Businesses across all sectors are beginning to see how successful digital publishing can be when used effectively.

We’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of companies who aren’t traditionally affiliated with publishing seeking to integrate digital publishing into their marketing and engagement strategies. Here, we explore how others have used digital magazines and apps to reach out to clients, and what options are available to small and large businesses alike.

Why now?

There is no simple answer to this, as the reasons are usually specific to the needs of the business in question. However, digital publishing has expanded the reach of a business publication to, in theory, an unlimited number of people.

Companies are seeing the benefits of soft marketing to customers through digital publications, from Virgin Holidays’ ‘Unleashed; a travel magazine full of high-quality photographs of exotic locations, to Tesco’s Wine Magazine, displaying an interactive selection of wines for every occasion.

The way publications like this works is simple: the content is high quality and relevant to a particular subject (be that motoring, holidays or food), which draws in interested people who previously might not have gone directly to the company in question. Digital publishing works as the hook to subtly draw in, and more importantly retain potential clients.

Case study: ArtBanc

This is precisely how ArtBanc’s Market Intelligence magazine works. ArtBanc are a small company that provide art sales and collections management services to the professional art community. Market Intelligence contains a selection of articles, thought pieces, features and market updates collected into a beautifully-designed magazine, which is freely available for anyone to read.

Its credibility as a magazine holds up thanks to the high calibre of expert writers it attracts. With contributors from Sothebys, Herrick Feinstein and  Deloitte, the articles range from advice on using Life Insurance to preserve family collections to updates on the Post-War and Contemporary Art Market. Although it is targeted to a very specific audience, its fluid design and accessibility both in print and digital formats enable ArtBanc to engage the core of the market on a deeper level.

ArtBanc utilised two smart digital publishing solutions to maximise their readership. A simple online flip-book with links, easy navigation of the contents and options to share, print, email and download each edition made it easy for Market Intelligence to reach new and old readers alike, in some cases simply by attaching a link to each new edition at the bottom of their email signatures. See it in action for yourself by clicking here.

ArtBanc also commissioned a native app for Market Intelligence. With a fully styled mobile-responsive HTML view, the app version goes beyond the constraints of print with videos and direct links. ArtBanc are also about to integrate live updates within the app, which will increase user engagement between publication dates.

How can it work for you?

Most companies make use of email marketing to stay in touch with clients, but this is being seen as increasingly ineffective due to the sheer volume of emails begging the attention of the average person. Expanding ‘selfish’ content (news, updates and pushy product sells) into a publication forces a rethink of what value you can add to your clients.

This doesn’t have to expand to a full-blown high-end magazine: what about providing short updates through an app with interesting content about your industry? A technology company could use an app to provide news and features about technology trends and predictions; a fishing company could run advice articles about good seasonal locations, with a ‘sell’ about suitable products to use.

Combine high-quality content with a cross-platform, mobile-responsive app, and the opportunities for increased engagement are endless. Your articles could be tweeted, shared and commented on, creating a social hub with your brand at the centre. Read more about creating a digital social hub here.

Funding these digital projects can always be difficult, particularly for smaller businesses. Reactions used an advertiser to sponsor their app for a conference, and in return the sponsor’s logo was shown on the app’s splash screen and at regular intervals throughout the live articles published throughout for delegates.

In short, your imagination is the only limit to how effectively digital publishing can work for your business!

Still not convinced? Talk to us to find out more about which digital solutions are suitable for you.

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