When it comes to New Year, there are two types of people: the ones that get nostalgic and remember the good and the bad of this past year and the ones who set resolutions and are determined to fight the blues. I’m sure we’ve all heard at least one time “this year is going to be my year” expression.
But no matter if you’re in the first category or in the second one, one thing is for sure. 2018 is almost here and we’d better be prepared for it. So let’s take a look at 4 predictions in digital publishing for this upcoming year:
1. New ways of positioning subscriptions
This is a trend that has already started this year and experts estimate it will continue into 2018, as well. More and more publishers are approaching content bundling as an attempt to secure customer loyalty. Setting an example in this regard, big publishers are focused on retention, keeping their eyes close to the churn rate because as they say, replacing readers who cancel is expensive. One example of this practice is how the New York Times – which now gets more revenue from digital subscribers than print advertising revenue – grouped its digital subscription offer with Spotify access for a weekly payment of $5 a week. Or how the Washington Post – bought by Amazon’s founder in 2013 – offered a six-month digital subscription to users who pay for Amazon Prime’s delivery and streaming service, contributing to the publisher’s digital audience increasing to over 95 million US readers. And the list can go on.
So just like Nathan Chan, CEO at Foundr Magazine best said, “bundling products will be a big thing in 2018” and definitely something to start experimenting with.
2. Video is the key
Everyone knows that video content has been growing in popularity in recent years. 90% of all content shared on social media in 2017 included video. It’s no secret that video has already dethroned the other formats, being the most consumed media type on social media. And this trend will not only continue in 2018 but also, it is predicted that by 2020, up to 80% of online content will be video.
So video is not going away anytime soon and, because of its importance, it certainly has become a more competitive area since it is one of the most valuable formats for brands to leverage. However, one should keep in mind that the way we consume video is changing. In order to create engaging content, publishers need to ensure all their video content is high quality and relevant. Therefore, a well-thought plan and research are more than mandatory to make sure the audience receives what they’re looking for. Because just like David Wilding, Head of Planning at Twitter said “video isn’t a strategy, it’s a tactic”. So before you dive into it, you do need a strategy behind what you’re creating.
3. Mobile all the way
We have already seen that video will dominate 2018. But there is also another trend that’s no longer a surprise. Mobile devices usage will continue to grow even more next year. It is estimated that, in 2018, more than 50% of internet users will tap into their mobile devices to perform their day-to-day activities. Since smartphone technology is changing at such a fast pace, becoming more and more available, there are high chances that any given member of your target audience has a smartphone.
And in order to be successful, content creators will have to structure content, make it mobile user-friendly and deliver it around the moment in which someone picks up their device to login. In the graph below, you can see that mobile phones have been the most popular device to browse the Internet:
4. Personalized content
The amount of digital content created, exchanged, and consumed is growing day by day across the world. But how much of it is really relevant?
Over the last few years, the demand for high-quality and engaging content has been steadily growing, and is expected to continue on this trend for 2018. It’s no secret that a customized content is more likely to be consumed and shared, as readers respond better when they get unique value out of the brands they follow. In order to compete, now more than ever, content creators will have to integrate personalization within their marketing strategies, using tools to reach users based on their interests, behavior, and other defining factors.
But in order to do so, brands must first know their audience and here is where user-persona comes in handy. This is a practice that provides a powerful insight into the world of your audience. Once you step into the persona’s shoes and ask yourself if they will find value in the content you’re promoting, it’s much easier to deliver a content that addresses their specific needs.
These are just a few of the major trends we’re expecting to rule the following year. In this current setup, it’s more than obvious that publishers need to step up their game big time. There are lots of fields to cover, from ways to position subscriptions, to creating a more personalized content and integrating new technologies in order to secure a smooth experience for your audience. But with a solid strategy and a user point of view approach, you’re surely getting yourself on the road to success for this upcoming year.
Are you ready for 2018?
Let us know in the comments section what trends you think will have a major impact in 2018!