Multichannel publishing can increase brand exposure, reach, engagement and revenue. But what’s the best way to manage it?
What is multichannel publishing?
Multichannel publishing simply means publishing your content on multiple channels simultaneously. Lots of different sectors and businesses use multichannel publishing, not just publishers.
- a supermarket can promote special offers via their website, social media and in-store flyers
- a university prospectus will be published in print, online and via their app
- a magazine brand could create content that’s used in a print publication and digital product
Multichannel publishing can involve:
- a brand’s own channels like their website, app and publications
- third-party channels, such as Apple News+
The multichannel publishing opportunity
Higher brand visibility
Being present on multiple channels makes you more visible to potential audiences, which means more opportunities to gain a loyal following. Consider social media, for example. Different platforms attract different age demographics. Limit yourself to just one and you might miss out on reaching other profitable audiences. It’s the same for all platforms and channels.
Better customer experience
Publishing content across multiple channels provides lots of different ways for customers to engage with your brand. Some people prefer to read online, others in print. Some like a long-read on their laptop, others a quick scroll on their mobile phone. Brands that publish simultaneously to multiple platforms and formats are more likely to hit on one that works for their ideal audience, which can increase brand engagement and loyalty.
New business models
Brands that sell content can unlock new business models and revenue by publishing content to more places. For example, a traditional print publisher could introduce digital products that provide more value to customers by offering additional digital content via their app. Or could reach new audiences by partnering with a third-party platform to syndicate both new and archive content.
The challenges of multichannel publishing
Multichannel publishing presents opportunities for ambitious brands to increase visibility, reach and engagement. But there are challenges to overcome.
You’ve got separate teams working on print and digital content
Adopt a channel-neutral approach that creates a unified content team
Your print publishing processes don’t translate to digital
Create fit-for-purposes processes based on the latest innovations
You lack agility to seize new syndication opportunities
Use channel-agnostic formatting so content is ready for any platform
If you’ve got separate teams working on the same story for different channels, you’re wasting time and money.
This is a common problem when organizational structures and business models evolve over time. You get stuck with production processes - and pricing models - that don’t work in the modern multichannel landscape.
It doesn’t make sense to have one team that creates content for print publishing and another for digital channels. That doubles up on effort, staff and costs.
The channel-neutral approach means producing the content without a single publication destination in mind. One person can write a story, select and attach supporting media, and then channel it to multiple publication destinations simultaneously.
This makes it quicker to get content to market - and that content is consistent across all your channels.
If you’re a print publisher expanding into the digital publishing space, your current print-centric processes won’t translate.
It’s tempting to tweak existing processes to try to fit the digital landscape.
For example, once a print publication is complete, the content might be copied, edited and uploaded to a digital product.
That won’t be the fastest way to create digital content. And it might rely on software that’s ideal for desktop publishing but not designed with digital in mind.
If you want to create multichannel content efficiently, you need to redesign your people, processes and technology specifically for this purpose.
The investment now will pay off when you have efficient, sustainable, scalable multichannel systems in place.
You could make money from your content by syndicating it through third-party platforms. But only if have it in the right format at the right time.
Opportunities to make money from your content range from micro syndication opportunities selling single articles, to major partnerships with brands like Apple News +
They all rely on you being able to provide the content in the format they need. And if you don’t have that, you might choose not to pursue the opportunity due to the time and cost you’ll need to invest - just to see if the platform works for you.
Creating channel-neutral content - which is coded to be ready for any platform - means you can have a more test-and-learn approach to new platforms because your content is always good-to-go.
Your pricing models make multichannel hard to manage
Develop a single direct-to-customer subscription model
You don’t have enough staff to increase outputs
Produce more content without more staff by making your systems more efficient
Your valuable content archive is inaccessible
Start better archiving habits today, to unlock value for content in the future
Publishers have traditionally made money in different ways, depending on their route to market.
Print publishing is paid for through the cover price and advertising.
Website content is free to the reader but makes money from ad revenue.
Apps generate revenue through subscriptions…
This makes it hard to reconcile revenue streams with reader entitlements (who has paid to read what), which has been a barrier to creating more streamlined systems.
Publishers that embrace multichannel publishing as the basis of a simplified direct-to-customer business model.
You don’t need more staff to create more content or start multichannel publishing.
Creating a fit-for-purpose multichannel publishing workflow can actually let you create more content with less.
This is thanks to:
- improved efficiency in your content creation processes - which saves time and increases productivity
- leveraging automation - for things like page design and process workflows
- consolidating print and digital editors into a single unified team
Your content archive could unlock new revenue stream for you. But not when it’s locked away in InDesign files.
Implementing a forward-looking multichannel publishing approach - using the right software for the job - means this won’t be a problem in future.
Circular content lifecycle management means making your published content easily accessible for future use.
You’ll create all of your content from a central hub. And published content can be archived, enriched with metadata, and easily repurposed to create new products.
Multichannel publishing made easier
Multichannel publishing software makes it easier for publishers and brands to create multichannel content at scale. There is a particularly strong use case for publishers, creative and marketing agencies, and brands that create high volumes of marketing content.
The benefits of multichannel publishing software
- Accelerates your time to market with faster, more efficient processes
- Meets customer demand for multichannel content without exhausting your resources
- Consolidates different content producers into a single dream team
- Unlocks new direct-to-customer business models for publishers
- Supports the channel-neutral content opportunity
- Makes historic content easier to monetize
- Unlocks time, resource and cost savings
What software do you need for multichannel publishing?
You don’t need a lot of new software for effective multichannel publishing. But certain types of tools are invaluable - particularly a Digital Asset Management system, multichannel publishing software, and design tools.
WoodWing has been supporting global brands to streamline and succeed with multichannel publishing for more than 20 years. Our suite of tools combines to create an empowering end-to-end publishing workflow - for EVERY channel.
Digital Asset Management
Easily discover the perfect images, copy and content for every publishing project.
Our powerful Digital Asset Management system makes every creative asset accessible in a couple of clicks - thanks to meaningful metadata, usage rights, and visual search results.
Create, collaborate, approve and publish content to ANY channel with WoodWing Studio.
Our multichannel publishing solution comprises editorial, design and publication processes and automation - including best-in-class Adobe integrations.
Integration made easy
Connect WoodWing solutions with adjacent technology for a seamless software stack.
Our integration platform provides tools to connect software for every unique use case - from no-code APIs to advanced tools for DevOps experts.
How does multichannel publishing software work?
Multichannel publishing software works by centralizing all publishing workflows into a single, streamlined system. Here, creators and collaborators work together to build high-quality content, which can then be easily published to ANY or ALL of your chosen channels.
The software spans the entire production process including:
- Planning and scheduling projects
- Assigning creators and setting up workflows
- Writing copy, adding media and getting approval
- Designing content in design tools and using templates
- Automatically coding content to display perfectly on any platform
- Publishing content to multiple channels
- Enriching and archiving content for easy repurposing
It automatically codes and formats all elements - headlines, body text, images, video - according to predefined criteria. So that your creative can click ‘publish’ and know it is optimized for every platform.
Multichannel publishing software integrates with key tools to deliver end-to-end content lifecycle management. For example:
- Digital Asset Management software - lets creators easily find and use the ideal creative asset in any publishing project - and makes your archived content accessible again after publication
- Adobe Creative Cloud - so that designers can continue to work in their favourite tools within your enhanced publishing workflow
Discover more about multichannel publishing
You might find these multichannel publishing resources useful…
How Der Spiegel consolidated their print and digital teams for greater efficiency
How Heart Magazines digitally transformed to thrive with multichannel