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Cross Platform Publishing Adds Value to Content


Cross platform publishing is a content management strategy that increases the value of content by making it useful in multiple distribution channels.

It’s also another way of increasing the return on investment of the labor and any other costs that go into content.

For example, I published the book “Online Marketing for Small Business” as an ebook and paperback. The content came from online marketing articles on this website. I simply re-edited the articles and organized them under a common theme.

It’s an easy example of cross platform publishing — putting content on a website, in an ebook and in a paperback. What I did is nothing new. But many publishers don’t take advantage of the opportunity because they are busy with other priorities. Even so, it is an opportunity worth pursuing.

What makes it especially enticing in the example above is the ease with which a publisher can begin a cross platform publishing initiative. A publisher who uses existing content is creating value with a limited to minimal amount of extra work.

As a result, and given the right project, the ROI from re-publishing is often higher than the original content production.

Cross Platform Strategy

Getting there is much easier with a planned strategy. The plan may be as simple as an outline that organizes the content under sections, subsections and single articles. The outline reaches fulfillment when each section and subsection have enough articles to achieve the book goals, such as 50,000 words in length.

This strategy also creates another benefit and opportunity for online publishers. It gets them to look at their websites from the perspective of books and other products and services.

That perspective may lead to changes in the website that improve its organization and appeal to both visitors and search engines.

For example, the book perspective may lead to more content website sections (chapters) that previously were thin. It may also encourage publishers to think about all of the possible sections (again, chapters) of the site’s overall theme and whether any are missing.

Publishers may find improvements simply by getting books from the local library or buying them online. They can compare the content and organization of the books with the website and make any useful changes. Think of it as a type of content audit.

Cross Platform Opportunities

Any website with deep content has an opportunity for cross platform publishing. Common traditional media examples include newspapers and magazines.

One of the most effective examples is the travel publisher Fodor’s. It publishes books, booklets, ebooks, websites and YouTube videos among other activities. It also has experimented with podcasting. The company rarely creates new content for each platform. Instead, it repurposes the original book content for use in multiple distribution channels.

Not every effort succeeds, of course. The company created a series of 16 podcasts for one book on Podomatic in 2012 that attracted one follower. The company has apparently stopped producing videos for YouTube after creating and uploading 65 of them.

It’s possible to speculate on why those two platforms didn’t succeed for the company. Fodor’s Travel is an expert in print publishing, which works well for books, ebooks and websites. It is not an expert in video and podcasting. Both platforms need much more new effort than simply pushing existing print content onto a website or into an ebook.

Cross platform publishing is a valuable tool in any content management strategy.

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