Archive for April, 2015

The Digital Revolution

The digital revolution has most certainly changed the reading habits of everyone, even those who have not yet embraced the new media. It is becoming clear that digital reading habits reflect print-reading behaviors, but more and more the opposite is also true. Those who are early adapters of all things digital are typically the influencers among their demographic and peers, and what they do and say counts.

Consumer engagement metrics for digital editions are getting closer to magazines for time spent, in contrast to shorter grab-and-go website visits. People who read print and digital magazines read them in a similar manner, but digital readers tend to engage with content and advertisements more deeply because the nature of the new media is all about interaction and immersion. Readers love this new opportunity and value-added content.

While the Apple iPad had been the most dominant tablet when tablet and mobile devices were first introduced, other Android-based products are either at par or more popular that Apple at this time, although it is still thought that iPads will be the majority of devices sold in 2016. The selection of formats, devices and platforms is increasing and consumers more and more are able to make choices about devices that meet their specific, individual needs.


More Americans plan to purchase tablets, and tablet owners are typically more educated and affluent compared with the general public. According to the Forrester Forecast, April 2012, 51% of tablet owners are college graduates, compared to 28% of the general public, and 53% of tablet owners have a family income of $75K or more, compared to 28% of the general public. These numbers are fantastic. Forrester predicts that 760 million people globally will own a tablet by 2016, including one-third of Americans.

Magazine readers and digital readers in particular, engage with tablets at home during their down-time mainly in the evening and at night. Tablet owners use their device for many things and the availability of vast numbers of apps to do most anything imaginable, makes these portable devices a part of every aspect of life. Right now we use our tablets for personal email, surfing the internet, social networking, watching videos, playing games and for reading e-books and digital magazines, among other things. In the not so distant future, and even happening now, our hand-held devices will be used to maintain our health and lifestyle and beliefs in ways that we haven’t even thought of yet.

Considering the way that mobile digital devices are being used, it is clear that digital advertising makes an impact. Digital readers like and want ads that they can interact with, and they are very invested in their digital reading experiences and want to provide feedback to make their experiences even better. Digital magazines are the perfect medium to deliver the content that readers want. Advertisers are now catching up to the capabilities that digital magazines and mobile devices have. They are developing advertising strategies that take into account the immersive consumer experience that digital-savvy magazine readers expect by proving lots of opportunities for customer feedback and responding to concerns in real-time.

It’s all About Content

One of the newest and most innovative uses of digital publishing technology is in custom publishing, which includes affinity content and companion advertising content, which is also known as “content marketing”. Content marketing is now a major part of the communications and marketing strategy in many industries. As always, in industry and throughout every genre the goal is to find and retain customers by engaging them with relevant, interesting information.

In the new multi-platform environment, digital publications don’t just compete with other magazines. They compete with any media that take up consumers’ time. Because of the multitude of information available on various platforms, marketing and advertising has to be high quality and must not feel like aggressive advertising. It’s very important for digital publishers is to focus on making their content available wherever and whenever customers want to engage, encompassing a multi-platform strategy, including digital, print, and websites.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that focusses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistently branded content to attract and retain a specific audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action and enhance consumer behavior.


Content marketing allows brands to communicate with their customers and prospects without overtly selling. It is a non-intrusive marketing method that delivers information to make the buyer more intelligent. The basic philosophy of this content strategy is the understanding that if businesses deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately become loyal clients.

Marketing is impossible without quality content, delivered in a way that makes it receptive to the audience. Solid content is part of all forms of marketing, including social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), PR strategies and inbound marketing. Consumers don’t want to read advertising. They want interesting, engaging content. It isn’t important that the line between digital and print continues to blur. Every digital strategy must include content that is created and customized for each part of a multi-platform environment. At this time print magazines are still the anchor of most content marketing strategies, and readers still want print magazines, but increasingly brands that don’t embrace multiple platforms are at a disadvantage.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that affinity magazines, those that focus on reader-driven specific content, are the most successful at increasing brand engagement. Content marketing is all about the customer experience. It’s about immersing the consumer in the brand and focusing on the specific needs of the target audience. Content marketing lends itself very well to addressing a subject or genre and making the reader feel as if their needs are being met overall. The difference between a brochure that pushes products and a magazine that inspires readers is the way it makes them feel. Today’s consumers do not want to feel sold. They want to be engaged and understood. The story is the thing and the delivery is the hook.