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Leveraging content on your site

Content is King: a term that has been liberally used across the publishing sector for decades. But is also now a common belief held across multiple sectors and organisations that recognise that the words, pictures, video and audio they produce as part of their day-to-day operation 

Great content can educate, facilitate, engage and entertain. Whether it’s part of a marketing strategy to showcase products and services, or part of the product and service itself, harnessing and leveraging content successfully has become an integral part of commercial businesses, membership and charitable organisations. Many with large archives of truly unique and highly expert content in spades, meaning that while not their primary function, they have become publishers in their own right.

How publishers monetise content

Traditionally publishers make money from an audience directly through copy sales or subscriptions, or via clients who want to reach that audience through advertising and sponsorship.

And while methods of delivery have become more sophisticated over time and measurement of success heavily embedded in data through digitisation, revenue models at the highest level remain. And content is central to both.

Last year, even with pressures on consumer wallets and marketing budgets, the sector experienced a healthy uptick in digital publishing revenues. Advertising rebounded across b2b and b2c, sponsorship revenues flourished with topic and channel diversification and audiences voted with their recurring spend for quality content that cuts through noise and delivers real value. 

A connected experience

It is of no surprise that all eyes are on product development to capitalise on these trends and accelerate content. Whether playing for marketing or audience spend, charitable donations, membership engagement or even ecommerce, it is crucial in a world in which most end-users are considered digital natives to ensure products perform well beyond aesthetics to provide a fast, seamless, intuitive and connected experience.

And for many content-rich businesses, the technology used to create and deliver expertise is becoming just as important a success factor as the content itself whether the outcome is brand acceleration, lead-generation, membership value, education or as in some cases, experience of the product or service itself. 

For many this means a methodical review of technology - not only for the product but the infrastructure supporting the entire experience including CRM, CDP, paywall, analytics, marketing tools and integrations. 

A systematic approach

Develop OKRs. Agree on sole or primary outcome or business model/s behind content to match core strengths against requirements, e.g.: 

Audience revenues / content sales: 

Strength: unique, expert, must-have content. 

Requirement: registration, nurture, hard/soft/metered paywall, personalisation. 


Strength: sufficient volume or appeal to capitalise on programmatic partnerships; or hyper targeted audience for direct. 

Requirement: Web Core Vitals to optimise inventory, design consideration for ads.


Strength: first party engaged audience, engaged and of interest to an accessible pool of customers. 

Requirement: multiple, connected channels to attract strategic spend, analytics for demonstrable ROI.


Strength: product relevance and audience buying intent.

Requirement: smooth purchase experience, minimised performance impact.

Breakdown software - proprietary, SaaS or third party - that touches digital experience. Audience and buyer experience are a given but often overlooked are internal users. And human friction costs time.

Score technology against the overall objectives: 

  1. Prioritise them by impact.
  2. How well are they currently serving objectives?
  3. Where you find high priority technology underperforming against objectives, you know you have a problem.

Tech choices

This can be overwhelming when faced with a multitude of options. And rarely is it a singular decision, rather a set of decisions that balance business continuity with performing heart surgery on an operation.

The key is consistency and fidelity to OKRs. Making long-term, strategic decisions in technology has never been more important to prevent overspend on things that don’t matter and future major organ surgery. Composable, connectable technology that supports objectives and future proofs a stack means joined up decisions at the highest level.


  • Start and finish with business outcomes.
  • Pick a lane; think holistically and realistically.
  • Simplify stack with focus; less can be more.
  • Plan for continual evolution, not a one-drop fix.