4 Proven Strategies for Magazine Publishers to Create New Revenue and Reduce Costs
Magazine syndication and content reuse are two relatively simple ways for magazine publishers to create new revenue streams and reduce costs, but there are more advantages than meet the eye. Find out how you can make more savvy use of your content along with four ways to put these profit-amplifying strategies into action.
Why Take Advantage of Content Syndication?
The benefits of a well-devised content syndication strategy can go way beyond diversifying revenue by licensing content out. Syndication provides access to culturally and geographically diverse audiences, expanding the impact of the subject matter and improving search engine visibility with a broader footprint. In addition, when syndicated content is attributed, it not only allows for backlinks from sites with higher domain ratings, it enhances the original publisher’s brand awareness, positioning them as thought leaders. Plus, by casting a wider net, content is more likely to engage readers and build loyalty across platforms.
Syndication also offers less tangible business benefits, for example fostering collaborations with publishers, influencers, and media outlets where established relationships can not only create more opportunities in the future, they can defray marketing costs when content is being promoted by multiple licensors through multiple channels.
Syndication is also a valuable tool to inform strategic decision making. Analytics of what is trending and selling provide data-driven insights that will help magazine publishers become bellwethers, knowing exactly the right audience, region, and channels to optimize content visibility and further promote high-performing topics.
These benefits are all attainable, however, if content is not organized in a central, easily searchable system, much of the proceeds from a magazine syndication effort can be eaten away by the time and effort it takes to locate content, associated contracts, and source files.
What are the Benefits of Content Reuse?
Creating new content is time consuming and purchasing new images or media for every piece adds up. Reusing the content you already own is one of the most efficient and effective strategies to reduce production costs–not to mention storage costs. You can maximize the value of your initial investment by repurposing and redistributing material across different publications, in different media channels, and over time. By presenting valuable information to those who may have missed it in its initial format, publishers reach a broader audience while reinforcing key messages and increasing overall engagement.
As with syndication, content reuse also has the potential to open up new revenue streams. For instance, publishers can compile previously published articles into themed collections or repurpose content for sponsored or branded collaborations.
Of course it is crucial to balance content reuse with the creation of fresh and timely material, however evergreen content can often be updated with new information, keeping it valuable and positioning publishers as an authority on the subject.
The four proven strategies outlined below for content syndication strategy and asset reuse will help magazine publishers ensure the maximum amount of syndication revenue is turned to profit while lowering production costs through smarter application of owned assets.
1. Make content easily accessible for reuse
Implementing a centralized content management system where editorial teams can organize, store, and search for published content and source files enables them to quickly locate articles, images, and multimedia assets, speeding production. A metadata-rich database that enables efficient content tagging and categorization will further speed the retrieval process so they can repurpose existing assets or, in the case of syndication, locate them for licensing. Plus, a platform that automatically indexes text on published pages to allow content to be fully searchable will save a considerable amount of time when uploading content.
Consolidating on a cloud-based system is the best choice, as it eliminates the need for users to toggle between systems, reduces infrastructure costs, and allows remote teams to collaborate and access content anytime, anywhere. Having an intuitive interface and a platform teams can rely on to locate assets quickly will go a long way toward fostering a culture of content reuse within the organization.
2. Arm the sales team with visibility
The ability to not only filter content by publication, year, issue, and page, but also to see immediately what content is available for licensing helps sales teams more nimbly retrieve fresh content to showcase to prospective buyers, shortening the sales cycle. For the best results, provide training to ensure sales representatives are familiar with the content repository’s capabilities and create a process to ensure content remains up-to-date. Analytics functionality can help identify popular content to showcase.
3. Market content with an online store
Exposing articles and assets with a public-facing web front end allows publishers to create new revenue streams with less overhead. A user-friendly interface with previews, licensing details, and easy check-out options allows content consumers to quickly identify ready-to-license content, then select, purchase, and download the source files themselves. Making your online store more discoverable by leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can further bolster sales.
4. Package content for ease of distribution
Once the consumer chooses the content they would like to license, automated delivery in a complete package with all related files, including the final PDF, layout (e.g., InDesign), and original images allows them to immediately get to work, expediting the creative process. Including licensing agreements and usage guidelines within the content package will help syndication partners stay in compliance and reduce the amount of time spent on enforcement for misuse. This organizational tactic is also valuable to internal teams so they can easily reuse content without hunting for files.
Success Stories for Content Syndication Growth and Content Reuse
Are Media, Australia’s leading magazine publisher for women, followed the best practices outlined above to centralize and provide easy access to assets and final editorials. The results? 97% faster searches and about a 30% reduction in storage, to name just a couple. To find more about the business value Are Media realized by employing publishing and syndication best practices across its 20 titles, read the case study Are Media: Accelerating and Streamlining the Use of Digital Content.
The publishing division of a major media company boasts over 500 print and digital titles. Following these best practices for repurposing content, they saved more than $1 billion annually, reduced photo search time by 95%, and eliminated in-house IT support. To find out more about how this magazine publisher saved time and money by applying content reuse best practices, read the case study Media Group Saves More Than $1 Million Annually Using PictureDesk.