What it takes for as a magazine to survive as a brand

The last half year I trained a lot of editorial staff of magazines with my workshop ‘everybody digital’.
 I also talked to a handful of editors in chief and they all asked me what their strategy should be to survive as a brand.
Just today, I saw a presentation of Olivier Blanchard (@the Brandbuilder on twitter) and he said: “Your online content has to be excellent, but just an appetizer because the whole menu should be in your magazine.” I agree partially, because I think you should distribute almost all your content on all sorts of channels.

 ipad between mags
Here a few guidelines for magazines, that are nescessary to follow in my opinion, if you want your brand to survive.  

– Almost all  created content needs to be publicly accessable on all channels. And yes, most channels are not payed for. So that’s on paper, a pdf or richer version on the iPad, on the web with a blog, and on all big social media channels. You can think of :

• articles with beautifull images and video on your blog (if you don’t have one, start one now!)
• video on your Youtube channel •conversation pieces on Facebook
• behind the scenes pics on Instagram
• collected inspiration material and all good images you make yourself on Pinterest
• everything above and marketing activities on Twitter.

– The editorial staff cannot be too big, only some keyplayers. They divide the work between freelancers (that will mostly be bloggers).

– All editorial staff has to be active on social media channels that fit them and their work. Art directors on Pinterest, stilists on Instagram and Pinterest, journalists on Twitter and Facebook etc.

– Keyplayers of the editorial staff have to have their own blog and post on the blog of the magazine. Keyplayers are the editor in chief, art director, stilist, journalist, beauty- and fashion editor.
This way, you will have loads of content in no time and people can follow you where ever they like. These keyplayers have to be trained and coached for at least half a year.

– Define a crossmedia strategy with a contentcalender and implement the social strategy, so everybody is on the same path.

– Only cross media propositions go out to advertisers, no more print only. It is important for the magazine to hold it’s own voice when producing sponsored articles, something that has changed the last 15 years. Like bloggers, they have to write advertorials in their own voice, with their own pics, otherwise their audience will not put up with it. You need to analyse carefully with a new kind of tools that can measure across channels, like mediainjection, social bakers and Trakx  offers.

– To spare costs they have to work with sponsorships or barterdeals. Editorial staff has two cars as a sponsordeal for example. Will travel with one travelagency, sleep in the same hotels that are made deals with.

– Meanwhile, all ‘profit’ (if there is any) should be put into development. New apps, applications, new techniques: all under the name of the brand or under a theme with more brands, like DIY or health and food. You can do this in the form of Hackatons, like publisher Hearst did on the Fashionweek New York.

Actually, this is also the way for a lot of brands and companies, not only magazines.
Brands are changing into persons and all people that work for your brand need to be visible online.

What do you think?

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