DaVita is an Italian word for "giving life." It is also the name of our client who came to us saying they wanted to breathe new life into their employee newsletter. As a company focused on delivering support and professional care to others, DaVita also works to foster a culture of community and fun. They asked the Creative Services team at Nxtbook Media to help create a newsletter to reflect this culture.
Working closely with the client, the Creative Services team designed a publication in a clean, fully optimized layout for the best digital reading experience. Elements of life were added through custom animations that did more than cause text to swirl or images to flash. A ladybug flies across the cover, grabbing readers’ attention from the get-go. Later, shoes walk across the screen to highlight their shoes-a-palooza event. Embedded videos also allow caretakers and employees to share their stories and increase engagement.
The newsletter is a "living" document: it is designed so that DaVita can continue to add content to the publication every month, keeping the content fresh. Because it’s digital, it can be updated at any time, and the link to reach it will stay the same.
In the end, the newsletter is more than a document passed out to employees to remind them of their company’s mission or of the events of the month. Instead, this piece offers fresh and engaging content for the ones who work to give life to others.
December is a time for looking back at the year and reviewing some of the best ideas that made it through. Earlier, we offered you the chance to check out the magazines we recommended as the most sensational from 2011. The trend now among newsstands is to show off top magazine covers of the year, so I’m adding my own list of top 5 digital edition covers from 2011.
In the wake of the tragic earthquake and flooding in Japan, UBM Electronics scrambled together to create a digital edition for the sole purpose of raising funds and awareness for Japan. The elegant cover speaks to the effects, the literal and figurative darkness of the tragedy as well as some bright spots of people working together in the aftermath.
Talk about inspiration. World Wildlife Fund knows the power of images and video, and they put a beautiful video of a school of fish flowing back and forth across their cover with the provocative title, "Our Coasts, Our Seas." The eye-catching action is more enrapturing than a large aquarium.
In an age when global economies are on the forefront of most of the populace’s minds, The American Prospect touches home with its special edition on Wal-Mart’s effect on the global marketplace. It tells much of the story in the cover alone, asking readers to flip it open to learn more.
The angle of the photo on the cover alone inspires readers to fall into the magazine, but Cygnus takes it a step farther by incorporating animation and video to grab readers’ attention from the beginning. The cover is also designed to look as crisp and intriguing on every screen through digital optimization.
Black and white continues to have play on covers as its stark, clean look grabs the eye and marks content as important and worth a second look. This cover eschews the clutter of added graphics and extras, opting for the pop-effect of white text on black background. The color emphasis registers about the same time as the bold title, "most measurement sucks," a hook designed to snare their target audience of content developers.
Attention all nonprofits, associations and professional societies: from now through late October, you have the opportunity to enter to win the 2011 Association TRENDS All Media Contest.
This contest highlights today’s crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of association publishing. With categories such as Monthly Trade Association or Professional Society Magazine, Scholarly Journal, Annual Journal, Media Kit, Convention Promotion Package and others, Nxtbook Media clients are a perfect fit for this award. So pick out your favorite piece from November 2010 to your fall 2011 editions and submit it to win.
Need some examples of creative publications that fit some of the categories? Below are just some of the high-quality work Nxtbook clients produce:
Category: Annual or Quarterly Magazine
Organization: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)
Partner: Network Media Partners
Category: Annual Report
Organization: Conservation International
Partner: Next Steps Marketing
Conservation International Annual Report
Category: Media Kit
Organization: Human Events Group
Human Events Media Kit
Category: Convention Promotion Package
Organization: Boston Atrial Fibrillation Symposium
Boston AF Symposium 2012
Advertising and sponsorships in a digital edition is one of the primary ways our clients turn digital editions into a profitable venture. One client, UBM Medica took this a concept a step further and created a stunning, revenue-generating digital edition.
The concept was simple: they created a digital edition with a single sponsor, Siemens. All of the text, videos, and advertisements within the edition were focused on the sponsor; however, the quality of the content made the edition a knowledgeable resource, rather than straight promotional material. What’s more, the edition is optimized so it looks great on the screen and has the feel of a cutting-edge document. And I have to admit, though I have limited interest in medical technology, I was captivated by the animation of the ad on page 16 and ended up watching the entire message.
At the completion of the project, Siemens had a valuable resource to offer readers in the medical field that also served as a promotional product. UBM Medica had a new form of revenue generation. It’s a simple concept with serious return.
How can magazine, manual, or informational publishers engage experts and dabblers alike? Cygnus Publishing tackled this idea head-on, creating content that keeps readers stuck to each page.
Prior to reading their digital edition, Sustainable Construction, I knew nothing about sustainable building. And given my current path in life, it’s safe to say I probably never would.
But then, Sustainable Construction came across my desk (er, desktop), and I now know more about it than I ever thought I would. Why did I bother reading it? Because it’s choc full of buttons, videos, media, and animations; I kept reading because I wanted to see what the next page held.
The key is, this digital edition caters to all kinds of readers, no matter their initial interest level. Whether (like me) this is the first time they’ve heard of it and just came across it through email or social media, or they’re long-time readers who can’t wait to see what you publish next, there’s something for everyone here:
For the curious: Cygnus Publishing has sewn in enough bells and whistles to keep casual observers oohing and aahing over every page. The benefit? It’s increasing the time and the level to which readers are exposed to your brand. Should they ever need to know more about this topic in the future, you’re already positioned as the leader in this topic.
For the interested, but busy: Cygnus optimized the digital edition so it looks great on every screen: computer, tablet, or smartphone. Busy readers can take the content on the go, to read on a train, standing in line for coffee, or while at the desk. Supersized graphics and text make the articles eye-catching and easy to read, so viewers get all the information they want quickly.
For the engaged and informed: Readers are encouraged to dig deeper into the content by the additional material tucked into each page. Page 13, for instance, provides a roll-over slideshow and 2 collapsible tabs of supplemental information. The additional content is a service for readers who want to know more about a particular topic, and it keeps readers engaged for longer in your digital edition.
Appeal to readers of all types: keep it interesting!
When Network Media Partners executed the launch of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity’s new, highly optimized digital magazine, they did so with their readers in mind. Many of you have already downloaded our Digital Optimization Guide (click here to request it), but if you want an exceptional example, I invite you to check out AHDI’s digital magazine, Matrix.
In particular, Matrix excelled in three major areas:
1. Digital Extras – Digital extras like animations, video, and audio extend readers’ interest in your content. Matrix is chock full of digital extras, such as an intro video which explains the new layout, video in advertisements, and the subtle adjolts in almost all of the ads.
An impressive digital extra is the mouse-over pop-ups they added throughout the edition. When a reader scrolls over specific icons on a page, additional content appears; it disappears when the mouse cursor is moved. This involves readers with the content without requiring additional clicking. Matrix connects with readers by asking a question at the beginning of the magazine (pictured below), and uses a bubble icon to get them to scroll over for contributors responses to the question.
2. Actionable Content – A less discussed advantages of digital editions is the ability to make content directly actionable. Matrix took advantage of this in several instances, including asking readers for questions and giving a live email link for a quick response. They also added a section a call to action for readers to get involved in a relevant government decision by clicking a live link and signing a petition letter.
3. Digital Advertising – With the new layout, advertisers get more space on the page. Ads look good on all screens – mobile, tablet, or desktop – which is important for advertisers trying to make a good impression on readers. Matrix takes it to the next level by adding a customized tab with advertisers’ logos which takes readers directly to specific advertisements. The advertisement found on the right side has the added advantage of being visible regardless of what page the reader is viewing.
Whether readers are flipping through the edition on an iPad, an iPhone, or a desktop, there are ample opportunities for them to engage and interact. Take advantage of today’s technology by optimizing your editions for optimum reader response.
Have a digital edition that’s not in English? No problem!
A few years ago, we first introduced you to Jean-Jerome Sache and Newpress, the official reseller for Nxtbook Media in France. (Click here to read about it.) It is through tight partnerships with on-sight companies, such as Newpress, that enables digital editions to be customized for publishers across the globe. Recently a French digital catalog was completed for the client Marionnaud, just in time for Christmas. Read Jean-Jerome’s account of the success of this edition:
Marionnaud ranks among the most famous worldwide cosmetic sales retail chains. For their 3rd successive year of collaboration with Newpress and their 5th catalogue in Nxtbook format, the Marionnaud French company decided this time to customize it to its best in their new interactive digital catalogue named ‘Mes 1001 idees de Noel‘ (‘My 1001 ideas for Christmas.’).
In line with their up-market positioning, Marionnaud opted for a modern and colourful design of their product pages, and for a more personalized tool menu. They also asked us to design a Christmas wish list in the catalogue, so that readers could choose the products they could be given by a relative, a friend, etc… who will receive this list and act as their Santa Claus.
The branding shown in the catalogue followed clear specifications given by Marionnaud, then the development and the set-up stages were carried out by the Nxtbook Media French technical team. Flash animations were also created and added into the pages of the catalogue to make it more attractive and dynamic.
The final result was unanimously cheered by the whole Marionnaud French team. Newpress and the Nxtbook format have widely contributed to the success of this project. So far 27,000 unique visitors have been recorded, around 900,000 pages have been viewed, and there are 29,000 hits linking the products on the Marionnaud online shop. Three weeks to Christmas, Marionnaud has still to launch a massive online promotional campaign about their digital catalogue.
All in all, our client is utterly satisfied!
Check out the catalog (warning: it’s in French!) and adopt some of the customizations for your own digital edition to increase interactivity and interest in the products.
Folio: magazine’s annual Eddie and Ozzie Award finalists have been announced, and out of 2,000 original entries, many of the finalists are Nxtbook Media clients! Congratulations! The Eddies and Ozzies are among the most prestigious awards in the industry. Eddies celebrate editorial excellence while Ozzies are awarded for superior design.
While it’d be great to post all of our winning clients’ information, I’ve nabbed four clients from the "Full Issue" award categories. Check out their award-winning digital editions and see how these publishers achieve excellence in digital publications.
These publishers, along with the other finalsts, will be honored in New York City at an awards luncheon on January 13, 2011. To see the full list of Eddie and Ozzie winners, visit Folio: magazine website.
SAE International has found a way to bring their readers exactly what they want: a digital magazine completely devoted to one new and exciting product.
In a bold move, SAE International created a digital magazine based solely on the new 2011 Chevrolet Volt called Vehicle Electrification. As one article tagline sums up, it’s a peek "Inside GM’s new extended-range electric car and its technologies." By making a digital magazine, SAE International’s timely content could spread virally from forum to friend among car and engineering enthusiasts.
In checking a few blogs covering the Volt, I found comments from people discussing various pages in the magazine (such as pages 41, 48, and 26). One person mentioned bookmarking the edition for rereading in the future. Check out some of the chatter this product-specific digital magazine has generated among readers by clicking here and viewing the gm-volt forum.
Others spread the content through Twitter. I lost count of how many times an article promoting this magazine was retweeted on my own Twitter feed. (View the tweeted article by clicking here.)
There isn’t a secret to being successful with digital magazines, but SAE International designed for some of the inherent benefits: timely information distributed quickly, creating content important to your audience, and using an interface that allows your content to be spread virally.
We have another winner! Nxtbook Media client AAA Living has won the Platinum Award of the 2010 MarCom Awards in the E-zine category. As stated in their website, "The MarCom Awards is an international competition for marketing and communication professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of marketing and communication programs and print, visual and audio materials." This means, if you’re looking for inspiration on how to do a digital edition – or how to effectively create, design, and sell your edition – you should probably check out how AAA Living approaches their publication. Click here to see the award-winning edition, the July 2010 issue.
In particular, you should check out the beautiful full-spread photo slideshow on pages 40-41, complete with an in-page quiz which changes the photos based on reader participation. Or notice the clever animation on page 17, and the way they use tabs for easy navigation.