Archive for February, 2015

Marketing – A Digital Strategy

What is your organization doing to develop a digital strategy? Digital magazine advertisers and digital publishers want to know.

It is estimated that at this point in the digital publishing transition, the percentage of digital media companies who can claim that their digital strategies are fully developed are in the lower single digits. This includes digital magazine marketing and advertising.

Traditional media and publishing executives have just begun to understand that the two most important groups driving industry change today are mobile technology device makers and readers/subscribers. Social media sites are now considered main stream, and they are accepted as the third type of organizations influencing the most change in the industry.

The majority of publishing companies, even those that are not fully invested in digital formats, generate at least some revenue from digital activities, but the percentages differ greatly depending on their industry segment. Even those that have not fully embraced digital are beginning to understand that it is imperative to develop and implement a digital strategy of some kind, and that digital magazine advertising is a necessary component for any success in the publishing industry going forward. Overall, at this early stage of the technology shift, the percentage of total revenue resulting from digital is still small but changing fast. In five years, the overall industry forecast is for a significant jump in the importance of digital magazine advertising in terms of the percentage of total organizational publishing and media gross revenue.

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The potential is huge for companies that have implemented a digital marketing strategy focusing on digital magazine advertising in particular. The opportunities to publishers include digital magazine subscriptions, single-issue digital sales, e-newsletters with advertising, blogs, advertisement emails, etc. The sky is the limit.

When determining a digital marketing strategy and how to handle digital magazine advertising as a part of an overall digital strategy, it is important for businesses to understand which specific areas of their overall digital strategy and traditional marketing currently drive the most revenue, and adjust depending on the results they find. Publishers and their digital magazine advertisers must understand who their readership is, what drives them to act on information they find, and what their customers need to become and stay loyal to the brand.

Global digital advertising spending broke $100 billion for the first time in 2012, and is growing exponentially every year. This is serious money. Digital magazine advertising has proven to be effective in many ways, not least being a method of customer engagement that provides real-time data through digital analytics that allows publishers and advertisers to react immediately and cater to the needs and wants of their customers. This capability creates an interactive relationship between business and consumer that has never before been possible. The importance for publishers to develop a solid digital strategy and put digital magazine advertising at the top of their marketing plan cannot be over emphasized.

Successful Digital Magazines

The fast-growing market for digital content is rapidly changing along with the technology that is driving it. Until recently becoming more mainstream, digital publications and digital magazines in particular were not serious competitors to their print counterparts. At the start of the digital transformation, the earliest examples were just print publications scanned into .pdf documents, and they were completely static. The technology did not exist to include hyperlinks or video.

The first digital magazines were only able to be read on a computer screen, and did not provide a traditional reading experience, which turned off many readers immediately. The first digital magazines had to be read in a very uncomfortable position, leaning forward towards the computer. As we can all attest, the goal when reading a magazine, whether digital or print, is to be reclining in a comfortable position. The introduction of the tablet computer, and even smartphones, has changed everything. Digital readers are no longer tethered to their desktop machines. The loss of the sensory delights of paper and ink is replaced by the convenience of reading on a digital device anytime and anywhere.

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Now, digital magazine publishers have lots of hardware available which enables their customers to enjoy the physical reading experience, and the latest digital publishing software has caught up so that now digital magazines provide a wonderful intellectual experience wonderful as well. Digital magazine publishers must always make sure their publications are formatted to work well with and take advantage of the latest available hardware and software. In the past, the original specifications for books were dependent on the most current printing machine and papermaking capabilities available at the time. In the realm of digital magazine publishers, those restrictions no longer apply.

Reading digital magazines is not the same as the linear experience of reading a printed work. It is better! The ability for the reader to jump around a page and click all over the place is very liberating, and creates a very personal, interactive reading experience. Digital publishers can and do take advantage of this feature by strategically placing hyperlinks, photos and advertisements. Optimal placement within digital magazines has become a science, and lots of data can be compiled by using another fantastic perk of the digital format; back-end statistical tracking!

It is rare for anyone to want to read very large digital magazines. Digital readers need to be engaged in what they are reading, and digital magazine publishers need to find creative ways to keep their readers interested. The time spent at any one time reading a digital publication is often far less than for printed versions, but readers tend to return to digital magazines many times. Pertinent, interesting content is key to getting and keeping people engaged.

Digital technology is ever-changing and so too the ways we create and share our stories. Digital magazine publishers have to stay aware of what it is that is being featured, promoted, linked from and shared from their digital magazines.