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Next generation of digital publishers is detachable

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April 20, 2016

Ofer Oved is a strategist at Hiro Media

Ofer Oved is a strategist at Hiro Media

By Ofer Oved

In the last decade or so, social networks have dramatically changed the way that people consume content. For example, YouTube convinced us to start creating our own media by capturing, editing and placing content that is relevant to us – on our own online channel or feed. And Facebook gave us the power to choose our friends and to select the kind of content to which we would like to be exposed.

Audiences ultimately became “prodsumers” as they both produce and consume content at a substantial rate.

Yet, despite this shift in the digital media landscape and in consumer behavior, many traditional publishers continue to publish content on their primary destination. And this is precisely the root of the publishing industry’s downfall, because Generations Y and Z consume news, gossip, sport scores and other types of content directly from their social feed, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Feed up
Social feeds have a distinct purpose for traditional digital publishers: to primarily use social media and their social channels as their main promotion vehicle for their content.

Most often, and what is expected from the social amplification, is that it yields great inbound traffic to the publisher’s Web site. However, given the content consuming habits of Generations Y and Z, they appear to be quite satisfied with the short, bite-sized content that they get via their social channels, by reading the promotional text or video.

Sure, you will see engagement via comments but hardly, if ever, will they continue to the next expected phase – visiting the destination site.

So how widespread is this media consumption phenomenon? It is fairly vast and significant.

In reality, if traditional digital publishers want to maintain relevancy, they must change their nature and behave more similar to what I like to call a detachable digital publisher (DDP).

A detachable digital publisher no longer focuses on driving inbound traffic back to its respective homepage. Rather, the detachable digital publisher creates or curates content and uses internal and external tools to distribute that content across various platforms and channels to the right people on the best economic terms.
Essentially, the detachable digital publisher does not bring users to the content but the other way: content to the people.

So what does the new detachable digital publisher mean for traditional digital publishers? I see a new trend affecting two main components of a traditional digital publisher’s DNA:

1. Content creation: Each content piece will be divided into two phases: a content capsule and a content expansion unit.

First, the content capsule will be in the front and is the main trigger for exposing users to the content. Doing so will reflect the triangle of digital content rules, which includes being “snackable,” “searchable” and “shareable.”

Secondly, the content expansion unit will speak to a deeper and wider content unit that will be exposed in a friendly window from a UX/UI standpoint, i.e. closer to the original page. This content expansion unit will also carry the publisher’s monetization solution.

2. Content distribution: The detachable digital publisher will adopt a new distribution mechanism based on proven syndication technologies and platforms that act as off-traditional distribution channels such as Facebook and YouTube.

A syndication platform that can help harness across all relevant platforms and mega sites will lead the era of programmatic content marketing.

As this all shakes out – and something publishers should prepare for and be mindful of – is we are about to see an entirely new landscape within the publishing world that will include the mega digital publishers such as leading social platforms Facebook, YouTube and the detachable digital publishers, according to comScore.

This trend is relevant to the changes in the branding and marketing areas as brands begin to think and behave like publishers.

What this all means is that brands and businesses invest in creating content that delivers value to users, which is crucial for creating long-term relationships with consumers. They invest in creating the content, editing it and distributing their branded content.

BRANDS ARE FACING a significant problem with distribution solutions. They all start with using social networks such as Facebook and YouTube to distribute and amplify their content.

However, these social platforms are crowded and relatively expensive when you think of the paid media aspect brands are investing in to create a sustained ongoing presence and exposure.

The solution for content marketing is clear. Brands will turn into detachable digital publishers, or brands will use detachable digital publishers that already have the technology to syndicate branded content to the right places on desktop and mobile.

Ofer Oved is a strategist at Hiro Media, Tel Aviv, Israel. Reach him at ofer@utab.com.

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