Best of Nxtbook 2017 - 13
...There is a wealth of research out there that
makes that case that readability is critical for
digital magazines, so this was something we
had wanted to address for a long time.
Initially, these icons were excessively large by design, to ensure readers
would notice them and also because on smaller devices like phones
and tablets everything needs to be larger if you want it noticed. But
over time we have scaled the size of those icons down some, and we
intend to reduce the size again soon now that our regular readers have
been exposed to it for several issues.
What kind of response have you had from
Funny you should ask, but not much - which is actually what we
expected and hoped for! If executed properly, this strategy was meant
to be something so seamless and effortless that our reader would just
continue reading comfortably without even thinking about why the
vertical overflow pages are there. But an early demo that we created
for internal purposes shows the stark difference between the straightforward replica approach and the optimized approach employing the
overflow pages. When you see that demo - particularly on a tablet or
phone - the difference in readability is night and day. Zoom is still
supported, and on a phone there are of course limits.
But there is a wealth of research out there that makes that case that
readability is critical for digital magazines, so this was something
we had wanted to address for a long time. Subpages were the key to
finally making it possible.
We've talked a lot about the importance of crosspromotion. What mediums do you use to promote
We leverage every medium we can when it comes to cross-promotion, but the big ones I would say are email, social media, our websites, and print. If we have a special cover story, contest or promotion
running, we will, of course, promote it in print, but we will then
cross-promote that content through email campaigns and social media posts. If content from one of our magazines is relevant to the
audience of one of its sister publications - which occurs occasionally
given the geographic overlap between our core titles - we will often
promote that content to both audiences, increasing overall visibility
within our own family of titles. And locally we also have partnerships with other media in Roanoke that allow us occasional opportunities to appear on local TV and radio to talk about our content.
So we find that a blend of strategies and platforms is always helpful.
How often do you push content to each of
Our websites are updated at the launch of every print issue, which
for us is every other month for our core titles. Beyond that, we also
Check out the magazine
work to post online exclusive content as much as is feasible. That can
take the form of a weekly reader photo blog series, contests for free
tickets, or just a cool story that for some reason did not fit into the
When it comes to social media, we share content and links daily,
often multiple times per day. Both The Roanoker and Blue Ridge
Country also have standing monthly e-newsletters that highlight a
variety of stories from the current issue, and we have developed a few
more email verticals under those titles as well, including a monthly
reader-driven photography newsletter for Blue Ridge Country, and
a Deals & Giveaways newsletter for The Roanoker. Currently, we're
also exploring the possibility of adding monthly events newsletters
to the mix, which reader research tells us would be received well by
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