Print publishing was built on specialist skills in editorial, design, production, reprography, print sourcing and buying, shipping, B2B relations, promotion, pricing and distribution. All these were high value specialist skills that publishers could charge a premium for. They gave access to the market and thy were the sole route to market. There was no other way to get un front of an audience.
But that scarcity has been removed by the Internet and replaced by tools that are free at the point of entry. So where does this disintermediation leave specialist publishing businesses that occupy intermediary roles?
In the past, brands relied on the skills of intermediaries such as custom publishing companies to connect them and their advertisers with their audiences. These providers of custom publishing services fulfilled a content marketing role and designed, edited, produced, printed and distributed content on their behalf. They effectively managed the content and the relations and interactions around that content.
But I see more and more large non-publishing companies hiring editors, content strategists and community managers every day. I see an increasing number of brands thinking and acting like publishers. I see more and more non-publishing companies producing their own content and operating their own CMSs. I see an increasing number of non-publishing brands controlling their own personality through the media and doing it at lower cost. Having digital content expertise in-house is now critical to every non-publishing business. But that’s a big ask. It’s still a complex business.
Content still builds relationships for brands and more brands know that their content has to be relevant, helpful and at the heart of more of their brand interactions. They don’t want their content just to inform as it did in broadcast media; they want it to engage. And every business is seeing their competitors engage their audiences and customers. That’s why being an expert in this area, or working with a content provider that has the edge, will give non-publishing businesses a genuine competitive advantage.
The editorial skills that were once the value proposition of publishers are coming in house as a multitude of business functions face out to customers.
So, if content marketing was once your core value proposition and that skills is being brought in house, where does your business run to? And how does it reinvent itself to provide the critical success factors that mean clients continue to need your services and which allow you to attract new customers?
Faced with this situation, your business is going to have to become an even greater expert in digital media management. It will need to turbocharge the processes that build competitive advantage. And since it can’t provide competitive advantage in low-cost, non-scarce commoditised digital publishing skills, it will need to significantly improve its value by managing the editorial chain faster, more cheaply and with greater effect. If you work for PE, then you know this means more for less and jumping over an ever higher bar.
Well what if you could be better, smarter, quicker, more nimble and more effective at building the mass of relevant content, using community, external and internal sources, and then lead it with well-planned and executed premium content?
How about if this using a semi-automated process allowed you, the editor in chief to offer the brand a voice rather than just be its content creator?
How about if the content was other peoples’, curated, and some of it was original?
How about if the solution provided value to readers, and thereby built influence and authority in the market?
What if the process I’m describing using community-generated and syndicated content allowed for a much higher content volume and a much stronger voice? And what if the variety of content types and sources also helped meet the individual needs of the audience members, providing snippets, links away, full reporting, and varying opinions?
And what if the reduction in time taken to create new content lowered the average cost of an article dramatically? That would be good news for those trying to make a publishing P&L balance again.
This solution exists and it has been developed by idio platform. This semi-automated approach to content creation and curation in niches has been developed to integrate with the existing content management systems of a number of publishers and brands developing and maintaining niche audiences and communities in a variety of sectors, at considerably reduced cost and with all the above benefits.
To view their specialist publishing process in simple diagrammatical form and to discover the technology behind it, read on.