One of the most exciting disruptions brought about by the technological era is the opportunity to engage more creatively and meaningfully with each other. For organisations, that means a chance to connect with employees, stakeholders and millions of potential customers – quickly, cheaply and in ways that grab their attention, strengthen relationships and convey a variety of messages.
Innovative, custom-created digital magazines are one giant leap for marketing strategists and communications professionals.
Many mourn the slow death of print when, really, there is so much to celebrate in its digital replacement. Yes, the feel and smell of a glossy magazine is a sensory treat but, in challenging economic times, the heavy costs of paper, print and distribution have meant that company publications are among the first things snipped from a tight marketing budget. Plus, of course, there are the trees and landfills to consider.
The real killer, though, has been that digital publications are just so much better. Quite frankly, the shift from paper to electronic offers as big a leap as that from the chiselled tablet to the printing press. The creative, expressive and intellectually appealing possibilities of digital magazines are endless!
Let’s look at the benefits
The best corporate and customer magazines today still incorporate well-researched, meaningful articles and captivating visuals, but with the additional cutting-edge benefits of exciting digital reader experiences.
Interactive content – Digital magazines can move beyond 2D images to include embedded video clips, animation and sound. Content comes alive and is more informative, dynamic and engaging. You’re also no longer limited by the A4 print page. In-depth articles can be neatly contained in single-screen depth or flipped down to reveal more for interested audiences.
Wider distribution – With digital, your news can be shared easily with a much wider audience and at no extra cost through social media platforms, your website or email. By optimising the sharing capabilities of your digital magazine, readers can effortlessly pass along the bits and pieces that interest them.
Brand building – Digital publishing is an easy, effective way to earn brand loyalty. Consumers aged 18-34 are 95% more likely to follow a brand via social media – and over 70% of those will recommend a product or service if their social media experiences are positive.
Diverse distribution – Instead of lying on the table getting dog-eared, the digital magazine could be available to browse through on a smart screen in the waiting or reception area, providing extra oomph to your company’s image as progressive and sophisticated.
Measured success – Using Google analytics, the statistics on your magazine website can provide you with an idea of how many people viewed the publication, which articles they liked best and which they shared. So you can get to know your customers better and improve the way in which you communicate.
Cost-effective – Budget-beating digital magazines mean that companies don’t need to drop this valuable communication tool from their marketing arsenals. The costs of good research, writing, design and technological expertise are still there, but with none of the print, packaging and distribution expenses. In fact, an electronic distribution list can be vastly greater than with a traditional print run, with those recipients sharing some or all of the publication with their network too – yielding a seriously impressive return on investment.
Faster turnaround – While companies and their editorial teams usually plan months in advance for print magazines, content can now be put together and distributed far quicker. You could, for example, widely publish the news and stunning images of your successful event through a digital publication the day after it happens, thereby greatly extending its impact.
Environmental sustainability – Did you know that a midweight, 50-page issue with a print run of, say, 20 000, consumes around 12 tons of paper? That’s more than 200 trees. Digital magazines contribute to responsible, eco-friendly business models and help in the fight against paper waste and deforestation.
Light and mobile – Reach your audience via their smartphones or notebooks while they’re travelling the metro or waiting in the school car park. Mobile devices are an omnipresent resource – it makes no sense not to use the technology.
Digital ecosystem – An electronic magazine is just one element in a hard-working communications matrix. With a little tweaking, all content can do triple time in blog, web and social media posts. Each of these can, in turn, direct traffic to you digital publication – plus, your social media audience will share content with their networks, enticing a whole new set of readers to your pages.
Create a professional digital impression
With all of these brilliant features, there is no doubt that digital magazines are an excellent business communication tool. A word of warning though: they must be done properly or they will flop and create a bad impression of your company.
Some technical elements are especially important. For one thing, the design should be responsive so that your content will automatically resize and adjust in scale and resolution to look great on any device, regardless of size, orientation or platform. An ordinary PDF version of a magazine does not, for example, read properly on a smartphone.
A well-designed, uncomplicated layout will not only give your magazine a clean, attractive appearance but will also help it load easily and will offer a comfortable user experience in which readers can navigate easily through the pages. Enabling web-like features, such as zooming, copy and paste or sharing options, encourages content sharing and good reader engagement.
If you’re convinced about the benefits of digital and would like more insight into costs and creative options, it will pay to partner with experienced publishing professionals. 7G Media is a leading communications consultancy in the UAE that can provide one-stop expertise – a combination of excellent content creation, beautiful design and optimised digital development.
In response to new age communications trends, 7G has developed stunning magazine templates that can be individualised to create publications that work hard to enhance the reputations of government and commercial clients alike. Please contact us to chat about your organisation’s magazine.