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Mid-Year Review of Your Digital Magazine Resolutions

The trouble with New Year resolutions is that about this time, around the mid-year mark, people tend to lose steam and dedication to their goals. Instead of waiting until December to suddenly remember you intended to achieve something before 2015, use this month as a time to stop and check how you’ve been doing so far. Take a look at what you outlined for yourself back in January, and see if you’ve lived up to your expectations, or if you’re at least halfway there.
Start by reflecting on what you’d determined were your resolutions. While every publisher is going to have different goals they’re hoping to meet by Q4 2014, Nxtbook prompted some thoughts by publishing 5 Q’s to Fine-Tune Your Magazine’s New Year’s Resolutions. While it was a tool to help publishers fashion effective resolutions, let’s see how your answers today would compare to your answers in 2013:
Originally published December 2013:

1. What is your conversion rate?
Are browsers becoming subscribers, readers becoming customers, or engaged audiences your fans? This year, resolve how you’re convincing readers your content deserves their dollars, loyalty or “likes”. Don’t forget to look at the top of the funnel to make sure your expectations are realistic!

2. Is your magazine outperforming your website?
Statistically, your magazine should have longer engagement time than your website. If it isn’t, it’s time to analyze why.

3. How is your content syndicated?
Does your content appear in multiple forms across multiple platforms to reach new audiences? This year, adapt your editorial calendar to include parsing content into various appropriate snippets or recombinations for maximum reach. Publish once, syndicate everywhere.

4. Does your measurement of success point directly to your stated goals for the magazine?
Do you find yourself mismatching goals and KPI’s, such as pairing a magazine’s performance goals with click-through rates? The golden rule for accurately measuring progress towards a goal is choosing the right benchmarks and consistently measuring them week over week, month over month, year over year.

5. Are you using rich media to maximize your magazine’s engagement capability?
The impact of video and rich media cannot be overstated. It is a consistent performer across multiple devices. Keen publishers track the success of different styles of media (video, animation, interactive elements) with their audiences to hone in on their readers’ preferred tool.

If you’re still struggling with any of these keys to digital publishing, mid-year is the perfect time to call for some help. There’s still time to get your publication up to speed on engaging readers and honing your strategy. You can start by perusing the resource library we make available here. While these resources will point to how others have achieved success, it’s crucial to build your strategy specific to your content, your audience, and your advertisers. For this process you’ll want to give us a call to consult on what ideas will work for you.
If you’ve looked over the list and feel you have each of the questions in hand, let’s give your resolutions three points of refinement to finish out the year:

1.  How often do you measure your success?
Do you have ComScore analytics emailed to you every month so you can dig into the data? Do you stop each month to follow readers through multiple channels into and out of your content? Do you report your findings to those that need to know?

2. Do you use available data to make decisions on your content?
With so many metrics available, you can see exactly what content is holding your readers’ attention or getting them to follow a call to action. Use your resources to steer your publication towards the types and topics of content that keeps your readers returning to you for more.

3. Are you experimenting and testing?
Any business that isn’t “change-ready” is in a constant state of threat, especially in a fast-paced digital world. You are under increasing pressure to do more with less, and often that means giving up the luxury of trying unproven strategies or technologies. But while you hunker down, the industry surges on without you. So experiment and test where you can. For instance, when is the last time you let an advertiser try out a sponsor spot to see how much more exposure time and click-throughs they get when compared to standards ads?

Instead of relying on this season to catch up on your personal Spring Cleaning, view this as your opportunity to re-evaluate and reinvigorate your resolutions set just six months ago. Above all else, find and refine the strategies that work best for your magazine, match the expectations of your readers, and help you earn money with your advertisers.

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