Delivering Content in a Multi-Channel World

The publishing market has become more complex than ever. Publishers need to deliver content wherever their readers are, and they are being asked to create everything in both printed and online form. With so many readers switching from print to digital, it’s difficult to know how and where to publish content. Publishers must develop ways to integrate rich media so they can enhance the experience and engage the reader. The webinar entitled Delivering Content in a Multi-Channel World (presented by the Printing Impressions Group and Book Business Group and sponsored by Canon Solutions America) explores how publishers and book printers can leverage today’s tools and technologies to move seamlessly between print, mobile, and online editions.

“Book publishers are tasked with developing the right content to credibly engage decision makers, attract new prospects, and position themselves as thought leaders.”

To kick off the webinar, moderator and InfoTrends Group Director, Barb Pellow stated that content marketing is driving the way that book publishers and printers reach their clients and prospects. Businesses of all sizes are developing more and more digital content to drive customer loyalty, engagement, and sales. Firms are beginning to offer content marketing pieces through digital publications for smartphones and tablets. Pellow elaborated, “Digital publishing platforms enable publishers and printers to create a very rich content experience in a style that is familiar yet completely interactive for the end user.”

Today’s savvy publishers want to implement strategies that will generate growth for their businesses. They want to understand how they can use content more effectively to save money and increase profitability. Pellow noted, “Book publishers are tasked with developing the right content to credibly engage decision makers, attract new prospects, and position themselves as thought leaders. In addition, all of this content must be delivered anywhere, anytime to reach today’s on-the-go consumers.” Pellow went on to explain that in many cases, cross-media communications spanning print, online, and mobile are the answer.

Now that business units are employing more digital publications, vendors of digital publishing platforms are expanding the functionality of their software solutions. While the technology for digital publishing platforms has been in existence for some time, the adoption of solutions is now accelerating outside the traditional market of print service providers and publishers. Large printers, enterprises, book publishers, magazines, and newspapers are all beginning to adopt this technology. The first guest speaker during the webinar was Paul DeHart, CEO and President of BlueToad, Inc. (Orlando, FL). He pointed out that the industry has witnessed a very interesting transformation in terms of how publishers and consumers view digital. He elaborates, “When BlueToad was founded eight years ago, publishers didn’t have very high expectations for digital technology. Now, digital is an integral part of every publisher’s content strategy, and the expectations about what can be done with it are much higher.”

Today’s digital publishers understand that reaching consumers on as many platforms as possible can result in significantly higher reader engagement. Unfortunately, effectively engaging with consumers on a variety of platforms can be challenging for traditional publishers. Paul DeHart recommends a “zero entry pool” strategy, which involves easing into digital rather than diving into the deep end right away. This is particularly important for smaller publishers that may not have the resources to fully engage in a digital strategy. They can start small and fine-tune their efforts to increase effectiveness over time.

The next guest speaker was Carlos Bernal, Director of Marketing at Accu-Time Systems (Ellington, CT). He explained how BlueToad’s technology made it easy for his company to transition to digital. Prior to implementing BlueToad’s technology, Accu-Time was printing 10,000 full-color booklets with 50 pages each for an annual horse jumping tournament. With the old process, Accu-Time was forced to go to print with the next year’s booklet just four months after the previous tournament had occurred, which created issues with advertising and sponsorship revenues. The company began seeking a solution that would deliver critical information to riders, increase revenues, and make it possible to repurpose and redistribute content through various media channels. Accu-Time published its first publication using BlueToad in 2013, and the company has much more breathing room now. Bernal explained, “We needed to go to print in early February with our old process, but now we can print in late July! BlueToad has enabled us to increase our ad and sponsorship revenues, and our readers can receive up-to-date information in a timely manner.”

Publishers of all types can now affordably offer a high-impact, interactive experience to customers. Digital can enhance the value of communications while also extending the use of customers’ information and assets. In addition, the information that is gathered can be tracked and analyzed to guide future content development. As this webinar shows, delivering content in the desired format(s) can bring more readers to your publication. The technology is available, so now is the time to embrace digital communications!