Digital Publishing Innovation Summit: Top Trends for Content Creators


Digital Publishing Innovation Summit

As fellow digital publishers, we want to figure what our audience wants next just as much as any content creator out there. That’s why we’re looking forward to hearing the following sessions at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York City on July 13-14. It’s a great lineup, but these sessions in particular sounded very relevant to what we’re thinking about (and obsessing over) in the world of brands and branded content.

The Industry isn’t Evolving, There is a Revolution Going on Behind The Scenes
By Evan Burns, CEO, Odyssey

The media isn’t in flux—it’s in disaster mode.

There’s no doubt that media is being disrupted, but that’s hardly breaking news. However, we’re coming to the realization that things are even more messed up than we could have imagined. The financial models for many publishers simply no longer work. We’re in a totally new digital landscape with infinite free content vying for attention, and we haven’t caught up. There isn’t a silver bullet, or even a rubber one: Millennials won’t save us all, programmatic is getting smarter but also more complex, and online audiences are growing just as fast as the need to understand individuals.

The good news? No one has cracked it. At least, not yet. There is a huge opportunity to explore completely new ways of thinking about and making content, and future growth belongs to the bold.

Building Your Audience in a Challenging Landscape
By Melissa Goidel, Chief Revenue Officer, Refinery29

Time to make it pay—how do we do that?

Attention is a commodity, and its price is rising. Native advertising, sponsored content, and other strategies to monetize are only a partial solution. Building a genuine connection is hard enough as it is. Working with brands makes it even harder, if it’s not done in a natural or authentic way. However, the publishers that are able to dream up new ways to work with brands that make sense, both financially and to their audiences, are going to define the future.

Panel: How Social Publishing is The Future
By Red Fabbri, Head of Audience, Elite Daily 

How do we jump the gates to publishing’s social club?

As audiences consume more content through social platforms instead of directly from publishers, the lines between the two are becoming increasingly blurry. This shift dictates the tools and methods publishers need in order to make and share content, and staying on top of both will be the only way to reach a wide enough audience to sustain long term growth.

Monetization Strategies with the World of Ad Blockers
By Eric Hellweg, MD, Digital Strategy, Harvard Business Review

Has the ad block apocalypse passed, or is it just getting warmed up?

Audiences want to ignore content and marketing they hate, at the expense of those creating the content. The answer almost certainly isn’t going to be an ad blocker arms race. Unfortunately, the pressure is going to be on publishers to invent innovative new revenue structures. Is it a matter of encouraging donations, offering premium ad-free subscriptions, or going full native? Or, even more likely, something no one has thought of yet.

Empathetic Storytelling
By Jennifer Lindenauer, VP Marketing

In Marketing Land, “Content” is no longer king. “Storytelling” is the clear incumbent. Audiences are swimming in content delivered to them by everything they touch—from their toothpaste brands to the Times. Actually reaching people means telling stories that strike a chord. You’re human, right? So you get it—you seek things that move you, stories you relate to—the rest just feels like fluff. Our job as publishers is to figure out what that means for the actual people we want to engage—and data can help us do that. We know that technology delivers super-targeted audience insights, but can it actually be the key to cultivating the very real empathy we need to connect to human beings?

Mark Kersteen and Janine Stankus are content editors for Interbrand in New York.