Breaking News: Reading Actually Is Fundamental

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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