Publishers that are mindful of preserving their content in usable form are reaping the benefits of new product spin-ups and partnerships, and reaching audiences in ways never before imagined.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on my strategy soapbox, so this month I’m offering up some reminders about content infrastructure, especially as it lays the foundation for content monetization.

Without a continual, dedicated focus on keeping the “content engine room” up to date and operating at full efficiency, any forward-looking initiatives continue to be limited by ineffective content access and lack of content intelligence. I often find that this is the most neglected part of a media company’s operation, but with the right team and focus, it can be the strongest underpinning to any content strategy. (If you don’t have a clear roadmap defining your content objectives and operational dependencies, consider our content objectives definition approach.)

Media company executives are barraged by a swirl of contention in trying to address platforms, audience, advertising, and of course, monetization streams. But how does one keep the right infrastructure shifts moving forward on a daily basis, while continuing to look out at strategic direction. competition, and most important, the industry disruptors that are changing the rules of the game?

Content publishing success can’t be achieved without a solid, progressive, and continuously evolving content infrastructure. Using content initiatives to individually drive infrastructure requirements causes delays and missed opportunities to deliver the right content at the right time, without the adequate operational intelligence feedback.

Working within outdated and siloed technology solutions (and organizational structures) that don’t play well together hinders any publisher’s ability to operate and progress at the pace that’s required today. Having disparate technologies (and thinking) disconnected from operational technologies (and thinking) can’t provide the level of agility and intelligence required. Google and Facebook have shown us quite competently how integrated content and intelligence infrastructure make the difference.

Recent examples in the industry show how infrastructure investments can pay off:

Atlantic imageAtlantic Media’s newest offering The Atlantic Life Timeline draws upon The Atlantic’s 160-year content archive to create a personal and shareable timeline that shows readers their own place in history, through the lens of The Atlantic’s reporting on key moments throughout time. In an interesting partnership play, the effort is sponsored by National Geographic, highlighting its video series “Origins: The Journey of Humankind.

The Washington Post has spent considerable effort establishing its homegrown Arc technology, and is now offering it to others in the industry for use, including competitors such as Tronc. The platform includes a range of tools designed to help publishers produce, manage, publish, host, and monetize their websites and apps, in addition to offering other analytics and optimization tools.

A recent look into the UK’s Immediate Media, as described by FIPP’s Corbus Peyl, provides insight on how risk-taking and laser focus can bring results. Priorities that have driven the company’s success have centered around consumer-centric relationship building, with a focus on platform being core to the brand.

All of these organizations put effective content infrastructure to work. This includes solid understanding and maintenance of a content ecosphere, how it works overall for an organization, and how dependencies and information synergies create content success. Consider these core and dependent layers that, when well thought out and executed, provide the agility and flexibility for a media company to publish and target in a variety of immediate ways. Components are:

  • Content Infrastructure Core
  • Structured, Usable Content
  • Real-time Content Intelligence
  • Audience Interest & Consumption Data
  • Profiles, Subscription & Membership Management
  • Targeted Revenue Campaigns
  • Delivery Channels
  • Channel/Audience-Specific Interfaces

Consider a refresh to your approach by reviewing our content strategy library:

Anytime Publishing: 3 Core Objectives for Radically Changing Content Workflows

Publishing Strategy: What’s Most Important Now? Technology, Process, or Content?

Content Governance: Do You Have It? Do You Need It?

CEO Margot Knorr Mancini’s monthly blog on content strategy shares valuable insights and observations from her experiences in the publishing industry. 

Check out her other articles in our Content Strategy section. Also sign up for TFP’s newsletter briefings, including Media Metrics and This Week in Publishing, which highlights our weekly industry news picks and tips to help you stay informed. Have a suggestion for a topic you’d like to know more about? Drop us a note!

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.