Paper or digital? Choose both
For years many people have been struggling between print and digital. The pendulum swings back and forth as we face the two forms of publication in an endless question of "what is better?
But what if we were to say that these two methods are not enemies, but allies?
There are many opinions floating around the Internet about print and digital media, as well as whether this or that argument has more validity than another. Some say that print is dying. I think you've gained a partner to expand your business.
Let's dive into this hot topic (well, or at least interesting) and reveal the advantages of using digital magazines and journals to improve print publications or simply start a magazine from scratch.
The debate about print vs. digital
Instead of adding our opinion to the print vs. digital debate by adding more wood to the fire, let's start with the facts.
In 2017, Freeport Press conducted a survey in which it received comments from 1,083 magazine readers about their preferred publication format.
The results may surprise you. Approximately 44% of readers read 1-2 magazines per month, while 27% read 1-2 digital magazines per month.
A-ha! Print must be winning, right?
This is the assumption that has led many publications to lose key opportunities to grow or even save their business. Think about it. When you calculate 27% of 1,083 people, that's almost 293 people.
That's 293 potential readers that print magazines are missing. And what would happen if print publications took advantage of this resource? They could deliver digital versions of their magazine to subscribers with a single click.
No printing costs. No shipping costs. Just a direct profit to pile on top of existing print subscribers. Offering a digital-only subscription at a cheaper price also provides an opportunity to bring on board new readers who were hesitant to pay the full price of the print subscription.
The advantages of print magazines
The print is not dying. When it comes to reading articles and reports, many readers still prefer a tangible publication. There is something about holding a magazine, flipping through the pages, and the subtle smell of ink on the paper that captivates many readers.
While the Internet is a great resource and many people use it to read the news and various clickable baits or niche stories, print magazines are seen as more playful formats. Let's not forget that many digital magazines are presented directly on the web, without the need for a subscription, as is the case with the digital magazine '60 Minutos'. If you want to read a magazine, understanding this concept in all its meaning, people still think on paper.
Many readers classify sitting down to read a physical magazine as a form of relaxation. It gives them a break from the screen that they spend a good part of the day watching while they work.
However, where it excels, it also excels. Digital magazines have many advantages, one of the main ones being convenience.
The convenience of digital magazines
Digital publications are quick to produce, easily accessible, and offer many features that print publications cannot.
If you already have a print publication, creating a digital format can be an easy three-step process. One that costs a small fraction of what it costs to produce and distribute a printed magazine.
It is also easy for your readers to access. When you are ready, you can email the issue in a format that can be viewed on any digital device. Whether your audience is on their computer or browsing on their cell phone, they will have no problem reading a digital magazine if it is designed correctly.
Plus, they can take it with them anywhere. There's no need to find room in your bag for it or worry about losing your copy. It's easily accessible on your digital device so you can take it with you wherever you go.
It is also important to note that digital magazines have unique advantages over their printed counterparts. Just as a physical magazine has its own feel and smell, digital magazines have a unique advantage on their platform: interactive features.
You cannot include audio or video in a physical magazine, nor can you track analysis based on how readers interact with a topic.
People are consuming the content with a voracious appetite. However, the means by which they consume it is changing. Video content has increased dramatically on social media platforms.
Like the news, people enjoy the multi-sensory delivery of stories, tips, ideas and more. Simply including additional interview material or sound bytes in your articles can make them exponentially more popular.
It gives your reader the opportunity to participate in the content they are consuming, which makes them entertain themselves with the information instead of looking at it. It's a hook to attract them and encourage them to keep reading.
This is just one example, but it is a great illustration of the advantages of digital magazines. There is so much to gain and reap from this modern format.
You just have to take advantage of its capabilities.
Some things work better together
After reading this, can you say that the battle of the printed versus the digital deserves to be discussed, or is it time to put down the gloves and start seeing the synergy?
The more we consider it, the more ridiculous it seems to choose one side or the other when print and digital media work so well together.
Both print and digital media have their place. With unique advantages for each, you can build your publishing strategy around the professionals that work best for your target audience.
In most cases, having both formats benefits your business, so why fight it? If you own a print publication, let digital work go hand in hand with you to increase your readership.
If you're just starting out, create a digital magazine to reduce your start-up costs and expand your readership, and then consider print issues if there's demand. You can consider print magazines as a plus for those who subscribe to your digital magazine and subscribe in some way, people are always more willing to pay for something they can touch.
There are thousands of different ways to combine and take advantage of both formats, you just have to think which one is the best suited to the idea you have in mind.