Congratulations to our client AAA Living magazine for winning the top prize in this year’s Excel Award in the Media Innovation – Digital Magazine category!
More than 900 entries were submitted to be considered for the 2013 awards. Last year, in the digital magazine category, neither a gold nor silver was awarded to any entry. This year, however, the judges evaluated three issues of AAA Living and gave them the top honors.
The EXCEL Awards recognize exceptional work done in the association industry, in categories ranging from web publishing to magazines, newsletters, journals and more. This prestigious award is reason to celebrate, and AAA Living earned it well with their innovative use of the digital platform and their beautiful design.
Giving readers what they want can be tricky: they want publishers to take advantage of the digital medium to offer more than the print experience, but they don’t want to get so lost in flashy distractions they can’t read the content. The solution is a compromise is to use that engaging technology in a subtle, opt-in style.
Farm Forum, a publication highlighting the benefits of CASE IH agriculture equipment, exemplifies this style with subtle touches readers can appreciate. Let’s go page-by-page for a moment, starting with the first inside page:
Page 2: All calls to action are emphasized for the reader with simple scroll-over animation. As is standard to all Nxtbook digital editions, the link on the page is highlighted when the cursor rolls over it. Unique to Farm Forum is the animation applied to the logos and social media buttons: the clickable buttons grow much larger as the cursor scrolls over it, alerting the reader to that they are able to click this area.
Page 3: The table of contents font colors switch from black to red as the reader scrolls over the text, alerting the reader they’ve hovered over the correct desired content. A "+" icon calls out that additional content can be released in a pop-up if the reader clicks the icon.
Page 4: Readers can roll over buttons marked 1, 2, and 3 to see more photos from the Ag Connect show.
Let’s jump a little to get into the content.
Page 10 has a "+" that provides a chart of AccuGuide ™ supported vehicles.
Page 12 has video with some explanatory text that lets the reader know what they’ll see if they click the play icon.
Page 18 has buttons listing the "Crops" and "Specifications" in pop-ups if the reader clicks to learn more.
Page 19 has a dual-purpose ad for readers who want to learn more. The first look at the ad provides an image-heavy promotion. If the reader clicks the small, animated "More" they’re taken to the hidden secondary page with significant copy and more call to action. Readers that land here are more likely to be engaged with the ad and to be high-quality leads.
Taking advantage of the digital platform doesn’t mean adding whiz and bang to every page. Matter of fact, that kind of thinking can lead to a terrible experience for your readers and prevent them from digging into your content. Instead, by adding strategic elements of animation, you can engage your readers on a new level and provide them with the digital content they’ve been seeking.
Sharing is intuitive to your readers, but is your content share-ready?
Whether you are marketing to the masses or have a targeted niche, there is no doubt that social media plays a part in increasing your reach. To create an effective campaign, publishers need to define their goals. For example, you might be looking to increase your book opens, drive readers to a specific article every issue, increase brand awareness to unknown masses, or start conversations with your readers.
Define your goals, and how social media will help you reach them. Keep in mind that social media works best when it is amplifying other marketing messages or additional content.
Some down and dirty tips for effective social media marketing include:
- keep it interesting and fresh for followers
- provide multiple ways for people to share it
- share it yourself in ways that are easy for readers to repost
- and above all else, develop quality content that people will want to share.
Advanced social media gurus use the metrics provided by their digital edition’s reports to determine what readers are clicking on and demonstrating interest in. Then they’ll promote those pieces across all of their social media channels.
Share functions are all standard in Nxtbook Media’s platform, making it easy for readers to share your digital edition at any time. We also help publishers encourage readers to share by offering additional toolbar buttons or animated icons directly to the page.
In the end, however, your content is what is going to make your readers share with their friends and coworkers.
Curious about other methods to increasing your social interaction between readers and your publication? Download the Big Book of Ideas for social media and digital editions here.
The numbers are in, and BPA reports an increase in digital circulation of 2.8%. A report released by BtoBonline summarized the BPA’s findings:
"About a third (33.8%) of the b-to-b and consumer publications audited by BPA Worldwide reported digital circulation for the second half of last year, the organization said. A total of 520 print titles reported digital circulation for the six-month period ended Dec. 31, a 2.8% increase over the year-earlier period. BPA Worldwide said digital circulation now accounts for about 22% of its audited qualified circulation."
More businesses are embracing digital publications as an effective form for reaching their readers, and I expect this number to continue to rise throughout the year.
One of the oft-overlooked advantages to having a digital edition are the additional revenue generation opportunities tied to going digital. While publishers are starting to embrace the win-win scenario of increasing attention given to ads by adding animation, video, and clear digital calls to action, there’s an additional purely digital advantage that some publishers miss: the sponsorship.
With 27 sponsor spots to choose from in a fully-loaded Nxtbook digital and mobile edition, this fact remains: having skyscrapers, banners and toolbar ads means your advertiser’s creative is seen by every reader for as long as he or she has the publication open. The ads will appear next to the digital edition during every page flip and every moment the reader is engaging with the edition. This is a value no other advertiser will have, and is what every advertiser should want. It is prime real estate, and media sales reps can sell it as such.
There are a couple of different strategies publishers can use with this. Some publishers sell different sponsor locations to different advertisers. Some publishers are mindful of their sponsor’s competitors, and when a reader gets to a page that has the competitor’s ad, the sponsor spot disappears for that spread. Other publishers might create animated sponsor locations which flip through a series of advertisers, all in the same position. Still other publishers bundle multiple sponsor locations together into a sponsorship package, selling a single sponsor the exclusive rights to the banner ads in that issue.
One such publisher is Bobit Business Media. This publisher created a magazine for executive vehicle management, Fleet Financials, and sells sponsorships to the tune of two skyscraper ads and a toolbar button. This issue was purchased by Volkswagen, an advertiser likely to benefit from reaching Fleet Financials‘ audience. By selling the sponsor locations as a package deal, a reader is instantly exposed to three complementary ads for Volkswagen that they can engage with or ignore for a time as they read the magazine. As the reader turns page by page, the ads are persistent, giving more time for the reader to notice and click on any of the three positions.
Digital editions are inherently revenue-generators. Whether you prefer the one-sponsor or the multi-sponsor path, it’s crucial for publishers to understand the value of these positions and to price them according to that value. Consider what you can offer your advertisers via sponsorships and let them know you’re ready to sell.
"Setting type used to have just one function: is it readable? Then, to save money, a new question: Can we get a lot of words on a page?" – Seth Godin
Throw in there "Can we save on ink?" and you have most of the questions people used to care about when it came to deciding what type of font to use for any given project.
Seth Godin’s blog post on typography for amateurs hit the nail on the head as it explained that now, as readers view the literal message delivered by the words, they are also receiving a subtle message delivered by the choice of type used. Typography asks the question, "How does it look?" and based on that answer, what message is being sent?
While this blog typically focuses on the strategy of digital or the general idea of digital optimization, Godin’s post is an excellent reason to pause and really consider what design – especially in the digital realm – is saying about your publication.
Among the many decisions that go into layout and design for a digital publication, "How does it look?" needs to be answered long before editors sign off on the final comp. Businesses who haven’t hired a professional digital design group such as Nxtbook Creative Services need to answer for themselves:
Does my typography match the message my brand/publication is trying to send? Am I following what leaders in my industry are doing? If not, will my differences make a powerful statement to my readers? Does it serve the original function of being easily readable on a digital device? Are my type choices clever or confusing?
Publishers who don’t want to answer these questions on their own can enlist the services of Nxtbook Creative Services to tackle all the aspects of digital design, including digital typography for their publication. Or, the Nxtbook team can develop a single digital design guide which can serve as a template for future issues of the publication and would also include type suggestions.
It’s that time of year again: when magazines of exceptional quality can receive recognition for their achievements in editorial and design. With an abundance of categories to choose from, chances are high that you’ll find something that matches your magazine or digital campaign (including social media, video, or blog.)
Every year Nxtbook sees several clients win in varying categories. Be proud of your digital magazine and enter it to win an Eddie (editorial award) or Ozzie (design award) by clicking here.
Does the line, "In content marketing, every brand is a publisher," still bother you? You live and breathe content calendars, face daily deadlines, and slave over delivering quality publications to your audience; it makes sense you’d get upset if just anyone feels they can be a publisher. But consider the inverse, that publishers are brands with great content marketing. What could you be doing with that perspective to increase your brand’s audience?
The publisher of Wine Enthusiast Magazine embraced this mentality wholeheartedly and used custom content to boost their traffic. As the magazine pushed readers to an ecommerce site to purchase wine-related items, the additional use of content as a driving force resulted in winning increased organic traffic, overall traffic, and monthly email opt-ins.
An article by marketingsherpa covers the story well, focusing on 7 key tactics:
- Connect content and e-commerce
- Become a leading resource
- Aim for simple and effective
- Take down the pay wall
- Separate the email lists
- Repurpose content for SEO
- Find more ways to repurpose
By launching custom content and heavy audience-engagement pieces in the digital realm, Wine Enthusiast Magazine has watched their numbers grow. Just when you think you’ve had enough put on your content calendar, don’t forget to supplement it with this kind of additional content to boost your readership. If you lack the resources to create more content, and you’ve repeated tactics 6 and 7 to the point where nothing seems original anymore, try partnering with a content company that can help generate more. As this publisher proves, the rewards are worth the efforts.
Last week, Marcus Grimm demonstrated to a select Folio: audience the way to make money in today’s digital landscape. Acknowledging the banner ad has long lost what little power it had, he quickly laid out the savvy digital marketer and publisher’s next step in advertising. (Spoiler Alert: Grimm reveals that even when the banner ad was first released it only had a 44% click-through rate!)
Missed the webinar? You can still register to view the archive by clicking here.
If you’ve either loved the webinar and can’t wait to see the slides again, or if you’re not ready to commit to an hour strategy session in advertising, you can view the presentation slides on slideshare by clicking here.
As always, if you wish a one-on-one conversation about how your business should be handling digital advertising, give us a shout!
Magazine navigation is usually straightforward: readers start with the front cover, and then choose to read page by page to the end or skip to various articles that catch their eye in the table of contents.
Digital magazines have an added advantage to navigation: easy page jumps. Many publishers use this to jump from the contents to specific articles, or to call out "continued on page X" within articles. But others get a little creative with jumps.
Take EPADESA who wanted to call out the architecture and work being done in one of the most powerful urban business districts in France with their digital edition, La Defense Seine Arche. A reader could learn about the new projects by turning each page and reading about buildings in each area. EPADESA took it a step further, however, by providing an interactive map. (Click here to view the map.)
Red dots indicate project areas. A hover-over animation alerts the reader that the dot is clickable for more information. Upon the click, a pop-up describing the project appears. If the reader wants to know more, he or she clicks the pop-up and is taken to the article describing the project. Alternately, the reader could choose another dot in the city to explore.
This choose-your-own-interest style of navigation allows readers to test areas of interest prior to committing to reading a full article on it.
EPADESA also included tabs for navigation, calling out different sections of the magazine.
If great navigation isn’t a concern, flip through the pages to see the animations EPADESA worked into several of the pages. The cover cleverly pulls out various projects in a repeating animation. Other pages include video or images that expand when the cursor is over them. All in all, the publication uses the digital platform to keep readers engaged and interacting with the content they want to read.
An just in case you were wondering why a very France-focused magazine is written in English, you can click the French flag emblem in the toolbar to be taken to the version of this magazine written in French.