In a nutshell, no matter what medium they get their news and information from, readers basically want simplicity, and quality. They want good stories, reliable information, entertainment, and access to editorial content across a range of devices and channels. They want value, they want speed of delivery and they want consistency. Digital publications must be accessible, easy to locate, easy to use and share, and easy to purchase from all sorts of places. The ability to interact with content including buying products on the page is also becoming standard.
Digital magazine edition providers are beginning to add features that should start accelerating circulation growth. Magazine publishers are adding news feeds to their apps, which gives readers a reason to return on a daily basis, if not more. Providing more value will keep the coveted eyeballs coming back for more, and sticking. The “freemium” model that attracts users with a limited free service and then enticed them into the full paid service is one way for digital publishers to increase market share.
In digital publishing it really is a numbers game. Subscription growth and digital ad revenue are key factors for most digital magazine publishers. Their business models depend on it. The current markers of success are engagement and dwell time. Both of these indicators are key factors in showing if a reader is enjoying a product.
Another model that is gaining traction is personalized article delivery. In general this is touted as giving the reader a magazine-style experience based on their personal tastes and reading habits. The music industry has been using this model successfully for some time now. This model is more labor-intensive, requiring premium content and human curation.
To date much more marketing effort has been put into e-books than into digital magazine editions, for example. The music industry has had to reinvent itself in recent years, and is proof that positive growth can happen with the right amount and type of marketing. There are so many wonderful digital edition magazines that haven’t been marketed enough. People just can’t find them. They must be promoted aggressively, and in the right places. Loud, consistent, clear and precise marketing messages, and most importantly – targeted to the right people, are the keys to success.
This has been said many times before but bears repeating – Knowing Your Reader is Vitally Important. Integrating the right analytics and understanding what the reader is saying is imperative. Listening to the audience is number one, and providing a personalized experience in return for loyalty is now becoming a must-have feature. Tailoring products for various situations and audiences make the customer relationship a personal one, and creates customer loyalty.
Heading into 2016, it is apparent that the digital marketplace will continue to evolve on an on-going basis, and marketing and subscription plans that are put in place one month can be out of date the next. By focusing on and reacting to the audience and what they want, digital publishers will continue to develop and thrive.