Rapid mobile adaption and innovation have altered the way people receive and read content around lifestyles and hobbies. With information constantly being streamed straight to customers, they no longer need to search or wait for content to be sent to them. And when they see it, they will usually want to read it there, then and now.
While lifestyle readers of the past are able to view complete editions of magazines’ when they purchase them, consumers of today do not have the time nor the resources to view magazines in its entirety, and hence are increasingly, reading one-two articles at a time. So lifestyle magazine brands that want to capture demand quickly are responding with shorter articles, pay-per-view articles and packaged content, delivered instantly digitally after preview so as to capture demand quickly.
So what can lifestyle magazines do to capitalise on this change? Can they still fulfil the role as key opinion leaders for their topics, whilst adding value to their subscribers even with short, immediate content? Can they still cater to advertisers when publishing shorter content?
Here are 3 examples of how magazines have transitioned
1. Lonely Planet
Either the body and soul will be on the road, but let means other than physically traveling take the body and soul away into places one can only imagine.
"Lonely Planet" is a pioneer in the tourism industry. Its a website, but also a company, has its own products, and has all the essentials travel enthusiasts need.
Lonely planet china has an APP and a WeChat subscription account. Their strategy is based on drawing readers from Wechat and Weibo to follow their social media accounts and converting them subtly on the App, using content generated from both social media channels. Their products are still mainly news and content-centric, but distinctly categorised on their Wechat account so as to draw in a larger market of readers. Readers get to read topics around travel, with many ways of being directed to the App for online purchase of content, tours, travel products.
Lonely planet's omni-channel strategy caters to the immediate demand of travellers. Pushing content our through social media channels, readers are taken in by stunning pictures and interestingly-articulated content writing. Even their recruitment campaign is written is a poetic way.
They have no problem generating content, both organically and inorganically, and its the sheer volume of content they generate that allows them to occupy quite a following. You can hardly miss them if you search any travel related article.
Success tip: Use the brand to continuously recruit writers, so the more content they publish the more they strengthen their positioning online
2. Vogue Me
Vogue China in 2016 launched a bi-monthly magazine called Vouge Me, to capture the hearts and minds of Chinese Millennials. Their promotion strategy for Vouge Me centers around the use of Mini-Programs, Official Accounts and brand mentions on Weibo. Fashion magazines traditionally rely on the flow of traffic. With much of the traffic coming from social media, Vouge Me has already reached a million followers since their inception, using micro-blogs to generate traffic to these social media accounts, so as to gain awareness for their magazines online and offline.
With the launch of Vogue Me, Vogue has captured a larger pool of the Chinese market, a demographic driven by consumption. They have spent a considerable effort developing content and new media, evidenced by any of their mirco-blogs which contains voice recordings, videos, GIFs and other fresh elements.
3. Triple Life Weekly (三联生活周刊)
Triple Life Weekly is a seasoned player in paid-content industry. They have concentrated on their strategy around selling content per-release rather than subscription, as they were doing before the digital-era.
Triple Weekly, through the use of a 4 Official Accounts under the Triple Weekly Brand, and an IOS/Android App, serves to change the notion that paid content doesn't work. Their positioning derives from creating multiple new products uploaded onto these platforms, to test the consumption of paid content around everyday topics not covered by news and traditional media.
For example, they have audio recording products whereby people can subscribe to hear a renowned psychologist speak about the field of "intimate relationships". That recording has been subscribed 1,700 times.
Another speaker they engaged was Carson Block, who published a recording around "how to identify fake enterprises".
These sort of topics serves to cater to needs of someone whom will venture into a bookstore like "Borders", but transferring that experience online.
They have also segmentised their products to cater to young readers. Their “中读“ segment attracts readers young and old to read "real-life" content written by columnist. This segment has sub-segments which includes events, educational columns (presented in different form of new media and photos, voice recordings).
Microblogging's purpose is to transmit information and insights quick. Topics relevance is not a priority in the fast-paced reading context.
Still transitioning from the slow-reading culture of our magazine, we want to try to create and explore new type of "reading" using short, paid, subscription-based content, whilst still keeping with our company mission of producing content around everyday, "real-life" topics, which many are a follow-on from the news and culture disseminated by traditional news publications.
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