Why Content Must Be A Product
Newspapers are fading, and online news sites and publishers are not safe either. The reality is that content must be paid for and needs to be thought of as a product to sell.
The content produced on behalf of a company must be seen as a product, not as something used to grab the fleeting attention of today’s consumer and forgotten tomorrow.
At first glance, a company’s content strategy should replicate that of a news publication – but what happens when news outlets need to start thinking like businesses?
Newspaper giant Washington Post has fallen into a decline because, as Peter Preston of The Observer, suggests, it has chosen to offer its content for free as opposed to The New York Times, which has a paywall for readers.
As the paywall model is adopted by other online newspapers, the question of “content piracy” will become more prominent: if a site doesn’t offer content for free, will audiences go somewhere else? On a given day, the New York Times gets picked up by countless blogs, so a reader can still digest the Times’ content without having to pay for it.
Even The Huffington Post, the crusader for democratized journalism and content, found a way to offer long-form features in exchange for revenue with their new digital magazine Huffington.
As more newspapers, such as most recently New Orleans’ The Times-Picayune and Alabama’s Birmingham News, are cutting staff and reducing distribution, they are becoming more aware that they need to focus on their “digital product,” according to Steven Newhouse, chairman of Advance.net.
Content marketers can find the most success by thinking of content as product: how to mass produce, keep up the quality, and above else, find the funds to make it.
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