Home  › Media › Publishing

Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk: A Portfolio Approach to Content

  |  April 30, 2013   |  Comments

How might a publisher or content marketer go about embracing these shifts, and take a modern portfolio management approach to content?

Fundamental shifts in the way consumers receive and consume information are changing the way that content producers and brands are engaging and building audiences. With the advent of real-time news feeds on Facebook and Twitter, mobile/tablet experiences like Flipboard, aggregators such as Techmeme, and feed-readers like Google Reader and Feedly, consumers are feasting on a fast-moving stream of information and looking beyond individual publications as gospel.

Audiences are consuming content differently, too - over the course of their day people are snacking on content while at work or on mobile, while at the same time we're seeing a resurgence in long-form services like Instapaper, Goodreads, and Readability. New publishing models and services have emerged from these shifts, and it's no surprise that the successful ones are embracing these changes.

Smart publishers understand these fundamental shifts and are optimizing their publishing formats, editorial approaches, and technology platforms to feed this new consumption model. Winning examples include Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Business Insider, LinkedIn Today (along with its Pulse acquisition), as well as newer sites like Rafat Ali's Skift.com, Jason Hirschhorn's Media ReDEFined, and Cox Media's Rare.us. On the brand side examples include Intel HQ, Pepsi Pulse, Adobe's CMO.com, and HSBC's Business Without Borders, to name a few.

The premise of these properties is on the insight that they deliver media not only cross-platform (e.g., web, mobile, social, email) but also cross-content format (e.g., original, curated, aggregated/automated, and licensed). They've optimized their content mix across formats and platforms - which is proving to be a highly effective and efficient formula for success.

So how might a publisher or content marketer go about embracing these shifts, and take a modern portfolio management approach to content?

  1. Define your content mix, measure, and repeat. Ladder your content strategy into a matrix of what platforms your audience is on, what content format resonates with them on that platform, and then publish, optimize, and repeat. The idea is to diversify your assets, monitor the results, and identify patterns that can enhance your mix. Modern publishers are increasingly mixing original content creation with newer curation approaches to speed up their publishing cycles and respond to consumers' interests in what's trending and being shared on social networks.
  2. Develop a content mindset. To borrow a phrase from Steve Rubel and Brian Morrissey, "[put] the content needs ahead of the marketing needs…[by putting] the reader's needs ahead of our own in the creative process," and let a thousand flowers bloom. This is key but sometimes counterintuitive. When I was at Edmunds.com, we spent a lot of time developing value-added, information-rich content that was great for the consumer but didn't always deliver an immediate lead or click-through to our monetization programs. But we were investing in content beyond the click, building our brand, and creating a positive dialogue with our best customers.
  3. Manage your content system; don't let it manage you. Use software and services beyond the CMS to manage, optimize, and measure your content creation, discovery, inspiration, publishing, and analysis. For example, Vox Media leverages a next-generation content publishing system to help scale its content operation. With audiences fragmenting across so many different social channels and devices, it's more critical than ever to establish a nimble set of technology tools to ensure your content operation can scale and adjust to new changes in the market.

Publishing models and audience development will continue to shift over time as new platforms emerge and consumers' tastes change. But if you stick to the fundamental that quality content mixed into the right channels, in the right format, at the right time, powered by flexible technology is a winning model, then you'll be set up for long-term content success.

Image on home page via Shutterstock.



Matthew Kumin

Matthew has worked in the software and Internet industry for over 18 years and has extensive experience building data, content, and publishing-oriented digital businesses.

Prior to founding PublishThis, Matthew served on the executive management team at Edmunds.com, where as EVP, Media he was responsible for helping grow the Internet's leading automotive site from 2001-2008. While at Edmunds, Matthew oversaw the company’s flagship website, Edmunds.com and led product development for the company's successful web expansion, including its syndication platform that powered the automotive channels for AOL, The New York Times, iVillage, and About.com.

Before that, Matthew helped develop and grow The Studio System, the entertainment industry's premier film and television database. Matthew started his career at Andersen Consulting and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas in Austin.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.




  • SEO Specialist
    SEO Specialist (Marcel Digital) - ChicagoSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist   Marcel Digital is an award winning digital marketing...
  • SEO / SEM Manager
    SEO / SEM Manager (CustomInk) - FairfaxAre you a friendly, motivated, and inquisitive individual? Are you a positive, out-going leader? Are you...
  • SEO Analyst
    SEO Analyst (XO Group) - New YorkSEO Analyst @ XO Group About this Job, You and Our Team: The XO Group SEO Team is looking for you, a passionate...