In digital publishing, there are many tried and true strategies to sustain magazines that seem to work time and time again. The unfortunate problem with them is that they offer no competitive advantage over others that are trying to do the same thing. Every digital magazine publisher should understand how to keep their publication better each time. This will help ensure sustainability and audience loyalty.
The publishing world is constantly changing. Brands becoming publishers, bloggers, new competitors emerge and new ideas thrive. One way to stay ahead of them is to analyse and keep improving based on the resulting trends and demands. If you’re working on a digital edition of your magazine, you can start by understanding your concept and analyse the value proposition you are offering. Perhaps this has diminished since you started digitising? It may be time to change your styles and approach?
It is also essential to consider your readers. Ask yourself what role your magazine plays in their lives. Do they really need the content you are providing or do they just want to? What would happen if they stopped reading your title? Asking these questions will reveal your true impact on your audience.
The success of your digital magazine is centered on continuous reflection and updating. If you practice this, opportunities to improve your flipbook will almost reveal themselves. Take these suggestions from London digital creative consultant, David Hicks, to ensure a lasting foothold on the digital magazine landscape.
- Daily, live stories, and extra value editorial content to keep the user engaged and wanting more.
- Where the user is THE no.1 consideration: Reading. Buying. Customer Service. Product.
- Where the print mindset is non-existent: ie: the product is created and developed for the user and device. Shareable, social, integrated.
- Where the user is recognised by their status as a subscriber or first time reader, or a previous customer.
- Add key functionality your readers will love: ie: Cycling: route maps. Cooking: recipes, timer, ingredients. Fashion: shoppable. Football: live results.
- Don’t lump for a PDF Replica. Create a better reading experience for the user. Utilise a CMS to aid workflow (ie: WordPress!) and HTML automation… it can be done, and will save you money.
- Where the interactive elements don’t become more important than the editorial. Why animate? Why?
- Less hidden content, less navigational icons, cleaner user experience and user-tested. QA. Every time.
- Where the library/store navigation works seamlessly: easy to use, simple purchase and quick download, well-written FAQ, updated content, minimal clicks, solid e-commerce comes into play here.
- Technically sound, updated to work with all new OS, made for a retina screen. Bug-free.
- Where the perfect reading experience is the designer’s top priority, less whizz, more considered. What pixel size font are you using? 16? 17? Arm’s length reading. Serif? Sans serif?
- All access subscriber option providing access to back issues and archive stories. Give the user total freedom in your environment for a period of time that they choose.
- Additional video/audio content providing value and an additional revenue source for advertising. Stream it where possible – the user is connected!
- Responsive / bespoke-designed editions for all devices and platforms. Android and Apple work differently. Look and feel is key.
- Value: create the environment on digital where the user feels there is value and a reason to stay loyal.
View original article on Tablet Designer.
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