When creating a digital publication from content originating as a print edition there are certain things to keep in mind, and it’s always good to learn from the mistakes of others if you can. Examples of failed attempts at going from print to digital can be found all over the Apple Newsstand. A magazine that is difficult to use, whether paper or electronic, will be picked up once and put down for good, which means that the reader won’t become a paid subscriber, and they probably won’t download your app in the first place. Losing readers means losing revenue on all sides, including advertising.
The most satisfied readers are those whose needs are being met. People are loyal to a brand or publication because the information that they get from it is easy to access, easy to understand and pertinent to their lives. Luckily it is easier than ever to really get the pulse of an audience. Social media allows readers to interact with publishers in real-time, and the conversation and feedback they provide can be used to modify and craft an offering that is truly of value to them.
Surveys, moderated comments from Facebook and Twitter, and even email campaigns are all ways to reach out and start the dialogue with readers to find out exactly what it is they want. People will not hesitate to pay for something that is useful to them. A happy byproduct of reader feedback is that if the offering is good, positive testimonials can be used for marketing!
Advertisers are always looking to hone in on specific targets, and when the client base is well-defined it is easy for them to mold their message to align with yours and give readers access to information and products that they want and need. Inviting experts to write guest columns or editorials is a great way to get brand recognition and good search results.
A well thought out marketing plan is necessary for getting as many readers to find you as possible. It takes time for a new publication, or even an established publication changing formats, to gain traction and find its audience. Using other platforms to get the word out is important and using social media and websites to do cross-channel marketing will make a big difference. While there are many people looking through the Apple App Store and Android Market every day on their tablets, there are thousands of magazine titles out there, and you have to make noise in order to be found.