Digital Integration in Print Media: A Saving Grace?

December 5, 2011


The impact of digital on our lives is huge and its prevalence only grows with each passing day. This is especially true in the print world. Avid magazine subscribers have seen firsthand how digital integration is the single-most important component to keep this struggling medium afloat. Here, we'll look at a few ways magazines are innovating to keep and connect with readers.

As one of the newest additions to Paramore, I couldn’t be more excited to be working on this team. Aside from the great staff and trendy office, I love being surrounded by the digital world. The impact of digital on our lives is huge and its prevalence only grows with each passing day.

This is especially true in the print world. I’m an avid magazine subscriber, and have seen firsthand how digital integration is the single-most important component to keep this struggling medium afloat. Here are a few ways magazines are innovating to keep and connect with readers.

Print Media on Tablets

Tablets have allowed the most traditional form of advertising to become one of the most innovative. Seeing how advertising is being integrated into these digital formats makes my heart skip a beat. It’s so exciting to see all the exploratory ways that magazines are becoming so interactive. Featured products now have a “click to buy” link. Sponsors have options to include video. Featured music can link directly to iTunes and Spotify. Advertising options are far more versatile than a still print page, not to mention that they can now measure the level of reader interaction. Most content is minimal, allowing the option for you to scroll to continue reading or tap on an article to view its entirety. This allows the publisher to measure the content popularity, making the target audience’s interests incredibly specific. This in turn allows a clearer vision for advertisers to know what they’re buying into.

By the end of this year, Time Inc. is forecasted to have a digital version of all 21 of their titles available for tablets. Flipboard, a popular iPad app, has already implemented ad options and secured its first partnership with Condé Nast. Condé is selling accompanying ads and expects to have all titles on Flipboard in the next year. (AdAge Digital).

Email Marketing

Each brand sends out multiple targeted emails (every day/week depending on how often the reader opts in). The emails that are sent vary: sometimes they are contests featuring a sponsor; other times they are formatted for popular articles that month. Regardless, the emails look similar enough to where the brand is recognized, but different enough to keep your attention and appear to have fresh content. The emails themselves typically have banner ads, as do the sites you’re directed to if you click to the link for the article/sweepstakes mentioned in the email.

Social Networking

Pretty much every magazine now has a Twitter and Facebook account, which gives links throughout the day to relevant online articles. Once you click on the link, you’re taken to the article, which has banner ads throughout it. This is a good way to reach people that are interested in the brand, but don’t necessarily subscribe to the publication. I follow several magazines on Twitter that I don’t subscribe to.

While the money making in magazine advertising still revolves around paid circulation, it‘s no secret that the digital contribution to that profit will continue to increase. Magazines that innovate will reap the ad dollar benefits while those that don’t will face extinction.  

What other innovations do you expect we'll see as the print world embraces digital?




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