Skip to main content

The Importance of Understanding Your Audience

This is the first in a series of blog posts based on our recent webcast, "10 Factors to Consider when Developing your Digital Publishing Strategy." If you weren't able to attend, you can still watch it in its entirety, including the interactive question and answer session here.

View the Webcast

We start with the very core of your publishing business — audience.

Audience drives both sides of your publishing business.  On the product side, it should be the touchstone that guides your editorial and content development efforts.  Book publishers need to make sure their organizations are structured so that the voice of the audience is heard clearly and with authority.  Traditionally in magazine publishing, this role has been served by the editor-in-chief.  Most book publishers don't have comparable structures, and creating them is one of the great challenges of successful online brand building.

Your audience impacts where you promote and sell your content — big box retailers, independent book stores, online e-book stores, or direct-to-consumers from your own web portals. It also impacts how you deliver this content.  Does your audience skew toward e-books? If so, what format(s) do you need to support? Are they reading in a linear way, as is typical with fiction or other narratives, or in a more extractive way, seeking to address to particular questions or learning objectives via searching, browsing and bookmarking. In what kinds of environments do they read your books— office, school, or at home? And are they partial to particular types of reading devices, whether tablets, laptops, smartphones or dedicated e-readers?

Any publisher that lacks a deep understanding of its audience will falter.  Nathan Hull, digital development director of British media group Pearson's Penguin business said, "Big retailers know our customers better than we do." That is a problem, but what can publishers do about it?

In today's market, where margins are squeezed and competition exists from a variety of delivery mechanisms (rental, subscription, e-book, hard copy, etc.), it is becoming more important to establish a direct relationship with your audience, not only because it allows you to retain your profits, but also because it enables you to gather data on user preferences, habits and behavior patterns.  Without this knowledge, publishers are at greater risk of being disintermediated by online retail powerhouses. Readers are increasingly buying online, writing reviews online and getting ideas on what to read from online sources including social media, and publishers need to be tapped in to these processes.

At a minimum, publishers need to build a relationship with audiences through direct marketing, whether via social media, e-mail or other channels.  At the same time, any publisher who is not already selling direct should be considering the options. After all, 11 percent of people surveyed by O'Reilly said they have purchased direct from a publisher.

When you are beginning to develop your direct digital publishing strategy, some questions to ask throughout your organization include:
  1. What are the demographics and psychographics of your readers?
  2. What types of content do they prefer?
  3. Do they want interactive content that goes beyond text?
  4. What devices are they using to read content including laptops, tablets, e-readers and smartphones?
  5. How do they move between these devices?
  6. Who do they buy from?
  7. Where do they find out about new books?
  8. Where to they share reviews and recommendations?
  9. How can you build a better relationship with your readers?
While it all boils down to audience, there are many other things to consider when you are planning your digital publishing strategy.  Stay tuned for more insights, or you can jump ahead and download the complete white paper today.

 Download the White Paper

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2018 Tizra User Summit: What We Learned by Meeting Our Customers Where We Are

They say you should "meet your customers where they are." Well, for Tizra's 4th annual user conference we decided to take a chance and do the opposite. Instead of going to Chicago or DC, where Tizra customers are concentrated, we bet on hosting in our home town of Providence, RI. It's not that we don't love Chicago and DC, but we really felt we could do something special with the home field advantage. As it turns out, we were right.

The Tizra user community is a silo-busting mix of creatives, technologists, content strategists and executives, who share the goal of building, engaging and generating value from audiences with digital content. For this crowd, we didn't want a sterile conference facility. We felt that by giving them a place they could really connect with, we'd help them connect with each other. Providence, with its vibrant tech and design scene, walkable downtown, and non-traditional venues, provided just the funky catalyst we were looking fo…

New Mobile-Optimized Template Simplifies Site Design

Pre-designed templates are increasingly popular as a quick way to get new Tizra sites launched, or to refresh the design of an existing site.  A key driver in both cases is keeping up with increasingly high user expectations for ease of use and visual appeal, particularly on mobile devices. To address these needs, we’ve released a major upgrade to our Bootstrap-based responsive design template. The new version makes it much easier to customize with your own colors and logo, improves mobile interaction with the latest version of the Bootstrap framework, and adds numerous other visual and usability refinements.

Existing Tizra customers can try it out now by selecting the “Bootstrap Responsive Template” in the PRESENTATION area. Or if you’d like to see a quick preview, take a look at this demo site… https://abedemo.tizrapublisher.com

Princeton University Press Partners with Tizra to Take Einstein Papers Online

Unprecedented project will make nearly 30 volumes of Albert Einstein's papers available throughout the world.

October 9, 2013 (Providence, RI) -- Princeton University Press has selected Tizra as the digital publishing platform it will use to make The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein available online.  One of the most ambitious publishing ventures ever undertaken in the documentation of the history of science, The Collected Papers will ultimately comprise more than 14,000 papers selected from all phases of Einstein's career and fill nearly 30 volumes.

The online version hosted by Tizra will provide easy, searchable access to the full archive, and will offer features including:

Powerful, bilingual search, with page-specific search results.Links between German text and corresponding English translations.Persistent, page-specific URLs to facilitate citation, referencing and discussion.Easy online viewing in all common web browsers, including those on the most popular mobile dev…