Archive for April, 2010

Magazines Jumping the Digital Divide

While most newspapers have been slow to make changes that will keep them alive, two niche magazine publishers are in the forefront of digital publishing. Digital Magazines 2010, a recent supplement to Folio Magazine highlighted Premier Guitar and Edgell Communications. (Disclosure: our President, Eileen Paulin has worked with the founder’s of both companies.)

Digital editions of Premier Guitar are available online, via and iPhone app, and soon to iPad users. The digital editions and apps are free, a subscription to print editions is not. A print subscription is $24.95. What is fascinating is that print subscriptions are growing. The digital formats are attracting readers, some are converting to paid print readers while the publisher grows its website and applications audience. According to the article in Folio, unique monthly visitors to the Premier Guitar website exceeded 800,000 at the beginning of 2010. It’s weekly e-newsletter has over 80,000 readers. Impressive to say the least.

On the facing page of the same issue is an article showcasing Edgell Communications‘ digital issues of B2B magazine, Consumer Goods Technology. The print issues and digital editions are completely different both in content and layout. The article quotes Bob Keenan, VP of online media, “…the biggest difference is that we produce a horizontal publication for our digital issues. We’ve literally flipped the layout on its side, redesigned the pages, and optimized them for digital format.” The reader does not have to zoom to read articles. If you have tried to read digital editions of many publications online you know what a convenience this is. Subscribers to the print edition can also receive the digital edition. If you prefer to only receive one format, that’s fine too. According to the article, Edgell plans to roll-out digital versions of its other controlled circulation brands in the next few months.

Both Premier Guitar and Edgell Communications understand the importance of online content, and are meeting their readers where they want to be met – across a variety of platforms. Both companies have been in publishing for many years, but that’s not stopping them from innovating.

Facebook Knows!

A friend, Dr. Andrew Strenk, was amused about how Facebook could know so much about his past. Seems Facebook suggested that he might want to “Like” the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation. How he wondered did Facebook know that he had spent many nights in the living room of this particular sorority providing academic counseling over thirty years ago. How in the world would Facebook link a male former Olympic swimmer, now a statistical analyst, to a women’s sorority? What in the content of his profile would have made this happen.

As a Ph.d candidate, Andy worked in the academic counseling office at the university he was attending. Being no fool, he would set up shop during registration season at the sorority houses where he offered one-stop help in class selection. He also got to know many young women. He has always been very smart, especially about things like girls.

Andy has not visited a sorority house in over three decades. How he wondered could it come up now? He need not worry. It’s not about him, it’s about his Facebook friends. More than a few are  alumni of the sorority who support the Foundation and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) via its Facebook page. Facebook figures he might want join too. Fortunately he doesn’t have a jealous wife.

Is Family Good Content?

Owning a company that has been in business for more than a generation is an accomplishment, and should be a source of pride. But that doesn’t mean is belongs on your home page. Online Content Producers and Brandtailers recently had the opportunity to speak to the Family Business Council at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at Cal State Fullerton. The attendees represented a variety of B2B and B2C companies including Kellogg Garden Supply, Fairmont Private Schools, and Principal Technical Services. Our mission was to teach the group about digital marketing – that is as much of the behemoth topic as you can squeeze into 90 minutes.

In reviewing the websites of the member companies, many of the home pages featured the history of the company and photos of its founders. While it can be argued that being a long-standing,  family-owned business is a competitive edge, it is not why the customer is seeking you out online. Keywords tied to the brand and what your company’s products or services unique from the competition should take precedent over the company history. Be sure your site has the right content to pull up well in search. Once you have attention you can tell your story. Have you reviewed the content on your website lately? Times have changed, search has made sure of that.

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