Online magazines are a great tool to stay connected with your audience. Through their digital and interactive nature, they achieve higher engagement with your readers in comparison to their printed equivalents. And in today’s digital age, online magazines can be used to reach your audience. No matter where they are, or which device they use.
This blog explains what online magazines are, and how they prove to be a vital part of your digital marketing strategy. We'll also take you through their benefits and show some successful examples.
What is an online magazine?
Online magazines are digital publications that are primarily shared and read on the internet. They are different from regular websites, because their pages are connected into a unified experience. This provides dedicated space for a variety of content types, such as articles, interviews, advertorials, and multi-page stories. These types of content otherwise wouldn’t have a place on a regular website.
What are the benefits of an online magazine?
In comparison to their printed equivalents, an online magazine offers many different advantages. Besides being more engaging and optimised for mobile devices, they’re also much more environmentally friendly. And above all else, online magazines actively gather viewer statistics. These enable you to accurately analyse viewing behaviour and make improvements to optimise the reading experience.
But an online magazine has more benefits. Let’s explore all of them:
First of all, online magazines are much more cost-effective than their traditionally printed counterparts. Their production and distribution costs are very low, saving money and enabling you to dedicate resources to other areas.
You can use your already existing digital distribution channels to endlessly share your online publications. This eliminates the need to distribute a duplicate to each recipient, which results in a more efficient use of resources.
And with various digital tools available, production time can be reduced drastically by working with templates. Maglr has several templates readily available to use. These were designed to drag-and-drop your existing content into, so you can rapidly create and distribute your online magazines.
More environmentally friendly
And top of that, they drastically reduce your carbon footprint. Producing and distributing printed magazines requires a lot of paper and energy. Online magazines, on the other hand, require minimal resources and their distribution is essentially carbon-free.
Reach a wider, more engaged audience
Online magazines can be spread endlessly - and through every digital channel - without making any compromises. For example, you can share them on social media, via e-mail, or even through QR-codes placed in physical publications. This increases their visibility and reaches audiences even outside your existing network.
They also provide many interactive features to increase reader engagement, such as links to related content, videos, quizzes, polls, podcasts. This allows you to create a visual narrative that captures readers’ attention and draws them into the content.
Interactive content works perfectly in delivering an immersive experience to every type of audience. When pages are filled with animations and interactivity, they provide a dynamic and engaging experience. This keeps your readers coming back for more.
Track visitor behaviour
Measuring the result of a print version is practically impossible. An online magazine can demonstrate the precise number of visitors it attracted. It also shows exactly where these visitors came from and how well they engaged. You can also add UTM codes to analyse visitor behaviour from different digital marketing campaigns.
Maglr has real-time analytics readily built into the platform. This enables you to see exactly how your magazine is performing through a single dashboard. These analytics are privacy-friendly too, meaning that no cookie consent is required to comply with GDPR laws.
Secure your internal magazines
If you need to share content internally, consider creating an online staff magazine or employee magazine. You can secure the online version to prevent external access.
Creating physical magazines to share internally is still an option. However, it's not possible to control what your employees will do with them. They might show them to their spouses, or send them to journalists.
Maglr has several security options readily available. You can set up a password to protect your online magazines with, or even ‘invisibly’ secure them with ‘login-links’. Our Enterprise solution also offers a Single Sign-on security option, to absolutely make sure that nobody outside of your organisation is able to access the publication.
Accessible to all audiences
Enrich the elements of your online magazines with additional descriptions and meta tags. This will make them accessible to all audiences, according to WCAG standards. This is not just useful for people with disabilities, but also vital for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Search Engines (such as Google and Bing) use this data to rank your online publications in the search results. It’s wise to make use of these features, as they help your white papers to rank higher in the search results.
Pro tip: make it snackable
In today’s digital world, the way we consume content has changed and our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. It used to be possible to get away with a large physical magazine. Now, a digital magazine would be more effective if it is broken into multiple smaller editions.
Try to solve your ‘textual’ problems with interactive solutions, such as pop-ups, videos, and other types of media. This creates 'snackable content' that's easy to digest, which increases audience engagement and delivers a better experience.
Online magazine examples
Below are some examples of online magazines that open up new worlds in terms of structure, design, and accessibility.
Sustainability Magazine - Euro Pool Group
About Marine Ingenuity - Van Oord
Plan Amsterdam - Municipality of Amsterdam
How to create an online magazine?
In order to create a stunning online magazine, you need the right tools and software. Fortunately, there are plenty of options - ranging from interactive content creation platforms to dedicated digital publishing platforms. Whether you are experienced or a beginner, these tools will help you create a professional online magazine. It will keep your readers interested and engaged.
However, there are several things to look out for when you’re exploring different platforms. Whatever you do, make sure that the tool you choose supports at least these options:
What to look for when you’re searching for online magazine software
No custom apps
Make sure your online magazine can be accessed through a direct link. This should be opened directly in their preferred web browser, without them having to install a separate app. Your audience can then read it whenever, and wherever, they desire.
Easy to design - while maintaining creative freedom
An online magazine is a place where creativity shines. It should not be time consuming to create. It should not be time consuming to create.
For this reason, content creation platforms usually provide templates to start with. You can fill and edit these, but customisation options are limited. While this saves you time during the creation process, it compromises on creative possibilities.
Maglr takes this a step further. You can still create your online magazine quickly by choosing and customising a predesigned template. Alternatively, you also have the freedom to create your own pixel-perfect designs. Without having to make any compromises.
Create a dedicated mobile version
Your online magazine can be accessed via desktops and laptops, but also tablets, smartphones, and other digital devices. And it’s almost a necessity to create a mobile version if you want to share your magazine via social media.
Tools often provide automatic conversion from desktop to mobile. This makes it easy to set up these versions quickly.
However, make sure that you’re able to make changes if necessary. For example, font size might need to differ in each version. Or some elements might need to be invisible on your mobile version.
Maglr offers an automatic conversion to mobile that still leaves you plenty of room for customisation. Or you can take your design to the next level, by creating an entirely separate mobile version from scratch.
Custom branding options
Every brand has its own recognisable style, and your online magazine should reflect this. When you’re exploring platforms to create your online magazine with, make sure they offer at least the following features:
- Choose your own brand colours
- Upload and use your custom fonts
- Publish to your own domain (such as ‘magazine.yourcompany.com’)
Connect custom marketing tools
If you’re looking to use your online magazine for marketing, you should connect your CRM tools. This will save you a lot of time and help you generate leads and gather contacts.
A digital publishing platform should handle audience responses automatically. This eliminates the need to manually import every new lead or contact to a CRM or Marketing automation platform. This allows you to focus on more important tasks to further scale your business.
Maglr connects directly with your preferred CRM & Marketing automation platforms, such as Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and Mailchimp. Or you can use Zapier, or any other automation platform, to forward your data to over 2,000 other tools.
Create and publish your magazines online
Online magazines are designed for today's audience. They are easy to read on mobile devices and can be shared across all digital media channels. They also allow for more customisation and interactive elements, and are much more environmentally friendly than their printed equivalents. And above all else, they actively gather statistics, enabling you to accurately analyse viewing behaviour.
With Maglr, you can create interactive online magazines that are tailored for any device and can be shared on all digital media channels. Its vast library of interactive elements, effects, and animations helps you create immersive content. This drastically increases the engagement and helps you to stay digitally connected with your audience.
Maglr also offers a large library of templates to start with, so you can rapidly create & publish your online magazines. Or you can start from scratch and create pixel-perfect designs with Maglr Pro.
Maglr enables you to create, publish and analyse your interactive magazines - all through a single platform. Request a demo today and start creating with a 14-day free trial - no creditcard required.