First up on today’s agenda was Jim Bilton of Wessenden Marketing who conducted this year’s annual Publishing Futures survey, providing insights from PPA’s publishing members into what the next couple of years have in store for their businesses.
Zapnito’s top 8 takeaways from Jim’s talk
- The good news is that a growing percentage of respondents are reporting an increase in turnover, profitability and headcount, fuelled in part by larger marketing budgets. We’re certainly seeing more companies coming to us to develop Zapnito sites for their content marketing, so this was no surprise to us. It’s heartening to hear this growth is a trend across the B2B and consumer sectors.
- On the flipside, companies are finding it harder than anticipated to drive revenue from content (as opposed to advertising). Overcoming this challenge is of course core to Zapnito’s proposition. Our platform is designed to help publishers quickly and easily monetize their content, their expertise, recognising how difficult this can be in the face of fierce competition from free and ‘me-too’ sources of information.
- A key area of revenue growth is custom publishing. Just this month Zapnito will be used as the platform for an exciting new custom publishing product by one of our clients. We expect this to be the first of many such sites, as publishers continue to seek alternatives to display advertising that offer real value to their clients.
- The biggest area of focus for publishers’ investment in digital is still in their own websites. Much as there is significant hype about the ‘need’ to distribute content via social channels, publishers of course need to bring audiences to their own sites in order to drive revenue and gather customer insight. Zapnito expert network websites are quick and easy to establish in order to help publishers do just that.
- ‘IT’ is apparently the issue that keeps publishers awake at night. As a software firm founded and staffed by a team with 80+ years of publishing experience across our 14-strong team, we are very familiar with how technology issues can actually be a major barrier to digital innovation. Zapnito’s out-of-the-box software takes away the need for in-house tech expertise and expensive and lengthy development programmes. We can set up a site for you in just a few weeks.
- The key to future success in publishing is deeper audience insight and engagement. At Zapnito, we couldn’t agree more. Zapnito networks bring together people and content, with all members having a profile on the site and numerous in-built tools for driving direct engagement. Publishers can engage directly with their audience, learn more about who they are and what they need, and even enable them to publish under their brand, sharing their own expertise to become part of the product.
- What consumers really want from publishers is relevancy. In return they are willing to share their personal details in order to get content that matters to them, which is extremely valuable to publishers in encouraging customer loyalty. Unlike the broad world of social media, in which it can be hard to find the content that really meets your needs, Zapnito sites are designed to bring people together round a niche subject. This builds strong bonds between people with a common interest, around relevant content.
- Finally, we were very interested to hear that 20% of B2B publishers see themselves as an ‘audience / community company’. This is certainly true of the publishers already working with Zapnito, who have recognised the commercial value in positioning themselves in and as a community in order to reclaim their audience. If your company is yet to get there, why not contact us to discuss how Zapnito can help you?
For those of you at the PPA Festival, visit us at our booth to learn more about how Zapnito can help you overcome the challenges and realise the opportunities facing the publishing sector today.