5 Tips for Promoting Your Digital Publication
Written by Matt Berringer
February 17, 2016
Picture this. You’ve poured yourself into writing great content, spent hours meticulously choosing the right images, and edited until you ran out of coffee, only to grab your one-hundredth cup before starting another round of revisions. Your publication is now ready for print!
But don’t stop there. You also have a digital edition of your masterpiece (kudos to you!) After spending so much time and energy, you want to make sure all your hard work is seen, but how?
Lucky for you, we have 5 Tips to help promote your next digital publication (plus a bonus tip to revel in.)
Before we dive into the tips, I want to remind you that digital editions should not be competing with your print edition or website. It is an engagement tool often seen as an added value to print, or your website. There are many ways to make your digital edition come alive by adding in rich media like videos, audio, animation, and slideshows. (That’s a topic for another day.) Now that we have a better understanding of how your digital edition fits into the master plan, let’s take a look at some tips for getting it seen.
1. Social Media
Social media sites are a (mostly) free platform and we recommend taking full advantage of them. There are a ton of social media sites to choose from, but don’t let that discourage you. Start by picking a few and focus on growing an audience through those. Make sure you are selecting platforms based on where your readers are, not just the most popular social media platforms. Figure out where your audience is and meet them there. The social networks you use will depend on the demographic that is reading your content. If you already have an audience on social media, you are one step ahead. Even if that audience is only a fan of your brand and not the magazine, you can still promote the digital edition to gain more readers.
On social, it’s important to plan out your posts. I recommend scheduling them to be posted on a regular basis. A good approach is to post the publication when it first comes out. Then, a week later post a direct link to the most popular articles in that issue. If you have videos, audio clips, or surveys, post directly to them. Give people an added reason to read the digital edition. (Especially, if you have extra content, videos, audio, and other bonus materials.)
2. Make It Easy To Access & Share
The easier it is to access a publication, the more likely people are to read it. Setting up a shortened URL will make it easy for your readers to remember how to access the most recent issue. Make sure the URL always points to the latest issue and then always use that same URL for promotions. There are free sites that can do this for you (bitly & tinyURL) or we can set up a domain mask for your publication too!
Ask your readers to share! Sharing icons make it simple to share articles with their friends or post on social media about the publication. You could even teach them how to share within the publication!
3. Use your Website
First, I’ll start with a don’t. Don’t duplicate your digital edition content on your website. You probably didn’t spend all that time laying out the perfect article just to drop a bunch of text on your site, did you? Keep your publication in tact and direct people to the digital edition where all your hard design work can be experienced by the readers.
Add a call to action on the homepage of your website making it clear where people can click to open the interactive digital edition. (We provide a free animated gif with flipping pages that works well for this!) Make sure the cover image, a link to subscribe and some information about the issue is prominent on your website. Bottom line, make it easy for people to read your digital publication. If you make them jump to different areas on your website, they may get click fatigue and leave.
4. Cross Promote
Many of you have a print version, a blog, and other content outlets. That’s a wonderful thing! Use them to cross-promote your digital edition.
In your letter from the editor, mention the plus sides to reading digitally. Use house ads to talk about the mobility of the digital edition. Add links right in the print edition to show that there is a digital component, then direct people to the digital version to have quick access to those links.
Talk about it on your blog. If you have guest writers, ask them to talk about it in their blog too! If you send out frequent newsletters, mention it there. Get the word out to as many people that like your brand by using multiple outlets to cross promote.
Yes, everyone’s favorite. How many emails do you get a day? Probably hundreds. What do you do when you get an email from a company you are really interested in? You open and engage with it, and maybe even click on a few links. Make sure that your email lists are lists of people that want your content. They’ve raised their hands and said yes, send this to me. Excessive email to people that aren’t interested can hurt your email deliverability rates and sometimes get you blacklisted.
In your email, make sure you have a healthy balance of images and text. Don’t overload with a long-winded message, or overdo it with a ton of images. Make it clean, short, and to the point. Use the cover image, list out some highlights, and wrap it up. Schedule out your email blasts (just like you do for social media). Send a link to the digital edition when it is first published and then a reminder email a week later pointing out a popular article and making it easy for readers to jump right to it.
Bonus Tip: Use Your Analytics
The analytics can tell you so much and it can help steer your promotions in the right direction. It’s free, and it’s a simple way of knowing how your readers are engaging with your content. Want to know what article or ad is getting the most attention? How about knowing if your audience is primarily mobile or still on the desktop? Are you curious to find out if that social media post is what’s driving audiences to your publication? What about knowing if your website is doing the trick? If you don’t have time to look around, we can schedule reports to be sent to you.
Make fact-based decisions on what to do with your digital edition by analyzing your metrics. It can be so helpful and a give you so much information about your readers.
Start implementing these tips today to make sure your digital edition gets the attention it deserves!