The decline of print
Ours is a digital age that has witnessed the decline of traditional forms of printed media and a vast migration to online platforms. There has been talk for years about the death of traditional newspapers, magazines and books as more and more of us choose to read from our desktops, tablets and phones. However, while this trend has basically been rising since the birth of the Internet, the biggest shift has happened in 2013, when digital officially overtook print. And in 2015 (just last summer), the print advertising industry declined by a whopping 30%.
Unique digital challenges
We all know that digital is the wave of the future, but it is not without its own challenges. While the online revolution took away many of the traditional challenges associated with media, there are a whole host of new ones in the online world. All in all, many publishers have suffered badly from the move online and the low entry barrier, outdated tools, declining ad revenue, and continuous change in search engine algorithms combine with short-attention span of the online audiences has forced many online publishers to go out of business.
The low barriers to entry in the online world mean literally anyone can write and publish online. The days of the big newspaper monopolies are long gone. But with a never-ending list of potential places to distribute content, it is increasingly important to tailor what your write to different channels, to target the right audiences and to build online credibility. With such low barriers to entry, the digital publishing arena is increasingly full of low quality writing, conspiracy theories and downright nonsense. Building a strong and authentic brand in this arena can be extremely challenging.
Revenue got a lot more complicated
Print ads seem mesmerizingly simple in comparison to the online options leading the market today. With native advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, paywalls, subscriptions and more all available, one of the biggest challenges in building a sustainable digital media business model is finding the correct mix of revenue streams. And each channel has major downsides. For example, paywalls and subscriptions can drastically kill your customer base in a world where everyone expects everything for free. And sponsored ads can annoy users to the point where they decide to leave your site for good.
Customers have become an inherent part of your business
Publishing is no longer a document that gets produced and distributed; instead it is an ongoing dialogue between you and your readers. And in a world of dialogue it is important to keep the conversation going, to keep users on your site engaged, and reading for longer. One of the best ways of doing this is to get them talking – not just to the piece they have read, but to the other users on your site.
Comments are your best friend
There is no better way to lower your churn rate, keep readers engaged and create a healthy and unique supply of user-generated content than having a high-quality comments platform or widget on your site. And there are many available. Since this is a bandwagon everyone has already jumped on, in 2016 it is important to think about how to differentiate your site in a world of comments where most people are communicating exclusively through text (and maybe a few gifs and emojis).
In 2016, it looks like the new wave of comments is audio. Allowing readers to communicate their thoughts and opinions of your content through voice comments gives them the ability to instantaneously share content with other users in a much more personal way then text. And most importantly, voice brings back tone of voice so you will no longer spend hours wondering if a text comment is sarcastic or serious.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, or to start using Heyoya for free today, click here.