Effectively marketing a magazine in today’s market requires a full grasp and utilization of current technologies. One of the most important of these is social media marketing. But how you use the tools is key.
According to recent US publishing market statistics, the US magazine industry has suffered somewhat from the transition to a digital economy. Not only have the number of publishers to survive the transition fallen sharply from 46 billion U.S. dollars in 2007 to 28 billion in 2017. Americans have also gone from reading an average 24 minutes a day 2010. to about 15 minutes on average by 2018. This means that to stay competitive, publishers need to focus on using technology to compete with bigger magazines who are already focused on the shift in reading habits.
Here are some of the ways you can use social media to stay on the cutting edge in the 2020s as a publisher.
If your title is more serious and sedate, that’s fine if your audience is already comfortable with your magazine. But what about all those eyeballs not yet spoken for? They need a hook to bite.
Use a social title to entice and give more insights into why they should care about your article. Example:
Why is Spot Avoiding You?
Sure you know your pet? #dog #cat #pet #training #tips
Instead of telling them what you think is an appropriate title for those int he know, tell them why they should click
Most potential magazine subscribers who’d love your magazine won’t always be moved without an inside peek at the guts of the story. And those hashtags (#) precede trending topics for the platform. Merge your content with current trends whenever possible and realistic. If a celeb is trending, hashtag that in the article. Imagine all those fan boys and girls retweeting your magazine blindly. Works on mature and sophisticated types who just love Celine Dion’s soulful pop ballads, too.
If your print edition crowd is fading out, you may simply be failing to use the best technologies to their fullest level. Make sure you’re finding ways to get your print audience’s attention. Put your online version in short, intuitive vanity URLs to gain more traffic from your exiting readers, before they get lured away by another magazine’s already-optimized online UX!
For current online subscribers, be sure you’re keeping it real with the latest features like highlighting, note-taking, and sharing tools. But don’t stop at best practices. Poll your readers for the features they’d like to see with multiple-choice questions and a write-in option.
Why? Because readers love to be included in the conversation in today’s Web. Not sure about unmoderated comments? Make sure to moderate your comments thread to ensure a safe and friendly comment section. You might also consider blocking posts with obscenities or threatening language for a more automated commenting culture!
And on the technical side, your comment section is bound to increase your search and social media visibility for your articles. Still another reason to get fully Web 2.0 with your magazine’s online edition.
Not only are Twitter and Facebook great for getting your latest cover out there for window shoppers, but Instagram is made for this! Moreover, LinkedIn may be a great way to capture the B2B crowd’s attention.
Don’t have a big following yet? You can use social platform advertising to promote your cover even if you’ve just started your profile. But do work on that following!
If you’re not using the best sharing tools, you are passing up lots of glowing, free endorsements. There simply is no better advertising than free publicity on the Web.
As long as your brand has a branded social media contact in the wings, you can easily identify and take advantage of positive PR opportunities. You can also address legit issues in public (talk about great PR).
And when all else fails, you can always ignore the crazies (that also can gain you points with your real prospective and current audience).
Lots of online journals and magazines play a dirty, brilliant trick that their prospects and subscribers actually love.
It’s called spinoffs, and your magazine should have them. Got great photos or potential explainer material that would make great infographics? How about potential videos of that interview you would otherwise only have in black and white?
Interviews conducted online with video make for stellar promotional videos or premium content. Clip them into pieces for freebie interview sound-bytes to bait the hook. Use these soundbytes as ads on YouTube and Vimeo channel ads and organic content.
Infographics are a technical journal’s best friend. But they can also work for yoga sites, sports training magazines, even guitar mags! If you have something to teach, the infographic can gain you new views by rapid word of mouth and algorithms working to promote interesting content for free and via platform ads, such as on Facebook.
If your writers are or deserve to be stars, let them in on the affiiiate marketing action, too! You can also use influencers to help promote your content in the topic areas their followers love. Ice T is old school rap, but lots of people love him across the demographic divide. Music equipment magazines would do well to give such stars the chance to review their featured new products on the house if it means millions of would-be musicians and singers piling on the bandwagon to be like their fave music star.
Likewise, other brands featured in your mag will jump at the chance to help promote the article that promotes themselves. The same applies to celebs. Imagine Jay Z talking up your magazine because you interviewed him to help promote his new album or tour. The possibiities here are actually endless. The limit is your own imagination (or office idea box dimensions).
Want more of your print readers to join in the online fray? Even if they’re Web-shy, they just might take a peek to see what the fuss is all about if they get exclusive premium content just for liking your Facebook page. If your fave product or topic expert were being interviewed, wouldn’t you?
Branded mugs and caps might be more attractive than you think if someone is on the fence about subscribing. Is your mag premium-priced? Talk about a great way to sweeten the old tea pot! The New York Times does it. Cult interest mags do it. Politicians and aging indie bands do it. And so can you.
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