The Challenges of Expansion for Niche Publishers
Online niche content providers and distributors recognize that they need to continue to track markets and listen closely to users in order to ensure they are providing the most valuable and relevant content possible. Manafy says that FreePint will look to create more high-value offerings going forward as it continues to engage its unique base of content users. The company recently launched DocuTicker, which provides information related to reports from government agencies and other entities.
Griffey says there are a lot of things that FierceMarkets can and will do in the future. One thing is to continue to improve the content it provides readers. He says the company is currently making an investment in the content area, with plans to bring on several new editors during the first half of 2011. Another is to keep expanding the ways in which the content is delivered. FierceMarkets has already gone beyond its email newsletters to include nearly 100 webinars, as well as ebooks and white papers. The company also launched a mobile application last year.
Killeen relies on advice from hockey great Wayne Gretzky: Don't focus on where the hockey puck is but rather where it's going. He says that's how GlobalSpec has been able to transition from one product-the SpecSearch database-to a full slate of offerings over the years. Staying as close as possible to the audience is crucial, he adds. The next steps for GlobalSpec include a focus on learning how to serve a global community.
Because the McGraw-Hill brand is steeped in such tradition, Jones says the company remains cautious in how it expands its offerings. Not wanting to dilute or tarnish a brand with such a rich history, McGraw-Hill Construction needs to be sure a new content initiative is a viable move before it makes it.
"For us, it's important to remain smart about how people will want their information ...who wants to consume the information, exactly where and when they want [requires] a very different set of expectations," says Jones. "We need to make sure we're aware of that." Jones says that social media could become a bigger piece in the future.
Overall, online niche content providers are greatly motivated by the goal to keep meeting those ever-evolving expectations set by the users. Together, the providers and users will drive the future of these niche information industries.
Resources Featured in this Article
FierceMarkets, Inc. - www.fiercemarkets.com
FreePint Ltd. - www.freepint.com
GlobalSpec - www.globalspec.com
McGraw-Hill Construction - www.construction.com
Outsell, Inc. - www.outsellinc.com
Zinio, LLC - www.zinio.com