In today’s market, your digital magazine app will be central to your publication’s success. That’s why you need the right marketing strategy to promote it.
Since it’s going to take too long to review marketing and communications strategy books, let's take a look at some practical things you could do for now. It could be helpful to formalise this in a short document accessible to your entire team which they can use as a reference.
Understand your app and publication
You need to know what your publication and app bring to the table. What makes your digital magazine app unique? Why do people read it in the first place? How does it make them feel having a subscription from your publication?
Magazines are unique in the sense that they are expected to provide quick, yet valuable insights about the general topics they write about. They provide opinions from “insiders” or “thought leaders”. Perhaps your readers want to become thought leaders themselves, and that’s why they subscribe to you? Or perhaps you specialise in alternative points of view from the market? Capitalise on this and make sure you communicate this throughout your marketing campaigns.
In the first part of your strategy document, write a short paragraph on what separates your publication from the rest. It should answer what’s your unique selling point. Out of this, you can even create a short catchy tagline that encapsulates this thought and will act as a reminder both to your audience and to yourselves.
Know your audience intimately
In the previous point, we’ve already discussed a bit about how to think of your audience. You’ll see how interconnected these points, as well as the other elements of your strategy, are. This is how it should be. Just like a machine, if a single “gear” of your strategy isn’t a good fit or worse, contradicts the other elements, your strategy is doomed to fail, and it will be difficult to see until later.
So, keeping in mind what was discussed in the previous point, we have to pay special attention to our audience. This is the next heading of your strategy document. You’ll want to enumerate “reader profiles”. How many do you need? Well, just enough to cover each reader that will require a different way of communicating with them.
Let’s say, for example, you have a foreign affairs publication. You’ve identified that your audience includes students that can’t afford the full subscription fee and middle to low-income professionals who work with NGOs. Instead of creating two different profiles for them, you can just combine them in one, with having a different pricing strategy as their key differentiator from your other profiles.
Under each profile, you should identify the key messages that you want to convey, the main communications channels they use (where you will be present with targeted messaging), to common terminologies they use; basically everything you will need to craft messages that resonate to them.
Channels and activities
Another key pillar of your digital publications’ marketing strategy is to know where and how you will deploy your plans.
One thing for sure is that your strategy will involve engaging your audience in multiple communication channels and each microstrategy for every channel will have to be synchronised with your other channels.
An example of a well synchronised or integrated multi-channel marketing strategy is planning multiple social messages for every blog that you will produce and its inclusion in your next email newsletter - one action engaged audiences in three channels.
Here are some examples of activities that you could do on each channel.
Compartmentalise, monitor and adjust
Now that you know (1) what you want to say, (2) to whom you want to say it, and (3) where and how you’re going to say it, you need to craft mini-strategies or campaigns for each profile. Identify the channels for each profile, the messaging for each of them and set targets.
As you go through your campaign, you should regularly monitor how your promotional campaigns are progressing and set regular checkpoints to see what to adjust.