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How to Bring a Magazine to Life Online

  |  October 28, 2011   |  Comments

A quest to create a magazine onsite at an event to bring the excitement to the rest of the world.

When the Pivotcon Conference was coming to New York and my friend Brian Solis was creating a killer agenda, I knew both my companies, Zinio and VIVmag, needed to have a presence there. But, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of standard booths at trade shows. They don't enable the brand to stand out. I wanted my digital publishing brands to stand out.

So I begged, bribed, and pleaded with my team to join me in my quest to do something never done before: create a magazine, onsite at the event, that would bring to life all of the great imagery, sound bites, excitement, and inspiration from the event, and then make it available to the world.

And with that, we built a living magazine chock-full of insights from some of the most influential marketers around, including Brian Solis, Pete Krainik, Adam Duritz, Hope Frank, Evan Greene, Elisa Camahort Page, and many others (including me ☺).


Filled with 18 videos and lots of photos that captured the essence of the conversation, we created a curated piece of history that anyone can use as a reference for great tips, hints, and insights. But we didn't stop there. Realizing that digital publishing requires you to speak to the three main types of digital audience in their own unique ways, we created an engagement path for all three:

Digital reading fans get the entire issue for free at Zinio.com/pivot2011. They can enjoy it on their PC or iPad.

Social fans don't need to filter through the table of contents, but instead can use a video that enables TOC to hear clips and sound bites of all those featured and choose to engage.

And finally, that third group of engagers, who rely on good old traditional PR to hear about new items and innovations from trusted sources were able to learn about the effort through a press release here.

Promotions went live on Thursday, October 27, 2011 so it's too early to tell how big of a success this effort will be.

The main point of sharing the process through this column, though, is to bring home the point that, in a world of digital publishing, turning on content is not good enough. To bring a magazine or other digital publication to life, you need to seed your audience based on who they are and how they engage with content. In our world, there are multiple channels of communication required in order to launch and maintain brand awareness for a product.

If you are launching any digital initiative soon, make sure you "hedge your bets" by creating the most robust discovery plan you can. And keep focused on innovating, driving, and learning even more.



Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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