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Top 3 Takeaways from the 2014 Digital Publishing Innovation Summit

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digital publishing innovation summitMembers of the publishing industry gathered on December 10th and 11th for Innovation Enterprises’ Digital Publishing Innovation Summit. Held in San Francisco, CA, this year’s conference honed in on the digital strategies that have helped industry leaders stay competitive in today’s overcrowded environment.

IBPA Board Member Rana DiOrio attended the conference and generously shared some of the takeaways.

Know Your Audience 

Multiple speakers stressed the importance of producing content that appeals to your audience’s wants and needs. Aric Labera of BuzzFeed provided 3, helpful ways of understanding and categorizing content: identity (ex. Top 10 worst products for left-handed people), emotional (ex. 21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity), and informative (ex. 28 fruits and vegetables that you had no idea grew like that).

Ryan Grabenkort of Quartz outlined 7 guiding principles for targeting your audience:

  1. Produce quality content.
  2. Be relevant: know what your target audience wants to read.
  3. Respect habits: advertisers need to insert themselves into the fabric of where their target audience reads.
  4. Iterate: the difference in a headline can lead to a significantly higher rate of interaction.
  5. Optimize for mobile.
  6. Optimize for social: include a persistent share tool.
  7. Be transparent: raise the bar of quality.

Identify Content Consumption Patterns

Adapting to the ways in which your audience is consuming content was another overarching theme. Labera and Grabenkort both focused on the shift to the mobile consumption of content. Labera brought up the “Bored In Line” phenomenon, which is driving people to turn to their mobile devices to fill up these 60-90 seconds of waiting time. Grabenkort also pointed out that 60% of executives read email newsletters as their go-to source of news, with 91% sharing content that they find valuable via email, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Measuring the effectiveness of your content distribution is one way to hone in on your audience’s content consumption habits. Luis Aguilar of RadiumOne zeroed in on bitly and HootSuite as services that allow you to track who is interacting with your content and where and when they’re consuming it. These tools also allow you to distinguish whether audience members are visiting, sharing, or engaging with your shared content.

The Power of Social Media

Aguilar effectively summed up the importance of social media by pointing out that while social media used to be “nice to have” circa 2005, it has now become a necessity. One of the keys to success within the realm of social media is providing relevant content that, in the word’s of Twitter’s Gina Ballenger, “wins the moment.” Ballenger provided several tips for “winning the moment”:

  1. Design participation: involve your audience in the creation of the story.
  2. Create repeatable brilliance: think about serializing content.
  3. Plan to be spontaneous: react in real time and prepare to be agile.
  4. Engineer discovery: plan, produce, publish, and promote.

Twitter proved to be the shining star of social media platforms at the conference. Andrew Wallenstein of Variety captured the power of Twitter by explaining that, “News is a very different beast in print than online,” with Twitter serving as “news right now.” Aguilar identified Twitter as one of the only “foolproof” platforms.

Many of the conference’s speakers applauded what could be argued as Twitter’s greatest strength: its ability to form direct connections. Ballenger highlighted the fact that Twitter is a place where dialogues, rather than monologues, are created. Twitter allows everyone to have a voice and platform through which they are able to connect, express, and discover.

Innovation Enterprises’ next Digital Publishing Innovation Summit will be held on July 16th and 17th 2015 in New York. Until then, here’s to a prosperous 2015 filled with targeted, quality content!

digital publishing innovation summitRana DiOrio is Founder and Chief Executive Pickle of Little Pickle Press, which she reports is dedicated to helping parents and educators cultivate conscious, responsible little people by stimulating explorations of the meaningful topics of their generation through a variety of media, technologies, and techniques. To learn more: Twitter @ranadiorio and Little Pickle Press @LPP_Media.

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