The environment where readers are reading published content is changing and it possesses great potential for businesses to market their products and services as publishers.
The internet is increasingly becoming a channel for people to search and learn about things, rather than to be sold things.
As a customer, as much as I want to buy things I don’t want to be sold to. And as a business, as much as I want to sell things I have to consider the buying behaviors of myself as a ‘customer’. This would tell me that I have to be thinking less like the corporate businesses of the 20th century and think more like the smart digital businesses of the 21st century.
It’s clear to see that the smart businesses on the internet right now are publishers.
Digital marketing, even in the very early days, was always been about providing information and content in return for something else – predominantly an email address. This practice still goes on today and is a big part of my own current marketing strategies. Email marketing is one of the best direct marketing principles you can do on the internet, and I can tell you right now that it’s still working very well. You don’t have to be so direct, though. You can still provide content without something in return other than just having that person discovering that content and reading it!
As businesses we must open our doors to that ‘other’ kind of customer, and that’s the customer who doesn’t want to hand over his or her email address (and the permission to receive emails on a regular basis) and would rather consume information differently. More than likely to simply browse and learn first before making a purchasing decision.
This presents 2 kind of publishing opportunities. Opportunities of which you cannot afford to ignore anymore I’m afraid.
The traditional book publishing model is to write your piece and send it to a publishing company – but that just isn’t the case anymore. Now, you will become the writer and the publisher and these are the kind of traits that will exist in the digital publishing age we are currently operating within.
My post on Content Marketing just last month reiterates the point that now as a publisher you can spread content (marketing messages) out there via a number of methods for prospects to discover, and talk back to you. It’s not a coincidence that more and more digital publishing companies are sprouting up on the internet – the market is there for those businesses because the people that are looking for this content is also there. The thing is, I’m more interested in bypassing those publishing companies and actually becoming a publisher – simply because the benefits outweigh the limitations.
Why do you think that Apple, Samsung and even the keypad obsessed Blackberry (there are other mobile phone brands available on the market!) are continually ‘improving’ their mobile phones by creating bigger screens? It’s simple, these companies have realized that the mobile phone owner is also a reader of published material.
Not convinced you should become a publisher?
Stories are engaging, engagements develop relationships, opportunities arise from relationships… and yes, what follows is sales.
Business-owned and operated publications are now going to take over. From content within social media to content within emails. From your blog to your publications on third party websites. From your eBooks to your Kindle books. You are now in charge – and you can become a ‘best-selling’ publisher! Just remember if you own the experience, you can better measure that experience. And measuring your experience and relationships with readers is the key for better-informed engagements that will boost your bottom line.
The internet is not a network of businesses nor is it a network of technology or computers. It’s a network of people. People who want to be speaking and interacting and sharing views on particular topics that can range from absolutely anything to anything else. There are no boundaries.
As a business actively doing marketing and making sales, you want to be to starting these conversations. Don’t you? Marketing is conversations. Marketing is dialogues. Marketing is doing what you can to begin talking to prospects about your products and services. We’re talking about pushing the boundaries of customer experiences and excelling within our niches and industries.
If you’re a marketer, you’re a publisher. That’s something you don’t have a choice over anymore. So my tip to you is to be less predictable with your content and with your marketing.