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Multiplatform Publishing Strategy

The Three Lenses of Consumers: Online, Offline and In-Person

A special-interest user experience includes multiple platforms: online, offline, and in person; using all three guarantees you the most visibility and the best user satisfaction.

A special-interest user experience includes multiple platforms: online, offline, and in person; using all three guarantees you the most visibility and the best user satisfaction.

The medium is the message. You may have users who want to consume your product in a book or magazine format, but you also have users who prefer to read it online in a blog and discuss it in forums. You want to facilitate that, because your online audience builds your print audience. You also have an audience that prefers in-person events once they’ve been oriented to you in both of the other two mediums. Are you keeping up?

Offline, they’re reading your magazine, your books, your print newsletters, and using your merchandise.

  • Convenience: This is the most convenient medium because it’s portable and be consumed anywhere.
  • Fidelity: Since there is much information to be consumed from the variety of offline mediums, fidelity is often low. This is why it’s valuable to have an online and in-person counterpart for your offline products.
  • Ownership: The feeling of ownership is high with an offline medium because the user actually owns it. In most cases they can buy it and physically hold it in their hands.

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

Online, your users are reading your blogs, email newsletters, participating in forums, listening to streaming audio, watching streaming video and downloading PDFs.

  • Convenience: Online is moderately convenient as a medium; You need to be connected to the Internet in order to access any information. Luckily with the advent of iPhone, mobile users are consuming more information on the Internet than ever before due to convenience.
  • Fidelity: There are too many sources of good information online for most users to be completely loyal to your brand, so fidelity online is moderate as well.
  • Ownership: There is little connection to your users in regards to ownership with online products, unless you have a membership or subscription website. The feeling of ownership with online content is generally moderate.

In person, they’re attending your events; they might even be hiring you as a contractor to do a service for them such as consulting or something in that area.

  • Convenience: This is the least convenient medium because it requires travel and is generally the highest priced platform of the three.
  • Fidelity: In-person events often have the highest fidelity. This is because creating a human connection—putting a face to a brand—increases loyalty.
  • Ownership: In-person events often give the user the least feeling of ownership, however this is increased somewhat when you create a one-on-one connection and invite feedback and further interaction when all is said and done.

From what we’ve seen from other online publishers, it’s only 5% of your audience that is using all three platforms. So the goal is to pay attention to each area individually, even though they may overlap.

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

By Amanda MacArthur

Research Director & Managing Editor

Amanda is responsible for all the articles you read on the Mequoda Daily portal and every email newsletter delivered to your inbox from us. She is also our in-house social media expert and would love to chat with you over on @Mequoda. She has worked with Mequoda for almost a decade, helping to evolve the Mequoda Method through research, testing and developing new best practices in digital publishing, editorial strategy, email marketing and audience development. Amanda is a co-author of our four digital publishing handbooks.

Co-authored handbooks:

Contact Amanda:

Contact Amanda via email at amanda (at) mequoda (dot) com, @amaaanda, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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