 8 tablet, and news that Android’s market share is rising 34% against iOS’s 66%.

Multi-channel complexity

As the market of devices and platforms splinters – and audiences split their attention equally between a plethora of mobile, tablet and desktop devices – it isn’t enough to design for just one device.

I am not alone when I feel perplexed by the constant shifts in user trends, yet there is no pause button for the rapidly evolving digital publishing industry.

My key considerations for creating a successful digital publication:

Integrated print and digital planning

Adopting an integrated approach to planning and scoping the content strategy of your publication, considering your print and digital publications as two delivery channels for the same content. Defining different requirements early on will reduce production time and unforeseen costs. But the most prevalent impact will be on the content itself – natural and progressive connections will be visible cross-platforms, for example, the lead interview story naturally lends itself to a video interview treatment.

Building digital publications into your marketing communications

At River Group, we are always monitoring our consumers’ behaviour; where they are, how they buy goods and interact with brands. With this insight, we gain vital knowledge on where to position our clients’ digital publications, how to communicate and promote it and what editorial and design elements have the biggest impact on user behaviour. Making the digital publication part of an integral marketing campaign can be the difference between 100 and 10,000 readers.

Monitoring for trends

For digital titles, always following the three-stage cycle:

  1. Analyse
  2. Assess
  3. Implement

Monitoring and reporting on how your audience consumes and interact with your title is critical to its evolution. Discerning trends will inform the progression of your content production for future projects.

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