The 6 Essential Tools for Publishers in 2017

As the New Year gets rolling, it’s time to look at the tools publishers are using to get content in front of the right audience. What’s a waste of money and time, and what works?

General trends expected for 2017 are an increase in niche, personalized, and dynamic content. Video will continue to make up a sizable portion of most marketing budgets, but some skeptics argue video’s heyday is almost over and the overemphasis on this kind of content without the ability to carefully track and analyze its performance is a costly mistake. The video bubble just might burst in 2017. Visual content is likely to remain popular, however, and screen sizes on electronic devices are likely to keep trending small.

Mobile publishing continues to grow – if you aren’t putting money into mobile publishing, you’re missing out. One look at Apple’s News should convince you it’s time to get into the mobile content game.

Trends are only half the conversation, however. 2017 is bringing a lot of subtle changes, and some major ones. What tools can help publishers navigate the new year? The list below will get you off to a good start.

Keep Your Content Concise and Engaging

Content needs to be readable, no matter what its goal. According to Contently, a lower readability score can help keep your audience interested and lead to more shares and likes. Hemingway App is one of our favorite tools for writing simple, clear, concise, and entertaining content. Simply paste content into the app and check for grammar issues, overly-complex phrases, and overall readability. Just be careful with longer pieces, as the app tends to work best with chunks of text that are 1,000 words or less.

Distribute to the Right Audience

You’ve probably heard the question “If a tree falls in a forest with no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It might, but who cares? The same goes for content. Unless it finds an audience, it’s useless. Taboola helps you get your content in front of the right audience, at the right time.

Partnered with some of the top digital publishers, Taboola allows you to quickly expand your audience and carefully target who views your native ads and displayed content. With over 1 billion unique views from around the globe (250 million of which came from mobile hits) in 2016, the audience reach is impressive. If you’re looking to grow your reach, this is a good place to start.

Create Content, Not Hassle

There are three great platforms that come to mind when content creation is discussed: WoodWing’s Inception, Kapost, and Drupal. All three are versatile, integrate well with other tools you’re most likely using, and offer a user-friendly interface.

WoodWing Software makes some beautiful tools, and Inception is no exception. This WYSIWYG digital content creation tool is a cloud-based, simple solution to content production that allows you to incorporate in-house and outsourced collaborators into your workflow. One major added benefit to this HTML5 web-based CMS is the ability to publish directly to Apple News, WebCMS, and Facebook Instant Articles, among others. If your publication is also in print, Inception allows you to seamlessly transition your content to print media, as well.

Streamlining the content creation process, Kapost allows you to collaborate, review, approve, publish, and distribute content from within a single app. Once your content is out there, you’ll also have the analytics that matter. Kapost plays well with others, too – integrate Hootsuite, WordPress, Salesforce, Eloqua, Marketo, and a host of other tools.

The third tool we love for this purpose is Drupal. A complete, scalable content management system, Drupal is a trusted name in digital publishing. It’s no surprise that we find them invaluable. Designed to create beautiful content across devices, with priority given to mobile content. Drupal’s reliance on open source makes it easy to find fixes for almost any issue, and enhances the platform’s customizability. For content publishers working in multiple languages or across multiple sites, this is an excellent choice.

Quick and Easy Marketing Automation

Smart marketers who need subscription sales know automation can save them time and money, but it can also boost subscriptions if used correctly. GetResponse’s new Marketing Automation tool allows the drag and drop construction of complex campaign workflows. Create, monitor, track, and adjust campaigns in seconds – even on your coffee break. The tool is scalable, making it a solid pick for all types and sizes of business.

The scoring and tagging features of the Marketing Automation tool are helpful, but one of our favorite features is the ability to keep an eye on cart abandonment. Beyond allowing you to deliver targeted cart abandonment emails, you can also tag, score, and automate workflows surrounding cart abandonment with this tool. If you’re aiming to do make a profit off your content, this is an unbeatable feature – timely cart abandonment messages can increase your sales by over 20 percent.

The Secret to Digital Publishing in 2017

Publisher tools aren’t everything, but they can make content publication faster, cheaper, and easier. Extend your audience reach, create more dynamic and engaging content, and streamline your workflow with the tools mentioned above.

Streamlining your content production process is an important step, as is simultaneous publication across platforms, and making your content easily accessible to new audiences. You also don’t want to overlook the value of content that is easy for audiences to digest; either written or visual. Publishers need to keep an eye on trends in your industry and in publishing overall – visuals are a huge component of digital publishing and worth the investment, particularly when you consider the small screen size most content consumers are using.

To wrap up, making the most of your content in 2017 means choosing tools that allow you to effortlessly move your content across devices through HTML5 or responsive technology, automating and streamlining your workflow, and keeping your content easy to consume.

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A New York native, currently dwelling in Berlin. Always been a Luddite, but now embracing the tech world and trying to make a name for myself as a tech journalist.
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