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Breaking News: Reading Actually Is Fundamental

  |  July 4, 2014   |  Comments

Reading is still a vital part of our society, but the increasingly tech-focused landscape is changing the way we go about it. How can digital publishers embrace this phenomenon?

When you read all of the news articles, blogs posts, tweets, and other media these days, it seems like publishing is dead. Not just that, but stories state that e-readers are becoming obsolete and mobile content snippets are the wave of the future. Some articles and outlets even suggest that reading itself has had its day. I giggled when I saw this book on Amazon called 50 Things to Do With a Book Now That Reading Is Dead


For all those naysayers out there, let me bring you back to 1966, and the advent of the Reading Is Fundamental organization. Back in those days, we celebrated learning and reading in fun and elaborate ways. Efforts like School House Rock helped us learn about adjectives, nouns, and even how a bill becomes a law. But I digress. The point is, reading is still fundamental. And our overly crowded techy landscape isn't reducing our interest in, or propensity to read; it is just changing the way we go about it. And, some might say it is actually increasing it.

The smart digital publisher is not running away from this phenomenon. They are embracing it by working with the customer to develop ways to share content in a manner that is conducive to the customer lifestyle. These three strategies have helped many publishers rise to the top of their digital game.

Are you employing these?

1. Package your content in five different sizes for distribution. Just like there are a variety of standard online ad sizes, there are standard content distribution sizes. Those who have learned to makes various versions have seen success. These are:

  • The SEM/text ad snippet: 15 words or less to get someone to deeper engage with your content (this works for Twitter as well).
  • The Facebook ad: 90 percent visual - but great for retargeting your list.
  • The mobile email version: 150 words or less, with a nice layout that entices you to share profile info in exchange for more free content.
  • The magazine ad: digital or printed, a piece of well-written editorial goes a long way (also works for LinkedIn blog posts).
  • The long form: white papers, infographics, research, case studies, and even SlideShare formats go a long way in showing confidence in your content.

2. Outbrain, or Outbrain-like services. Your content is amazing; people just need to know about it. Contextual advertising is still hot and very relevant. Services like Outbrain do wonders in helping you share your message with the right audience, who is in the right mindset when you are introduced to them.

3. Innovate. Don't be afraid to try new ways to enable people to engage with your content. While QR codes might be a thing of the past, image recognition software works. Who doesn't want to use their phone camera to gather more information and read your content? Beacons are also a great innovative concept to try to share and reach out to engage with content that enhances the lifestyle.

This is a great time to be in publishing. Everything these days is focused on content, and digital publishers might need to be creative about how the content is packaged and marketed, but in the end, it all drives to higher levels of reading engagement.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition.

Prior to her role at NOOKTM Jeanniey launched a wearables fashion technology company called Ringblingz. Before getting into the wearables business, Jeanniey was the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zinio, where she grew the business by more than 427 percent, into one of the largest global digital newsstands. Other notable roles in her career include her involvement as the executive director and senior partner at OgilvyOne, where she led the digital Dialogue business and worked with Fortune 50 brands including IBM, Unilever, and American Express, and being a general manager at Grey Direct. At Grey Direct Jeanniey launched the first email marketing division of a global advertising agency. Prior to her time in advertising, Jeanniey spent seven years in retail leading a variety of groups from Consumer Relations and Operations, to Collections and Digital at JCPenney.

One of Jeanniey's favorite times in her career was when she founded the Email Experience Council (which was acquired by the Direct Marketing Association). Jeanniey is a recognized "Women in Business," a frequent keynote speaker, and has authored three books and launched a number of companies ranging from entertainment to technology and fashion.

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