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Cross-Platform Strategies for Expanding a Digital Edition’s Reach

One publisher's multilayered tactics for driving traffic to its digital edition.



By Chandra Johnson-Greene
09/30/2009

Publishers are increasingly taking a cross-platform marketing approach with their brands by creating a synergy between their print and online products, but they often leave their digital editions out of the equation. In other words, most are still viewing digital editions as an alternative to the print or Web product as opposed to a companion.

There are a few publishers out there, however, who are making the connection and actively using their print magazines, Web sites, and even e-newsletters, to drive traffic to their digital editions.

MSP Communications became the publisher of the relaunched Delta Sky magazine in April of this year after Delta and Northwest airlines merged. Digital operations director Kevin Dunn said the company wanted Delta Sky to be a breakthrough in terms of what onboard readers were experiencing on other airlines.

“Our thought process was the our readers might not be flying Delta every month, but they still wanted to be connected to the magazine, and we decided to help them do that through the digital edition,” he told DEI.  “So whether they’re on our Web site or flipping through the [print] magazine, we encourage readers to subscribe to the digital edition.”

E-Newsletters Highlight Specific Articles
When readers do subscribe, they don’t just get a link that takes them straight to the iMirus-powered digital edition—they receive a full e-newsletter that highlights various articles within the digital issue, allowing readers to access the specific articles they desire without flipping through the entire edition. Just over 3,000 copies of the Delta Sky digital edition are requested each month, according to Dunn.

Each e-newsletter also has a quasi “tag cloud” featuring keywords from the issue that readers can also use to access the stories of their choice. “The tag cloud replaces the traditional table of contents approach,” Dunn said. “We wanted to do something that was more fun, vibrant and engaging.”

While most of the content that is found in the print version of Delta Sky is not repurposed for the Web site, MSP still alerts readers to the digital edition and gives them plenty of access points to discover it. The upper right hand corner of the homepage is dedicated to pushing the digital edition by encouraging readers to access the current issue, sign up for a free subscription, and access the archives.

And in the “Destinations” section, which categorizes the site’s content by city, readers are alerted to past issues of the digital edition that may be related. “It’s great because we’re not only showcasing current digital editions, we’re also cross-pollinating archived content from the digital edition,” Dunn said.

Using Reader Contests to Drive Traffic
Yet another way that MSP is planning to drive traffic to Delta Sky’s digital edition is by utilizing a tactic that the company tested on its now-defunct NWA World Traveler magazine.

The company ran a photo contest that prompted readers (via the print magazine) to send in their best photos, which could only be submitted through the digital edition. According to Dunn, the contest received approximately 8,000 submissions. “In terms of promotion, it was one of the things we did that was out of the ordinary to make our readers aware of the digital edition, and it worked great,” he said.

Dunn said he’s looking forward to utilizing iMirus' new analytics package, which will map out exactly how readers are accessing the digital edition, as he’s confident that a multi-level approach works best. “It’s all about allowing the reader to delve into the content how ever they want to consume it,” he said. “Whether it’s by opening up a laptop at the airport or looking at it on the desktop at home, we want to be there to deliver it. Our goal is to be platform agnostic.”

 

By Chandra Johnson-Greene
09/30/2009







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