If you currently offer a print magazine, a corporate brochure, newsletter, or staff magazine, then you might consider publishing an online version.
Advantages of digital publishing
Sharing your information digitally is a time and cost saver. You save on both production and postage costs. You can shorten the production time by creating a digital magazine in less than 2 hours and making it accessible to everybody. That means you’ll be up-to-date and you can adjust information in real-time. A third consideration is sustainability. Fewer recourses are needed such as paper, ink, or expensive distribution. I also would like to point out the viral aspect. Your information can be shared easily via social media, QR codes, email, and websites. Digital publishing can help you reach a much wider audience than you will with a print edition.
Last but not least, I would like to mention measurement. Identifying exactly what your readers find interesting in order to better match your content.
“But my readers would like to run their fingers across the pages”
That’s what I hear quite often. I am not implying that print media will completely disappear. I do see advantages in hybrid models, where online and offline communication are mixed. But the fact is that mobile is growing rapidly, and the concurrent reduction of available recourses is forcing our hand when it comes to communication strategies.
Online as a preferred channel
I notice that people like to consume information digitally. To give you a personal example: I subscribe to the print edition of the Financial Telegraph, and a daily email and access to online articles are part of the subscription. Too often the paper ends up in my trash bin. It’s not that I don’t like reading it, but it’s hard to find the time to go through it, and when I do find time to relax, reading the paper is not always top-of-mind. I regularly consider canceling my subscription, but I do appreciate the daily emails. For now, this is the main reason I keep up my subscription. In other words: I subscribed to a newspaper in order to have access to digital content. Isn’t that an odd state of affairs?
Build up your customer database
One of the main reasons for transitioning to online communication is the possibility of building up a customer database. Collect email addresses and grow your fan base on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. These are the right channels for spreading your digital information.
Of course, you don’t have to switch to digital channels as your only means of communication. You can also combine online with traditional media. Publish a compact print edition and integrate this with your digital magazine with quick links or QR codes. Or distribute a print newsletter twice a year, and a digital newsletter quarterly. Or insert an ad with a referral to the online magazine. The opportunities are endless!
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What are the key steps in transitioning from print to online publications?
Key steps include developing a digital strategy, choosing the right online platform, digitizing content, training staff in digital skills, and establishing an online distribution and marketing plan.
How can publishers retain their audience during the transition?
Retain your audience by communicating the benefits of the transition, maintaining content quality, and offering incentives for moving to digital, such as exclusive online content.
What are the benefits of transitioning to online publications?
Benefits include wider reach, lower production and distribution costs, the ability to update content in real-time, enhanced interactivity with readers, and access to digital analytics.
How does transitioning to online impact content creation?
Online platforms allow for more diverse content types, including video, audio, and interactive media, requiring a shift in content creation strategies and skills.
What role does SEO play in online publications?
SEO is crucial for online publications to ensure content is discoverable in search engines, driving organic traffic to the website.
Can online publications improve reader engagement?
Yes, online platforms offer interactive features like comments, shares, and multimedia elements that can significantly enhance reader engagement.
How can publishers monetize online publications?
Monetization strategies include digital advertising, subscriptions, pay-per-article models, sponsored content, and offering premium content.
What challenges might publishers face in this transition?
Challenges include adapting to technological changes, training staff for digital skills, developing a new business model, and initially lower revenue streams.
How important is mobile optimization for online publications?
Mobile optimization is critical as a significant portion of readers access content on mobile devices. Responsive design ensures a good reading experience across all devices.
Can transitioning to online publications lead to new opportunities?
Yes, it can open up new opportunities like global reach, real-time reader feedback, data-driven content strategies, and innovative advertising solutions like native ads and programmatic buying.
Ritesh is a digital marketing manager with years of experience in driving growth. He’s currently the director of inbound marketing at Foleon. You can find more about him on his LinkedIn profile.