Is your website really generating as many engagements as possible? Even if you’re confident in your approach to SEO, content, UI, and social media, there is still a key area of value that few brands ever fully use. Print publications are making a healthy rebound as communications directors recognize the impact that magazines, catalogs, and newsletters deliver as physical media in a largely digital world. Unfortunately, many brands approach print publications with outdated assumptions and strategies that would have been quaint 10 years ago. The challenge isn’t necessarily creating a print strategy, it’s developing synergy between print and digital media. Even brands that produce printed and digital content typically operate the two channels on separate tracks, never taking time to coordinate efforts. You can take the first steps towards creating synergy between print and digital by adopting a holistic view of content marketing processes and removing barriers to inter-departmental collaboration. It’s time to reclaim synergy from the office jargon graveyard and make it really work for you. Here are just a few ideas to help get you started:

Putting the pieces together

Imagine each stage of your content marketing process as a single piece in an old-fashion puzzle game. Puzzles are easiest to solve if you begin by considering all of the pieces together at the onset. Likewise, you’ll begin to see where opportunities for synergies form if you keep both print and digital channels in mind at the earliest stages of content development. All too often, brands develop content with only print or digital in mind and blast a single, cookie-cutter message across all channels. Even worse, print and digital content development is completely disjointed and the resulting disparate messages, tone, and style gives the brand a somewhat unbalanced quality. The truth is, an uncoordinated content process not only impedes the formation of synergy, it ultimately corrodes the value of the brand. The next time you approach content development, consider the following:

  • Will the primary art used in the opening spread of the print publication have the same impact on Instagram, Pinterest, or other image-based social platforms?
  • Which pieces of text should be converted into Twitter intents?
  • Should the content structure be rearranged for a more natural user experience on mobile?

This wide-angle approach to development avoids creating siloed channels that stifle content synergy. If you don’t consider the context of the content from the onset, you could end up with channel-specific content that performs well on a single medium, but has severely limited impact on other forms of media. This approach allows you to determine how your storytelling should change across different media while giving you greater flexibility to make modifications early before the content is set in stone.

Removing the barriers

Sometimes the single greatest challenge to integrating print and digital media is the structure of your organization. Many departments are formed in a way that makes the flow of information or ideas between various teams incredibly difficult. As a result, decisions regarding what gets published and made by people with little understanding of the actual audience. Content created by editorial and design teams is promoted and amplified by people wholly disconnected from the content itself. The groups that analyze and monitor content performance are often on the opposite side of the building (or in some cases, the opposite side of the globe) from the people who create it. The best environment for developing integrated content is one that fosters collaboration between teams. Instead of using an asynchronous process and single-function teams, try the following:

  • Have your SEO expert or other specialists work with editorial to generate new content ideas
  • Set up a planning meeting between analytics and design to review user behavior
  • Change the office layout; sometimes physical proximity between departments can have a major impact on collaboration

Removing the walls that exist between your teams may not happen overnight, but you can lower them through small changes that reward and encourage interdepartmental communication and information sharing.

Read more: How Much Content Should I Be Creating?