Why is the publishing mindset important in 2022?
Success, like most things in life, necessitates a well-executed strategy. It's no different when it comes to seeing results from your content marketing efforts. Before the advent of social media and smart devices, the roles of publishers and marketers were much more separate. Publishing was typically about managing publishing interfaces for newspapers, books, and written content. Marketing was about increasing sales efficiency, mainly through market intelligence and advertising.
However, with the advent of smartphones, everything’s changed: We always have a full-fledged computer with us, we are accessible, and we consume a lot of content. This has not only increased the pool of potential customers but also democratised access to information and content.
Social media platforms have eclipsed print newspapers as a news source, with most people acquiring their news from social media. In 2022, only specialised magazines are capable of growing in their printed form. Readers are turning to digital platforms rather than offline newspapers and books, and are increasingly using sources other than traditional news portals. Today, it's likely that exciting news will be delivered to consumers directly by the brands themselves.
The Publishing Mindset is a collection of tools, ideas, and processes that publishers have been using for a long time. Make no mistake, many of these ideas are not far removed from marketing, and there is no need to rework existing processes from scratch to adopt the publishing mindset. However, the know-how helps to channel the various marketing activities, which today are often carried out independently of each other, into a common strategy.
The elements of a publishing mindset
Understanding what publishers value, what they search for in material, and their pre and after release plans are key to adopting their mindset. Understanding how this mindset works is a great method to have your material published in a variety of places on the internet. The following are the key elements for publishers:
- Tight deadlines: Publishers operate a staff where jobs are closely linked and tasks are interdependent. Every moment of the process is controlled in advance, however, it can collapse like a house of cards if one phase is not ready in time. The author must have the copy ready by the deadline so that the proof reader can do their work on time and the editor has time to provide feedback. By the time the piece is ready, the visual element (be it a banner or book cover etc.) should be in the final stages, and the publisher should have a plan for promotional campaigns before and after publication. This shows that one of the fundamentals of the publishing mindset is the tight schedule structure.
- Setting up clear goals: Publishers understand their readers well and create content and campaigns with a specific goal in mind. Although "one buyer, multiple readers" is common within a household for both books and print media, publishers know exactly who a particular work is intended for. It is not just a matter of individual keywords, but above all of the right communication of entertainment and information.
- Quantity & regularity: In traditional content, publishers pay particular attention to the frequency of publication. The consumer's attention will turn to another topic if they do not receive sufficient stimulus from a previous source. For this reason, publishers cover a topic frequently and from different angles.
The steps to implement the publisher mindset
Step 1 - Planning
Planning is by no means foreign to marketing, but the publishing mentality goes a step further. Strict deadlines must be set so that the team can efficiently organise the interdependent tasks.
The most important question in content production is not what, but rather to whom and with what regularity. However, in today's SEO-driven copywriting environment, it's critical to not just prepare for keywords but also provide genuine, compelling material. It's also crucial to choose the correct publishing frequency, since both too few and too many releases might detract from reader engagement.
A good plan is built on assumptions obtained from prior experience, which are then modified over time via testing and feedback.
Step 2 - Drafting
Drafting is the quality control phase of the publication process. Rather than drafting the content immediately in a single round, it is advisable to involve an editor in one or, if necessary, several rounds, not only to correct the language but also to guide the subject matter. This is especially important because it allows for the creation of truly unique content - an essential prerequisite for a brand to stand out in a noise heavy marketplace.
Step 3 - Approvals
Approval and drafting are closely related steps that, when taken together, result in the responsibility for content production and quality resting not on the shoulders of a single person, but a team of several people. At the same time, there is no need to hire new team members; at the beginning of a project, a manager can assign staff to help each other through the review and approval process. The result is a multi-phase process where each step ensures that targeted, unique content is created that adds real value to the reader.
From the above, it is clear that while the two areas are related and have many similarities, marketing teams should consider adopting some key ideas from the publishing mindset. Focusing on quality, uniqueness, exciting infotainment, and precise time management in addition to quantity in content production goes a long way toward increasing efficiency, and all the benefits that ensues.
Reuben Barrett is the Marketing Manager of Dave Clark Design.
Artwork by: Antoinette le Vaillant, Design Director, Auckland studio.