Steps for Achieving Digital Success
There are five keys to magazines achieving digital success, said Sarah Faye, president of Isobar U.S., the parent company of digital marketing agency Carat Interactive. Having a destination Web site offers publishers not only the opportunity to increase their readership and ad revenues, but also provides a way to generate subscriptions without the cost of direct mail, said Faye, speaking at MPA’s Digital Day last week.
Advertisers are looking for ways to make deeper relationships with consumers and magazines with strong digital presences can help them do that, said Faye. "It offers you more touch points and ways to make deeper connections with readers, but it also allows you more ways to make money," she said. "Think of it as selling opportunities, rather than selling products, and building communities, not just building an audience. If you build a community, you build loyalty for you and for your advertisers and you give readers more ways to become engaged."
Publishers should step outside the box when assessing their competition, not only looking at other publishers, but also looking at Internet search companies, like Yahoo and Google, television news, and niche properties like Youtube and iFilm. "It’s a big, wide world of competition right now," she said. "You’re not just competing with the same old set. Take a lesson from catalogs. They do everything they can to build a multiplatform reach by integrating campaigns through television, online and with magazines."
Faye suggested the following steps to digital success:
- Reference the Web site in print. Include references and advertisements to their Web properties in their print magazines.
- Extending content in ways that suit the Web. Take a print article and expand it into various Web-related offerings such as video and podcasting.
- Inviting participation. Ask readers of print stories to log onto the Web to participate in an online discussion on the topics.
- Feature interactions in print. Ask readers to participate in a live vote on the Web.
- Build and demonstrate loyalty. Offer readers free gifts and the chance to participate in contests for prizes.