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How fashion brands can use interactive magazines

For decades magazines have played a crucial role in the fashion industry, with the launch of popular publications like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar dating as far back as the 19th century.

For brands and fashion houses, the ability to appear in front of fashion-conscious audiences is a vital marketing opportunity; it gives them a chance to show their products in aspirational settings that customers will want to imitate. With 30% of shoppers now choosing to research clothing online prior to making a purchase, the role of digital media within the fashion industry is of increasing significance.

In an increasingly digital era, the allure of fashion magazines shows no sign of abating. We’ve seen some inspirational examples of fashion content marketing in recent years, with more and more brands opting to create bespoke content that meets the specific needs of their audience. Online retailers ASOS and Net-A-Porter have even launched their own print magazines (although both are available online) – a notable feat at a time when many creative sectors are proclaiming the death of print.

For digital-savvy brands however, the increasing popularity of interactive magazines have huge potential for fashion content marketing. Combining the traditional structure of print publications with the flexibility of digital platforms, these magazines can reach new audiences and drive traffic towards ecommerce pages. With a variety of articles that can be shopped or shared across social media at the click of a button, the interest in interactive magazines looks set to continue within the fashion industry.

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Promoting an aspirational lifestyle

Interactive magazines allow fashion houses to promote a lifestyle in keeping with their brand identity. By featuring their own products within articles and editorials (and accompanying images), brands can demonstrate just how well they fit with and enhance their reader’s lives, in turn generating sales from readers that want to ‘get the look’. By adding interviews and articles with and about influential people, companies can add further weight to their brand – reinforcing it with an endorsement from celebrities their readers admire.

Connecting content with commerce

Creating seamless links between written and visual content is a great way to drive audiences towards the e-commerce section of your site. Gone are the days of rooting endlessly through shopping rails in search of the perfect pair of trousers that caught your eye in an edgy editorial. Interactive magazines cut out the middleman, creating a direct path from inspiration to ownership.

And because interactive magazine solutions can be self-hosted, fashion brands no longer need to worry about driving readers away from their site. Each click through to the magazine is a click through to the website, boosting visits, SEO and potential sales. At the end of each feature, Topshop magazine invites the audience to ‘shop the look’, therefore generating a stream of traffic to particular product pages.

And it’s not a one-way street either. Real-life locations can be used to drive traffic to the magazine and vice versa. In-store promotions can highlight exclusive reader offers, which can only be obtained by reading the magazine – creating another way for existing customers to engage with the brand. Through the use of quick response (QR) codes, brands can bridge the gap between in-store and online retail even further.

Personalising content

Interactive magazines bring the potential for effortless data collection, with integrated forms, competitions and surveys, giving fashion brands the chance to learn more about their audience and even personalise content. If brands are looking to raise engagement levels, getting to know their target audience and tailoring content to their interests is essential. Interactive magazines allow brands to push the most relevant pages to their readers, excluding content that isn’t of interest, so they remain engaged with the magazine for as long as possible.

Another benefit of data collection is the ability for brands to grow their mailing list. By gathering contact information, such as email addresses and phone numbers, fashion labels are able to deliver news and features directly to their customers’ inboxes, further encouraging website visits and sales. With more opportunities to personalise content when compared with blogs, interactive magazines are a great way to engage your audience with content that appeals to them.

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Innovative fashion content marketing

Video, audio and pop-ups are key features of many successful interactive magazines. We’ve already discussed the benefits of using video marketing and introducing multimedia elements is a great way to engage the audience in a way that’s entertaining and memorable. For example, The Edit – an interactive magazine created by Net-A-Porter – uses video demonstrations to show beauty products in action and visually demonstrate their benefits.

With bounce rates for interactive magazines as low as 6%, they’re likely to hang around for longer and buy into the brand – clicking links and eventually buying from your site. Audiences are accessing content through an increasingly wide range of platforms and devices, with the ease of implementing mobile responsive design features giving interactive magazines the edge over page-turning PDFs.

Attracting advertisers

Interactive magazines offer advertising opportunities too, which will have an impact on a brand’s bottom line. A captivated audience that reads an entire magazine will be attractive to carefully selected partners, because their adverts will be a good fit with the content and therefore be read and clicked.

But how can you tell if the audience is engaged? Interactive magazines often have robust reporting functions that tie in with Google Analytics, which will tell publishers and advertisers how much content readers consumed, exit pages and links clicked – perfect for demonstrating engagement rates.

Plus, the ability to include audio and video elements is guaranteed to attract a wide range of advertisers seeking new and innovative ways to stand out in a crowded market. With such an attractive proposition, how could advertisers refuse?

With an array of features suited to the way modern fashionistas shop, it’s little wonder interactive magazines are gaining popularity. To find out how an interactive magazine can boost your brand awareness and sales, take a look at Engage from Ad-Rank or drop us a line today.