REVIEW 

Ten tips for digital success

James Evelegh enjoyed the John Barnes podcast this week. Here are some of his takeaways.

By James Evelegh

Ten tips for digital success
Photograph: Austin Schmid on Unsplash.

Did you catch our podcast this week with John Barnes, chief digital officer at William Reed?

If not, I can thoroughly recommend it. Over the years, John has won more AOP awards that you can shake a stick at and he has a great ability to talk insightfully about digital publishing using plain English.

Inspired by John’s conversation with Ciar Byrne, here are my ten tips for digital success:

  1. Be inquisitive and try things out; the secret of successful internet publishing is change.
  2. Understand your market: not every publishing strategy is suitable for every market. You need a deep knowledge of the market you serve before you can decide which strategy to deploy.
  3. Know who your visitors are: in the days of controlled circulation publishing, this was one of B2B publishing’s great strengths.
  4. Build this knowledge incrementally; start small by getting an email address, then append more information as you go along. Don’t scare them off with a 15 page registration form.
  5. Produce quality content and journalism. Without that, everything else is doomed to fail.
  6. Know your value. Only by knowing how useful your content is and its criticality to users can you hope to price it right.
  7. Be a leading part of the market you serve: work within your market as an active and trusted player.
  8. Keep in contact with your digital subscribers. One advantage print has over digital is the regular physical reminder to a subscriber of their subscription. With digital, you have to work harder.
  9. Give advertisers the metrics they want. Yes, totals matter, but who saw their ad and how long they saw it for matters too.
  10. Innovate, always. This lockdown period might well come to be seen as a golden period of digital innovation.