Over the last ten years, our product and tech teams have learned a lot about what digital media companies need to be successful. In honor of our tenth anniversary, we want to share with you what our team says are the most important products and services that all digital businesses need to have in order to maximize success.
1. Video Solution
Video's overall ascendency in the publishing world has become much more than a trend, evolving from a fun accessory to add to your website to now claiming almost 82% of global internet traffic from video streaming and downloads. If a publisher is to be successful in today's media landscape, they must have an effective video strategy that drives traffic around their sites.
Taking that first step into the video space is intimidating for many editorial teams, with outdated technology and hard-to-use interfaces increasing the barrier to entry. Luckily, here at Minute Media, the team has developed Voltax Video, an innovative Online Video Platform for the world's most passionate storytellers.
"Minute Media's tech-driven approach to publishing has been key to our global growth during challenging times in the digital media industry. We spent the last year collecting feedback from our partners to make Voltax Video the best-in-class video tool for the user and our publishing partners. It was designed to adapt as the ecosystem changes, allowing us to continuously innovate and add product features and functionality that will benefit publishers while enhancing the user experience and increasing engagement," Asaf Peled, Co-Founder and CEO of Minute Media.
2. SEO Optimization
The importance of SEO in today's publishing world can't be overstated. Whether we like it or not, much of a publisher's revenue is dependent on search engine ranking guidelines and optimizing around them.
Facilitated by a dedicated team of SEO experts, our partners benefit from advanced SEO configurations and optimizations that drastically improve site ranking in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and increase organic traffic.
"This sturdy relationship between teams helped us realize that we can seamlessly integrate SEO elements into our CMS and maximize traffic without complicating the editorial user journey, taking up too much time, or negatively affecting their content's quality. Unfortunately, writing excellent content can't fulfill the articles' full potential reach without optimizing for search engines. The content will see increases in organic traffic, viewability, and relevance to the target audiences through effective SEO practices." - Roy Bransky, Product Manager.
3. Robust Monetization Solutions
There was a time when it was sufficient to produce quality content, and the money would follow suit. Unfortunately, those days are long behind us, and we have seen far too many accomplished publishing companies lose their stature because of an inability to monetize good content.
In a fast-growing and increasingly fragmented digital landscape, having an effective monetization strategy can feel like a daunting task for publishers. The sheer volume of ad-tech and demand partners entering and exiting the market can make it tough to ensure that every opportunity is being fully optimized.
"It's important to have good monetization features. Combined with video, attention-grabbing features can boost engagement metrics, leading to more money for the company." - Avihay Ashush, Development Team Lead.
4. Recommendation Engine
One of the newer "must-haves" for publishers is an effective recommendation engine. Due to the incredible amount of coverage on the web, publishers need to accurately target specific content to their users. There are many forms of content recommendation in the market today, but they all require some level of AI to ensure the content is relevant to each user.
With the phasing out of third-party cookies in the coming years, content recommendation will continue to grow in importance within the publishing landscape. Many of today's recommendation tools rely on third-party data, so the new rules and regulations will force the technology to adapt to the latest standards.
"Failure to deliver personalized experiences and a diverse offering in the form of interesting add-ons will almost certainly result in the individual seeking out the competitor down the road next time around. A basic offering is just not good enough anymore." - Minute Media Product Manager.
5. Intuitive, Easy-to-Use Editor
At the heart of all good publishers is still enjoyable content, and to create this quality content at scale, you need an intuitive, easy-to-use editor. The publishing world moves so quickly, the tools that you use need to be highly intuitive to the user, whether they're a seasoned veteran with the company or a day-one contributor.
Content creators shouldn't feel like the editing platform is holding them back, but in fact, they should hardly notice it's there. A seamless transition between writers and editors for feedback and approval, easy access to media, and SEO optimization are just a few of the benchmark features an effective modern Editor should include.
"We want the writers to focus on the content and not struggle with the Editor itself. We need to provide them with a tool that's easy to use so they aren’t distracted by the technology and can produce the most interesting content possible." - Yosi Haras, 90min Content Editor & Social Media Manager.
6. Simple Site Management Tools
Just because site management is often the forgotten branch of publishing technology doesn't mean it's any less critical. The site's structure and performance are progressively higher-weighted in SEO rankings, and one slight change can be a disaster for a brand.
Minute Media cuts the cost of website operations, allowing our partners to focus strictly on creating a quality content experience without spending hours on website setup and configuration. Furthermore, publishers can control and change various site aspects with our platform without relying on developers or IT personnel.
"Publishers really need a way to create and manage the content and the site in a simple way. Someone should be able to come in with no prior knowledge and have the tools to learn how to keep the site up and running quickly. Without this technology in place, it takes a lot of development and design resources to make the smallest changes to a site." - Michal Turjeman, Senior Director Design.
7. Dynamic Publisher and Distribution Network
The Publisher will be the technical foundation for your publishing operation. Without a technologically sound Publisher that fits your business' needs, an abundance of avoidable obstacles may present themselves over time.
Once you've created your content, you'll need an intelligent Publisher to manage and distribute it across the appropriate channels. A high-quality Publisher can support multiple sites, facilitate SEO optimization, and ensure your content reaches the greatest number of people possible.
"Learning from our experience working with multiple brands, we understand publishers have differing needs, and we try to cater to them. Consumer expectations have grown, and with so much content available at a click of a button, the user can afford to be picky when selecting what to consume. Standing out from the crowd has become increasingly difficult, and an efficient Publisher ensures the right content is delivered to the right audience consistently." - Minute Media Product Manager.
8. Easy Onboarding
No matter which platform you’re using for your company’s publishing needs, it's essential to have a reliable onboarding process to remove any bottlenecks early in the integration. A robust onboarding strategy helps incoming partners feel more comfortable with their decision, reduce partner churn, and create a professional environment around your platform.
"From my experience in support, a smooth, clean onboarding process and a full understanding of the system and how to use it to your advantage is a huge plus as a publisher. Your publishing platform has a much better chance of success if you can successfully onboard partners quickly and efficiently while giving them all of the tools they need to be effective." - Tom Parzanchevski, Support Team Leader.
9. Solid Support Foundation
Once you’re successfully onboarded to your new publishing platform, it's crucial to have an attentive support system in place to ensure everything is running smoothly. Due to the number of options in today's market, any minor inconvenience with the platform can snowball, backing up your workflows and ultimately negatively impacting your content and revenue streams.
The support team for your publishing platform should be knowledgeable about the system and be willing to work with you to make any requests a reality. If there are any issues, the support team should have a system of best practices to help them solve the challenge and then work diligently to ensure it doesn't happen again.
“Learning from my experience working in support, it’s essential to have a team in place to solve any issues that may come up for clients. A solid support system works efficiently across all departments and has a wide knowledge base of the products and services a company may offer. The support team keeps clients happy which results in good business and customer satisfaction.” - Noa Rasiel, Support & Compliance Specialist.
10. Engaging and Interactive Editorial Features
The world of publishing is changing right in front of us. As the industry moves towards a more diverse multimedia experience, publishers and content creators have had to pivot their strategies to support these new digital experiences. While it was once (even recently) satisfactory to publish exclusively text-based content, additional engagement features are standard practice in the industry today.
When a user engages with your content instead of just consuming it, it helps promote your site on Google's rankings, increase brand awareness, create more authentic distribution channels through shares, and increase the session yield and ROI. Most recently, the team has been focusing on additions to the Voltax Video Player designed to maximize engagement and, in turn, increase revenue and brand loyalty.
"I constantly find myself scrolling endlessly through FB Watch, starting with one video and continuing without noticing because the content always drew my attention. To help recreate the feeling of 'getting lost' in the content, it was essential to integrate Minute Media's Smart toolkit with Voltax View. Using Voltax's semantic matching capabilities, we hope to engage users and provide a similarly immersive experience." Tom Erlich, Senior Product Manager