Subscription Publishing Trends from SIPA Show: Mobile Publishing, E-Learning and Filtering Content

Yesterday I spoke at the annual conference of the Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) in Washington, DC. Judging by the standing-room only crowd at the landing page and paywall presentation I gave along with copywriter Bob Bly, online conversion continues to be of utmost importance to information publishers and marketers. Everyone feels like they could do better, by testing more, switching up the design and adding new features like video testimonials. Here are some other trends I notices at the conference:

  • Mobile is a must. Everyone was talking mobile. Did you know that mobile search is up by 400% this year? If your site doesn’t at least display well on a mobile device, you’re way behind the game. There was also plenty of talk about developing apps and publishing for devices like the Kindle and the Nook.
  • E-learning is hot. Many information publishers are taking things one step further and developing new revenue streams by creating on-demand courses and multimedia training modules. More and more companies are also hosting webinars and if the exhibit hall was any indication, there are a number of companies out there eager to help you create and market these virtual conferences.
  • The audience is struggling to filter information. Can you help them? Perry Hewitt, director of digital communications for Harvard gave a terrific keynote sharing a case study of how the university has stayed at the forefront of the digital age. She explained that the latest challenge isn’t just to provide information but to help our audiences filter all the information that is coming at them. For example, there are more than 30 billion pieces of content posted on Facebook each year.
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