It’s a love story. Really!
Magazines are hardly a new format, but it is one that is often overlooked. Much has changed over the years but the possibilities of a magazine are endless. For Mie, MMBSY co-founder and former editor-in-chief of some of Belgium’s leading magazines, it has always been a love affair. Here is why she thinks magazines should be part of your content strategy.
In this digital age, your content strategy is very much determined by the channels and platforms where your target audience is present. Nowadays, as a brand, you prefer to take the shortest route from that channel to the place where you can close your sale. Grab those eyeballs, get them to buy!
If you, as a business owner, only focus on awareness and transaction, then for us you are nothing more than a friend with benefits. In other words: a one night stand. Maximum attraction, short fussing, a little lovemaking (mind-blowing or rather disappointing – delete what does not fit), followed by an uncomfortable conversation and getting the hell out of there.
I don’t like to judge, but still…
As content marketers, we prefer to pursue a long-term relationship.
And of course that includes flirting on social networks. You want to be seen, admired, you want to arouse interest. So flirt! Seduce, surprise, attract. And do it over and over again.
Imagine this situation for a moment: you are sitting in a bar, you have flirted and aroused the interest of a potential perfect match, and suddenly… it comes to you. Now he or she wants more, right ?!
Of course, your target audience wants more after some fun flirting. They want to get to know you better and scan their opportunities. Please make what is to come worthwhile, because as soon as the flirtation has started, so quickly the flame can go out again …
Be a better flirt
Where are you going to give your personal pitch? Yes, on your own channels. From your social media to your website, that is the fastest way, so we will work it out in our strategy.
On the website we will develop content “about us”, “the history”, any “testimonials”, “how to” and so much more. Ideally, you have elaborated your story on your own website and elaborated it in an idiosyncratic way and give them what they are looking for.
Let me repeat that last thing: You give them what they are looking for.
You can be sure that the people who end up on your website are looking for something. We are talking about a ‘lean forward’ attitude: there is a search. You bend over your keyboard or mobile phone display and you search. That is why SEO is so decisive: you want to answer the questions that your target group asks itself. Much is search-driven. Very efficient if you play the game well. To stay in the relationship spheres: SEO is like a match-making agency. Candidates are brought into contact, there is a match based on analytical data, with a freely calculated probability of chemistry.
Let chemistry do its job
But with magazines it’s a long burning relationship. There are sparks. And that is precisely why it is also an enrichment to your content strategy. We believe in chemistry.
If a magazine is well made (read all about it in our blogpost – 6 golden rules for a must-read magazine.) you start with “chemistry”. You let your target audience discover who you are, how you view things, what you can do, what you are good at … And at the same time, your target audience can check whether that is what they want, if it suits or helps them. A well-made magazine is like a sparkling conversation. Very lean back.
A conversation where you gradually fall in love. One on the other. You as a brand do your best to tell your story as interesting as possible in order to please your target audience. Because you love them (or you should). And you want them to love you back. So you tell your story as inspiringly as possible.
You have the attention of your target audience, for a much longer period of time than the average time on site. You have the opportunity to surprise them on every page and get them to discover a new and different facet of you – no page view average can beat that. You can be visual, sharp, funny, and everything at the same time. And, in the meantime, you are building a solid relationship. Built on trust, mutual respect and above all: You are giving it your everything.
Lean back & go all the way
A magazine can occupy any place in the funnel. Your distribution plan determines everything. Magazines are often distributed among customers. Perfect! Because what’s better than a well-made magazine to keep your relationship alive? Are they already a customer, and do you want to reward their loyalty (and increase their share of wallet): a magazine will do the job. If you have a potential customer, you have already met briefly (online or at the POS), give him your magazine. Let the chemistry work between you, so that he can be convinced that you are the right partner for him. Make sure that they can request the magazine via the website, put it at your point of sale, take it with you on a customer visit …
However, a magazine is also a great way to reach your prospects. Only then you have to broaden your horizon. Can you partner with a brand (distribution network) that is not competitive, but serves the same customer? Can you distribute your magazine through them? Do it!
Put a ring on it
Creating a magazine costs a lot, true. But you should never create content to only use it once. “Repurpose” your content. You can use the images you have made for your magazine on your digital channels. The interview can be traced back to a LinkedIn post, the practical tips are ideal for Facebook and Instagram. In the magazine everything comes together in an unique, surprising and inspiring mix. “Disassembled”, the formats form a content cloud of endless possibilities.
And the other way around also works; incorporate online content in your magazine. Refer to the channels where the conversation can be continued. Also know that the cost of creation is fragmented in this way across the different channels. And that the ROI becomes the sum of several “returns”.
In addition, the start-up cost for printing is a tough one. But the printing cost (extra copies printed per 1000) is relative. This way you can also calculate the ROI from loyal customer to prospects differently.
If you look at it that way, then this relationship is here to stay. Right?