How can you make your magazine engaging and profitable?

Magazines are a viable option. Even now. Niche magazines are even more so. One has to change traditional mindsets to make a magazine profitable or a corporate communication (brochure, annual report) engaging.

Lacklustre processes

Magazines lost their gloss when print received flack. Advertisers pulled back, waited, and watched. When the digital world opened up, there was a rush. Existing content and communications strategies struggled to keep pace with changing technologies.

If you look at online magazines now, the reading experience is abysmal. Advertising popups constantly interrupt, and navigation is a nightmare. In terms of content, quality, and occurrence, advertising is an eyesore.

No other medium matches the user experience in reading a magazine. With a customized and hybrid approach, magazines can become prosperous once more. Freelancer magazine from the UK launched during the pandemic as a print-first version. Sophie Cross has built a community around it and is rapidly scaling it up with connected services.

A multi-pronged approach

Our client, a non-profit, approached us to launch a magazine for the South Indian community in Ontario, Canada. Since the magazine was complimentary, advertising was critical in generating revenue.

We came up with a three-phased plan. We finalized the magazine’s design with available content in the first phase. Writers and editors stepped up from the community to make the process smooth.

The second phase focused on distributing the magazine. This was a first for the community. We decided on a hybrid approach; digital-first circulation with limited print copies to test response.

The first issue was a proof of concept and had three complimentary ADs. When the word spread, the second edition attracted 15 paid ADs. One-third of the advertisers took the annual package of multiple issues.

For the non-profit magazine, we integrated the design process for print and digital versions. To build readership and engagement with other assets, the digital edition needed to be made accessible on the non-profit organization’s website.

The digital edition mimicked the same user experience as flipping through a print magazine. Rather than have the magazine featured in a third-party flip-book platform, all editions remained on the non-profit website.

In the second edition, we added more multimedia elements. Some of the full-page ADs featured embedded videos, doubling the advertiser’s ROI.

Scaling the process

The third phase of the magazine made the magazine mobile-friendly. The multi-slide approach (similar to TikTok) with multimedia serves as a teaser for long-form content.

This design approach can easily be implemented for corporate communications (brochures, annual reports, catalogues) to make it engaging.

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SURGE is KONE INDIA’s customer magazine. Rights of re-production is reserved.
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Editor-in-Chief: Ritika Chandhok | Published by: KONE Elevator India Private Limited | Editorial Office: Ideascape Communications Pvt. Ltd.