Could bundling products or services be another big trend to impact the publishing world this year? Bundling is a relatively simple tactic that you've likely seen at work in the world of infomercials: "buy the fitness package today, and you'll not only get the DVDs but you'll also get the bonus food guide, jump rope, and the extra special DVDs." By adding more perceived value to a purchase, you're more likely to get a conversion. As publishers are expanding across platforms and content channels, the opportunity exists for them to find new ways to monetize and offer those products to customers. Here's a closer look at bundling in the publishing industry.
SEE ALSO: 4 Successful Content Bundling Ideas
Leverage cross-platform opportunities
Publishers are now active on multiple platforms. Most have a written product which is available in print, online, or both; the written text is supplemented by art and photographs. On the website, the publisher may feature bonus videos, interviews, bulletin boards, and more. Social media interactions connect brand with readers. In this cross-platform world, publishers are working with a wide variety of content assets. This is a natural opportunity to consider the power of bundling, and whether it could help you better package your materials for readers, while raising revenues.
Create your bundles according to perceived values
Don't just randomly bundle your products and services together. Instead, look at your inventory and past buyer behavior. What fits together organically? Would sports lovers enjoy a monthly magazine focused on the city's sports, or premium video interviews with your city's leading athletes? Are digital users so committed to the digital experience that they'll pay a premium to have every piece of content that you create packaged for their iPad? Or maybe your entrepreneurial readers would subscribe just for a dedicated section on innovation and growth in the city? Once you anchor your prospective bundles around perceived values, you can sit back and watch. What's actually bought will reveal key preferences, that can help you plan future bundles, content strategy, technological moves, and more.
Don't unbundle - add value
There has been some discussion in the publishing world about whether newspapers and publishers should consider unbundling their work and allowing readers to select the sections they really care about. From a brand cohesion and customer experience standpoint, focus instead on where you can add value. You already have high quality content, and with a few small adjustments could add more. Unused data could be turned into a premium report. Video of interviewing the subject could be edited and released as a Q&A. Writers can do podcasts with readers to get into the specifics of a story.
2015 promises to be an exciting year in the publishing world. The companies that will come out ahead will be unafraid in their exploration of new platforms, content approaches, technologies, and business models. Bundling has been successful in a number of other industries in helping businesses to increase sales. Time will tell how successful it is for newspapers, magazines, and other information publishers.