How nurturing community and authentic content build value

Why do publishers see print and digital content as being in competition? Maybe you need to think of them as simply complementary ways of engaging your audience and building your brand.

A digital publishing mini conference at WeWork Shoreditch run by WordPress agency 93digital and content recommendation engine Bibblio prompted me to think about how to build a valuable media brand. Speakers included membership association website Physics World, start up travel publisher Suitcase Media and offline subscription book club Reading in Heels. All agreed on these principles for publishing success…

Finding your niche and nurturing your community

Be clear about who your readers are and provide them with the information they need, a good experience and the chance to contribute their views. Suitcase encourages feedback and contributions from its audience, rewards them with events and products from commercial partners. By nurturing their community they gain an insight into their needs and discover how to develop their services. Suitcase also learn how best to communicate with their audience, providing their content agency with an edge. Physics World believes its live event helps cement the connection with members. Reading in Heels send out paperback novels and treats to subscribers then encourages them to discuss the books online.

Be authentic in your content and brand

Quality content builds your brand and the loyalty of your audience. Stay authentic and stick to your principles, don’t be swayed by commercial partners. A good publisher creates a community around their content: they can then become brand ambassadors.

Track engagement not volume

A good restaurant wants to attract regulars not just tourists, so a publisher should focus on loyal readers, dwell time, return visitors, subscription growth and social shares not just traffic. Mads Holmen, CEO of Bibblio, emphasised that all media are competing for readers time and attention, so relevance and authenticity are essential.

Make the most of your archive content

Physics World have seen a 60% growth in views and a big boost in registrations and newsletter signups after classifying and segmenting their archive of 95,000 articles and redesigning their website. Making it easier to discover historic content has grown archive article views up to tenfold. And they have simplified the process of creating new collections of content combining topical news with archive material.

Explore new partnerships and channels

Suitcase has developed deep partnerships with organisations that share their values and want to reach their community. They are open minded about new channels and have developed events, cafes, pop up stores and even created window displays across Europe for retailer MUJI. Suitcase have developed an online travel planner to help readers create a personalised itinerary for their trip.


So real value can be created by focusing on your niche, creating relevant content, nurturing your audience and developing innovative commercial partnerships whilst not compromising quality. These publishers view print, digital and live events as complementary ways to deepen their connection with their audience.

If you’d like to discuss how you can establish deeper relationships with your audience, please get in touch for an initial discussion over the phone or over a coffee.


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About the author:

Carolyn Morgan has over twenty years experience launching, growing, buying and selling specialist media businesses across print, digital and live events. Carolyn now advises publishers large and small on their digital strategy and writes and speaks on digital publishing strategy.

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