Is print dead? Who knows? What we do know is that online magazines are gaining in popularity, both in America and Europe.
Here in the US, the Alliance for Audited Media reported monthly circulation of 10.2 million for online magazines in the first half of 2013. Even though this is still just 3% of overall circulation, that’s double what it was the previous year.
In the UK, some online magazines are seeing massive increases in online circulations. Vogue Magazine saw its online subscriber base grow by 463% in the last year and BBC History registered a stupendous 693% increase in the same period. Meanwhile, How It Works’ online subscribers represent 22% of the magazine’s readership. It’s a clear sign of an upward trend.
There’s even more evidence to support this. Pew Research shows that news reading is a popular activity for tablet users. Some 64% of tablet users read news weekly and 37% do this daily. The percentages are similar for smartphone users at 62% weekly and 36% daily. Since even more people will own smartphones and tablets by the end of the holiday season, online magazines likely to become even more popular. That’s why you need to include online magazines as part of your content marketing strategy.
Here are some of the benefits that you can get by integrating online magazines into your content strategy.
1. Appointment Marketing
Magazines tend to come out at regular intervals and customers enjoy knowing when they are going to arrive. As we’ve mentioned before, making an appointment with your audience is a great way to build engagement. It’s appointment marketing, helping your readers to form the habit of engaging with you.
2. Entertaining Your Customers
Online magazines can provide the entertainment that customers are looking for when they sit down in the evening with their tablets. It’s easy for them to page through your content and to share information they find useful.
3. Building Trust
Magazines are not only a way to engage and entertain but to build a relationship of trust. If you are providing great content that meets users’ needs on a regular basis they will trust you, enhancing your reputation and authority and making it easier for you to achieve conversions and sales.
4. Telling Your Story
Magazines are a great way to leverage the storytelling trend, which has been a huge part of content marketing this year. With an online magazine, it’s easy to mix long form content with shorter snippets to cater for every kind of reader. Even better than that, with the right online magazine publishing software search engines will be able to easily index your content, adding to online authority.
5. Tailored Customer Contacts
Ever noticed how every Amazon customer receives an email skewed towards his or her purchases and interests? While they all have some common information, the rest is based on what web users view and buy. It’s easy to do the same with an online magazine, targeting different versions to the different customer segments you serve. Research from the Royal Mail shows that using print magazines in conjunction with other marketing methods increases customer spend by up to 25% – there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be the same for online magazines.
Online magazines are interactive, allowing you to support written content with a wide range of multimedia. This is especially important in an era where video consumption is growing and people are used to immersive online experiences. The more you can include that is relevant the longer your readers are likely to stick around. That gives you more chances to connect with them and meet your marketing goals.
7. Customer Analytics
If you really want to understand your customers, online magazines can help you. When you have a print magazine all user can do is pass it along to someone else, which is great, but doesn’t tell you much about actual readership or what people like. It’s different with online magazines. Unlike print magazines, you can get analytics for individual pieces of content so that you can truly understand what appeals to them and tailor future magazines even better.
The more tablet users there are, the more the online magazine market is likely to grow. It’s already happening. Recent research shows that more than 59% of people read more magazines after purchasing a tablet and 63% want to have more choices of online magazines. That means there’s definitely a gap for your company to fill.
The best way to fill it is with a online publishing solution that integrates interactivity and analytics into a mobile adapted interface to give your readers the best experience. Ask us for details on how this works.
The more information there is online, the more important the ability to find relevant content becomes. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge factor in determining whether potential readers and customers discover your magazine. The good news is that using the latest web technologies, such as HTML5, makes it easy for search engines to index the articles in your online magazine, exposing your content to an even wider audience.