Digital Publishing Guest Columns
4 mins read

Consumption is king: Creating content is table stakes

Within the next year, digital media consumption is set to increase to more than eight hours per day. Content is ubiquitous. For publishers, the challenge remains not only how to make sure content reaches the right audiences, but also how to properly combine well-thought-out, human-created content with the many tools it takes to share it. Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu, explains more.

Remember when content was king? Those were the days when “big media” ran the entertainment and news world. When publishers had a handful of competitors to contend with. Those days are long gone. 

I’m constantly asked about the future of publishing. You might expect me to say that print is dead. I won’t. That’s a tired trope. When I think about the future of the industry, I think about what it once was. It’s no longer just about pushing out content and making sure that content hits the right audiences. 

Now, it’s much more complicated. Now, consumption is king; creating content… is table stakes.

With an industry-wide focus on sharing content across channels, creators of any size need to repurpose content into assets that can be consumed by target audiences where they already are. In the wake of a now-necessary omnichannel marketing push, creators are seeking out a full suite of tools to support consumption is king notion. In fact, the future success of a creator’s business or side hustle depends on it. Most channels, like Instagram, Pinterest, Snap, etc. try to demand the native creation of assets.  It’s easy to get seduced into that trap of creating just for the channel. But that is timing consuming, expensive, opaque to search engines and requires channel-specific skills. Instead, creators need to use tools that enable them to create once or as few times as possible and use those assets repeatedly.

Creator Economy

Today, there are nearly 50 million people contributing to the creator economy and that’s not including the tens of millions of companies that are managing creator-like content to compete for attention. Real estate and restaurant professionals now have the digital “printing press” at their fingertips – making the importance of how people consume media even more crucial. And it’s no longer enough to just publish. The content must be unique as well as accessible through all channels. It’s all about leveraging and repurposing the collateral and turning it into a multitude of assets that can be utilized across platforms. 

Within the next year, digital media consumption is set to increase to more than eight hours per day. This should trigger the conversation to shift focus to how to effectively distribute content to its intended audiences and meet them where they already are. With social media and email platforms popping up daily, the biggest challenge content creators face is getting their material viewed.

AI, Algorithm and Human Element

Although there will continue to be an increasing number of tools that will facilitate efficiency using AI, the human element behind content creation will remain a necessity. Clever creators will continue to make engaging content in the year ahead – That is the very foundation of the industry and I don’t anticipate it lessening anytime soon. Because the content that is generated by humans has a more personal touch and meaning than AI-generated content. Humans are capable of showing emotions and feelings through words, which is not something that computers can do well enough yet. People tend to trust content written by other humans more than they do computer-generated content. In fact, recent data found that more than half of consumers surveyed are worried about the implications of AI.

So it becomes a question of how to properly combine well-thought-out, human-created content with the many tools it takes to share it? We can anticipate seeing more creators look for and share ways to survive and outsmart the algorithm. 

Forward-Looking Advice

Content optimization is front and center when it comes to consumer consumption. And it’s time to take publishing to the next level by leveraging marketing collateral on every platform available for consumers to absorb it. You can no longer just print brochures or even upload a digital version of a magazine anymore – it’s not enough. It’s beyond critical to take advantage of the full suite of creator tools out there to create efficiencies to get the most out of content.

Joe Hyrkin
CEO, Issuu

Issuu is the world’s largest content publishing and marketing platform that empowers people to convert, host, and share engaging content in a variety of dynamic formats across all digital distribution channels. With 60M+ publications, Issuu makes it easy for its 1M+ global users to transform a piece of content once, and share it everywhere. Each day, more than 300,000 pages of content are uploaded to Issuu, allowing readers worldwide access to discover and engage with more of what they love, from magazines and newspapers to portfolios and catalogs. Issuu is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, with global offices in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Braga.