Slash
Razorfish Releases “Nimble”: How To Succeed in Publishing Digital Content

A new report provides insight into what makes digital content nimble - and valuable.

Paloma M. Vazquez
Paloma M. Vazquez on June 2, 2010. @pmvazquez

Nimble is a new report published by Razorfish, offering insight into publishing in the digital age, and how publishers can successfully transition to digital content by adding circulation, increasing ROI, deepening engagement, and monetizing (the appropriate) content. Commissioned by Razorfish’s Media & Entertainment Practice – in partnership with information services company Semantic Universe – the report is based on interviews with leading media such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Ultimately, the report’s title refers to why it’s important for digital content to be “nimble” – free to be viewed across any platform at any time – in order to be relevant, accessible and valuable to consumers wherever they are. Some of the key contributors to success captured by the report include:

  • The lack of container limitations provides an advantage to digital content, which lacks the segment length limitations that TV possesses, or the column inch limitations of print, for instance.
  • Perhaps counter intuitively, the more descriptive structure placed into your content (tagging it, linking data, etc.) – the freer and more spreadable it will become. As illustrated by Nic Newman of BBC.
  • Find your audience where they are – consider SEO (including semantic SEO) and learning to use your audience as ambassadors to develop social influence.

“You can’t afford to create a piece of content for any one platform. Instead of crafting a website, you have to put more effort into crafting the description of an asset and the different bits of an asset, so they can be reused more effectively, so they can deliver more value.”

  • Editors are in a prime position to become curators for managing digital content, given their audience and exposure to their desired content.
  • Develop a portfolio of revenue streams for digital content- from paid content (new products and services aligning with the brand’s value proposition), and partnered product development (selling content products and services, not just the content itself), to advertising (measurable, trackable, customizable) and affiliate partnerships (bill affiliates a fee to incorporate their links within content).

It’s interesting to note Razorfish’s conclusion that content needs to be nimble and free to live across every platform relates to a finding in Edelman’s survey on entertainment content, in which respondents attributed greater importance to other attributes than they did to the ability to access entertainment across every platform. While the need for content to live across every platform feels intuitively correct – given that entire industries are investing time, energy and resources into reaching consumers wherever they are – one wonders if the discrepancy between Razorfish and Edelman’s reports are due to any differences in consumer expectations for informational content, vs. entertainment. Do their needs, consumption patterns and expectations differ between the two? It could be interesting to better understand if the two represent distinct opportunities.

Nimble

Thinking...