New Kiplinger.com Online Content Editor Talks Digital Strategy
INBOX: What can those in the industry more accustomed to producing content for the printed page learn from those who are creating content for digital realms and vice versa?
SCHWALB: If you have a print-only publication, get online. But rather than trying to start out with a Web version of your print product, identify valuable evergreen content or a searchable database that can be a resource for a niche. This establishes a Web presence that can be crawled and back-linked to by others in the industry that your publication focuses on.
INBOX: How much of a print publication’s content do you believe can be reproduced online without impacting the print product? How closely should the two properties mirror each other?
SCHWALB: I think today that the general public expects to find the same content online as you are publishing in the print version. It’s how you want your content delivered to you and formatted. A full-length print feature may be abridged or repurposed into a slide show or reorganized in some other format, but it should essentially provide the same information.
INBOX: What are the biggest missteps you’ve other publishers take online?
SCHWALB: The biggest missteps of online publishers, who have print publications, are in creating an online brand identity that is different than the print brand. I don’t know who that serves.
INBOX: What’s your philosophy on how frequently non-traditional storytelling—including videos, blogs, polls and photo galleries—should be used online? What type of exclusive online material have you found that works especially well and what doesn’t?
SCHWALB: Online print publications should rely on non-traditional storytelling methods as a writer relies on adjectives. They should enhance. Every enhancement and new storytelling device has a purpose. The key is to make sure you are applying the enhancements correctly. Embedding a video in your article for the sake of having a multimedia enhancement hurts the programming integrity of your site. Therefore, when you do have a terrific related video your readers may not click this time.