Magazines – digital, print or both?
Posted on 4th December 2020
Around the world magazine publishing is embracing the trend to integrate printed publications with digital communication platforms.
As publishers continue to evolve their approach to the print and digital balance, we decided to would look at how it affects readers and the benefits it offers to advertisers.
Digital publishing and marketing
There’s no doubt that we can monitor how readers respond to digital content quickly and effectively. However, with so many channels, apps, and social media platforms and so much analytical information, it’s important to focus on the right things to understand reader behaviour.
Almost anyone can be a content publisher, so there’s a lot of competition for readers’ attention. Making sure you deliver your content to the right people in a way that will attract their interest is essential.
The answer is to take a ‘customer-centric’ approach that will engage readers and build long-term relationships. The choice isn’t whether to provide print or digital content but how to provide the right mix of content to provide value to readers.
Why print is still part of the picture
Because printed magazines benefit from a professional review and editorial process, readers typically have confidence in their content.
However, they might also want to engage with their publications in different ways; they might want a single ‘one size fits all’ package that includes print and digital versions or the choice of additional ‘premium’ content such as video or special features.
There’s also the option of subscription models as a trade-off for advertising income or free publications like Pulse magazine.
Understanding your data
With so much analytical data available it can be difficult to know what will be useful to improve reader experiences in print and online. However, with the right expertise, and complementary readership surveys that can help to explain ‘why’ as well as ‘how many’, publications can develop a strong brand to build their audience and to benefit advertisers.
Future-proofing the magazine format
The quality of content is becoming the key factor for many magazines that are looking forward to a thriving future. The format in which their content is delivered won’t define the publication. Instead, they will use the best available channels to meet the needs of their audience, including print, online, social, apps and tailored experiences specific to their readers.
When you understand your readership, you can build strong relationships through content, especially where the publication meets very specific or ‘niche’ needs. This might even include changes in format or frequency that will, against expectations, increase engagement and circulation.
Some magazine publishers have reported that their titles exceeded 2018 advertising revenue goals while many publishers in the industry experienced declines.
Learning and growing
At Pulse magazine we offer digital and print editions, which are popular with both readers and advertisers. We are continually reviewing readership and engagement across all our channels and we are sure that the answer to the original question is that the future is both digital and print.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more.
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