We’re passionate about interactive magazines and believe that they have the potential to be the next big thing in content marketing.
We’ve already discussed their benefits in comparison to page-turning PDF’s, with interactive magazines offering brands the chance to make use of full screen images, pop up copy and a great range of digital elements including video and clickable links.
Interactive magazines are a great way to connect content with commerce, too. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the web to find 11 examples of interactive magazines that combine stunning visuals with a truly rewarding user experience.
Time Out have brilliantly harnessed the power of interactive magazines over the years. Their Eating and Drinking in Edinburgh issue is perhaps one of the most visually striking, with a table of contents that links users to pages on everything from the best breakfasts to a list of post-work bars and boozers.
With the option to include pop-up copy and additional text boxes, interactive magazines are a great way to host a large amount of content without bombarding users with information that isn’t relevant to them. Time Out gives each reader the option to read more about the topics that strike their interest, with the handy text boxes also including the address and contact details of each bar and restaurant.
We’ve already discussed how fashion brands can benefit from using interactive magazines. Perhaps the most important role that they play is by seamlessly connecting content with e-commerce - a trick that retail giant Net-A-Porter were quick to capitalise on. The Edit contains a wide range of features that include items sold on site. Click on products that interest you, and you’ll be instantly transported to Net-A-Porter’s shoppable product page.
By giving readers the chance to click straight from magazines to retail sites, fashion brands are able to drive a high amount of clicks without the need for a middleman. E.commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe, and for an aspirational brand such as Net-A-Porter, making glossy magazine pages instantly shoppable has the potential to make a real impact on sales.
The Watch Magazine is as luxurious feeling as you’d expect, offering a wholly interactive experience. Users can find out where items are from by clicking on the + signs, discover more about product specification through maximising pop ups, or instantly share articles with friends by using the handy social icons.
Unlike traditional, page-turning PDF magazines, interactive editorials allow for the seamless stimulation of social engagement, in turn introducing your brand to a wider audience without the need for paid advertising. What’s more, by hosting the magazine on your existing domain, you can make sure that every click via social media is a click that counts towards your website tracking metrics. The Watch Magazine makes the best use of both functions, by ensuring that links and share buttons are easily accessible on each and every page.
The business sector can also benefit from the use of interactive magazines, as showcased by leadership events organiser Top Banana. Each page focuses on a different area of Top Banana’s business strategy, while the videos hosted within the magazine help to clearly demonstrate their company ethos.
Unlike PDFs, interactive magazines are fully functioning web pages with the potential to be fully indexed by search engines. This style of keyword driven content boosts SEO and has the power to move your company up in the search rankings, driving a higher level of engagement from those interested in your services. It will also support link building as people are able to link and share your magazines. The more visible your business is to potential clients, the more likely you are to close deals that are the right fit for you.
Topman prove that going with a theme can work in their Denim Issue. The strong use of blue is not only representative of the topic, but also brings the whole edition together in a way that builds a strong visual identity. Users are able to click through to relevant product pages, as well as watch pop-up YouTube videos without being directed off site.
For many brands, one of the most appealing aspects of interactive magazines is the ability to be free and creative with the design. Without the layout constraints commonly associated with traditional CMS platforms, interactive magazines make it possible to fully utilise content in a way that promotes a strong and consistent brand identity. For a fashion brand like Topman, appearance can mean everything, and sticking to branding that makes them instantly recognisable to consumers is one way that they can aim to drive more interest.
The Slovenian Tourist Board are proof that the travel industry can also benefit from this style of digital content. Not only do interactive magazines allow for the use of spectacular imagery on the full screen, they also give users the opportunity to engage actively with content and find out more about the destinations that meet their interests. This all adds up to a user experience that feels more personalised and dynamic, something that 75% of consumers deem to be highly important.
A Slovenian Love Story is packed with interactive image galleries, making the most of Slovenia’s whimsical setting to drive clicks directly to specific destination guides. For travel brands that are keen to promote the aspirational lifestyle that their destinations offer, being able to fully utilise the use of high resolution images has the potential to hugely benefit sales.
UK travel retailer CruiseDeals.co.uk launched the first edition of their Sea Life Magazine earlier this year. Compiled of the latest cruise news, celebrity interviews and exclusive offers, the magazine aims to be a portable, visual extension of the brand. It gives users an insight into the deals and service that CruiseDeals.co.uk offer, while still managing to be an entertaining and engaging read.
While interactive magazines offer a wide range of benefits to brands and businesses, it’s important to remember that many readers will open the issue in the hope of being both informed and entertained. Content is of the highest importance within an interactive magazine - it needs to be concise and to the point, while still managing to give readers all the information they need. In Sea Life, CruiseDeals.co.uk strike a balance that offers users high quality, informative content that is still engaging for readers that may not have an extensive knowledge of the industry.
You wouldn’t expect an interactive magazine that showcases the work of one of history’s finest artists to be anything less than striking. The Van Gogh Museum’s online publication is vibrant and rich in colour, featuring plenty of details on events, tours and workshops. The copy also includes a high amount of internal links to other pages of the magazine, making it an engaging reader experience and encouraging users to remain on site for longer.
Interactive magazines have the potential to offer users a complete package, hosting everything from lengthy articles to bitesize snippets all in one place. In fact, users recently gave scrollable content a 68% rating of importance in relation to digital magazine content. Building a rich network of internal links is a great way to reduce bounce rates, as the attention of the reader is consistently drawn from one page to the next. By including such a diverse range of content within their magazine, The Van Gogh Museum can afford to be creative when linking pages together.
High street retailer Boots releases an interactive version of its Health and Beauty magazine every month, packed with articles that encourage readers to actively engage with its content. Interactive quizzes are a common feature, alongside image sliders and fillable content forms. This level of interactivity is a great way to keep readers on site for longer, which could in turn appeal to advertisers and sponsors that are willing to pay big money for a share in your engagement levels.
What’s more, the brand have gone one step further with the placement of ‘add to basket’ buttons next to key products. Once you’ve finished reading, click the basket icon in the top right hand corner and head straight to the checkout without ever clicking off site. From a retail perspective, Boots have harnessed the power to turn initial consumer interest into sales.
The Unlimited Mag provides users with an eclectic mix of art, music and lifestyle content in a digital magazine that is shrouded with interactive features. Make your way through the endless pages of visual content and click through to shop directly for featured items. There’s also the option of sharing particularly interesting articles across your social networking profiles, all at the click of a button.
Like many interactive magazines, issues have a tendency to look best when viewed on iPads and tablets. One of the benefits of this type of media is their responsiveness and ability to seamlessly adapt to being shown across a range of devices. Readers of Unlimited Magazine are able to access the magazine on any mobile device, ensuring that content is readily available dependant on the individual preferences of the user.
Shuffle is a local magazine for residents in the city of Alkmaar, Holland. There are handy icons dotted around each image that open to reveal pop-up text boxes. These are packed full of relevant information, such as snippets from interviews with local creatives.
Interactive magazines are a great way to share your audience with key influencers. Interviews, reviews and guest articles from relevant sources can ensure that your content is visible to as large an audience as possible, giving content the potential to be distributed amongst their fanbase as well as yours.
Are you frustrated by the lack of interactivity and web functionality you’re getting from PageSuite or FlipBook?
Well you’re not the only one, but there is a solution. We’ve already talked about how interactive magazines are better than blog posts (ironic, we know) but we also think they’re far superior than page-turning PDFs and here’s why.
For anyone who hasn’t experienced them, page-turning PDFs are print-replica PDFs that are uploaded into software to have page-turning animations. They’ve been around for donkey’s years – a decade in fact – however, unlike pretty much every other form of software on the market, they haven’t evolved a great deal. If you want to keep your customers engaged for longer, tailor content specifically for them, drive web traffic and monitor results, then interactive magazines might just be exactly what you’re looking for.
There’s no denying that page-turning PDFs aren’t put together with web users in mind. Interactive magazines however, will allow you to have full-screen imagery, with pop up copy. They are also responsive and will resize, without your readers having to pinch and stretch the screen – so mobile readers are likely to hang around for longer. In fact, bounce rates can be as low as 6% because readers are actively engaged.
Another reason for those low bounce rates with interactive magazines is the engaging, interactive content. You can far more easily insert video into your pages, so readers will stay on the page to watch relevant, informative or entertaining content. Unlike page-turning PDFs, you can also include competitions, with sign up forms right there in the magazine – so there’s no sending people away to a website (see below for more details on how interactive magazines are web pages in themselves) or their email client, they can enter right there and then.
Do you have customer segments that are only interested in one part of your business? Just send them the content that most appeals to their interests and keep them engaged for longer – so they don’t click off when they get to something irrelevant to them. With interactive magazines you can even send personalised content, including their name and information – so they can have a bespoke experience.
PDFs are usually flat graphics, so they often won’t be indexed by search engines. Conversely, interactive magazines are fully functioning web pages and, as they’re hosted on your website, not through a third party, the traffic goes to your site. As well as being SEO-friendly, because everything is hosted on your website, you don’t need to use a third party tool for measurement, like you would with page-turning PDF software.
You can measure with Google Analytics, as you would with your website, and see how long people have spent on each page, where they read to and the content that engages them most, as well as which pages lead to sales conversions. Most page-turning PDF platforms will give you a basic outline of which pages were read, but can’t give you a detailed analysis. In fact, the analytics provide some of the most compelling reasons for using interactive magazines – because they are so engaging, people on average read more than eight pages and stay for more than three minutes.
Due to everything being measureable and the bespoke layouts that can be designed, interactive magazines create an attractive proposition for interactive advertising, so you can generate additional income. While you can include adverts in your print replica, page-turning PDF, it’s hard work to add the interactive elements we mentioned above.
Like with page-turning PDFs, it’s not an either print or interactive situation. Your interactive magazine can be an attractive addition to your marketing mix, working alongside print to reach a wider audience. You can publish an enhanced version of your content online to send to your email database or target specific set of customers, reducing print and distribution costs.
As well as being email-able, interactive magazines can be offered anywhere you might have traditionally placed a print magazine by providing a link or QR code for customers to view it on their device. This is particularly useful for places where potential customers might have time on their hands such as in a reception, waiting room, shop or on a journey.
Interactive magazines are fast gaining popularity due to their opportunities for engagement that can be measured effectively and work in harmony with your website and offline activity.
To see one in action, take a look at our own interactive magazine.
Don’t let the headline of this post fool you.
As a content marketing agency, we love blogs and we think most companies should have one. They’re a great way for brands to share interesting content and drive traffic to their website.
But there’s a major game-changer in town for 2016. A platform so engaging that it’ll blow your blog out of the water.
Join us as we take a look at what an interactive magazine can add to your marketing mix.
One of the major benefits of an interactive magazine is that it allows you to create beautiful, mobile responsive designs. Not only will it catch the eye, but it will draw the reader in, so they consume more of your content. Got stunning professional photography? Let it shine by displaying it full screen, without the design constraints of your website’s CMS.
But you don’t have to send your readers off to another site. Like a blog, you can host an interactive magazine on your server, with a URL that matches your website. You don’t need to worry about sending traffic away from your site, which can hurt your SEO, because the magazine’s already there.
A complete package
Like a print magazine, each issue will contain a series of related articles and features that your customers can’t resist reading.
And by using a range of article styles and lengths, from bitty short reads and news stories to competitions and long-form features, you'll keep readers interested for longer. You’ll draw them in, because they won’t want to miss what’s on the next page. A series of long articles will mean people switch off, or not read to the end, while a series of short articles won’t give your readers enough to engage with.
You can also include calls to action and links throughout your magazine, drawing your readers to the next article, or to the e-commerce sections of your website.
While you can add links and calls to action to your blogs, they tend to be more fragmentary. The only thread between posts tends to be the time they were published, or tags, which can frustrate visitors who want the most recent, relevant content in one place.
Blogs, as you know, live on the web, which makes them difficult to read when you’re offline. And while you think that rarely happens in this day and age, it does. How often have you wanted something to read on a plane but had no connectivity? Or been in the deepest darkest depths of the countryside without 3G?
Because interactive magazines are downloadable, customers can take you with them anywhere, even offline. By being available when the internet isn’t, you’ll have a captive audience, looking for entertainment and information. You'll become their go-to publication on future trips.
Each magazine can feature a variety of interactive elements, from videos, to competitions and forms. That means you'll have lots of ways to keep readers interested in your content.
In fact, more than eight pages are read, on average, per magazine. The average magazine dwell time magazine is 3.24 minutes, while the number of return visits is at 28%.
Like a blog, every page is measurable. You can use Google Analytics to see what your audience is interested in and tailor future content accordingly.
You could choose to include full-page advertising as an additional source of revenue. By featuring ads from carefully selected partners, you’ll compliment your content and add value.
And the beauty of it is, advertisers can send over artwork that’s ready to slot into your page. You just need to give them the relevant dimension. They could even boost their own engagement by including video and sign-up forms.
If you’re concerned about ad blocking amongst your audience you could include sponsored content, or advertorials. These articles, written by your advertisers, will offer your readers editorialised information about complimentary products and services in a way that keeps them interested.
Make it personal
We all know ‘personalisation’ has been the marketing buzzword of 2015, and interactive magazines can help you take advantage of that trend in a way that a blog can’t.
You can address your readers by name, so it feels like the publication was crafted just for them. Or you could go a step further. You could choose to only display content that you know they’re interested in. For instance, if you know a segment of your magazine’s readers only want to know about womenswear, you might choose to only display that content. By tailoring content to your reader's interests, you increase the chances of them reading every page.
There are so many ways that interactive magazines can be used, it’s little wonder that interest in them will continue to grow in 2016. As marketers and brands look to present their content in an innovative (and measurable) format, they will be used to present editorialised copy alongside blog posts, to increase opportunities for engagement.
To find out more about interactive magazines and what they can do for your brand, read Engage magazine today.