BEST PRACTICES

Top 5 Digital Publishing Strategy Trends for 2020

Digital publishers have gotten used to seeing huge trends arrive every couple of years. In 2013, traffic from social media networks was the biggest news in digital publishing. By 2015, it was the pivot to video. After that, paywalls came back in style and in 2019, everybody loved podcasts. So what’s next for 2020? Digital publishing strategy trends that get back to basics and put content first.

Read on to learn which strategies will help define digital publishing in 2020. Plus, discover how they can help your business achieve its goals.

CONTENT MARKETING

Our top trend pick for 2020 is not exactly new. In fact, content marketing has been part of the digital publishing conversation for more than a decade. But that’s because content marketing has proved to be a valuable tool for many types of businesses. Over 80% of brands are making use of online content in their marketing strategies and 96% of marketers think it is effective.

One reason that digital content has become such a popular marketing strategy is the growing dislike of ads. Unlike traditional ads, the content that businesses publish online aims to inform their audiences about relevant subjects as well as entertain and inspire. From funny GIFs to white papers, content marketing will continue to be a key digital publishing strategy trend in 2020.

INSIDER INFLUENCE

A major success story in 2019 came from food magazine Bon Appétit’s digital strategy. Emphasizing video, its set of Test Kitchen series have become an internet phenomenon. Fans have favorite Bon Appétit editors, celebrate the “Cinematic Universe” featuring their teamwork and rank every episode. As a result of that engagement, subscriptions have risen 64% this year from digital channels.

While you may not want to commit to a full-on video strategy, there are other ways for digital publishers to adopt the “editors as influencers” trend. For example, try showcasing the people behind your publications on platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn. Because audiences there are drawn to authentic personalities, they’re smart places to build connections between your contributors and your audience.

SUBSCRIBERS FIRST

Speaking of platforms, digital publishers won’t stop using them in 2020. But another top strategy trend focuses on subscribers over followers. Although platforms like Facebook still provide opportunities for clicks and views, it can be difficult to take advantage of this audience. Many publishers say they don’t see significant value from posting their content to social platforms.

On the other hand, readers who visit your site and sign up to follow you there offer digital publishers a lot of advantages. It’s a great way to learn more about their interests and stay in contact. And creating a direct relationship with your subscribers doesn’t have to mean selling your publications. For example, you may want to develop newsletters, target promotions or send exclusive content to subscribers.

ECOMMERCE EVERYWHERE

In 2020, digital publishers will find new ways to connect ecommerce and digital publishing. It’s clear that internet users are tired of ads. But they’re also less likely to sign up for paid subscription services than they used to be, thanks to “subscription fatigue.” Despite this slowdown, online sales keep growing: revenues over $4 trillion are projected next year.

Above all, these trends show that digital publishing strategy can benefit from including sales. There are lots of possibilities to test. Consider producing shoppable content, branded content and free content to attract customers and encourage them to buy while they browse.

PRIVACY RISING

The last digital publishing strategy trend on our list for 2020 is respecting online privacy. Over recent years, protecting the digital data of internet users has been in the spotlight. And new standards are helping to change how businesses communicate with users online, from ads to email.

Although it’s too soon to know exactly how those changes will look, digital publishers can already anticipate a few best practices. The first is to keep privacy in mind when working on strategy in order to be prepared. The second is create great content that readers will find useful, connect with, sign up for and even shop.


The one thing that all of these digital publishing strategy trends have in common is strong content. If you’re getting ready for 2020, give your publications a boost with Calaméo. Publish in a snap, customize and embed your content anywhere. Create your free account and get started today.