What Magazines Can Teach Us About Amazing Content
We live in a digitally-dominated world. You can run your whole life on your smartphone or tablet.
The world’s gone paperless. Our diaries, bank statements, our payslips. Bet your beach reads are on your Kindle? We knew it!
All signs point to forgetting paper altogether. But wait! Not so fast. Let’s take a moment to appreciate print media. You remember that, right? Newspapers, magazines, that sort of thing. The Guardian? Glamour? That copy of the Metro that you moved off your seat, so you could sit down, on your commute? Ring any bells? ‘Yeah…it’s coming back to me. They’re on my iPad now.’ We thought so. Before we write print media off altogether, there is so much we can learn from it.
Want to make great content in the future? You’d better take a little look backwards, then. Don’t worry, we did the hard work for you. Grab a cuppa, a pen and a pad (or iPad or smartphone – your choice) and let’s get stuck in…
Magazines have awesome regular features
Think of your favourite mag or newspaper. Now, head to your favourite feature. You found it straight away, didn’t you? That is our point. Readers are great. Regular readers are even better. Why not do a regular feature or two, on your company blog? Note the word ‘regular’. It’s no good doing something amazing just once. If you can see that it worked, work it into your editorial plan.
What’s your niche?
Think of all the different types of magazines that you can buy. What’s your hobby or interest? There’s a mag for it. Hair? Blonde hair in particular? There’s a mag for that. Cars? Specifically Volkswagens? iPhone photography? Golf? Cycling? You guessed it, there’s a mag for that. These publications know their niche and then work it! Facts, figures, everything. Give your readers something that they won’t find anywhere else.
Print media has strict editorial guidelines
Speaking of all things editorial, if you’ve watched The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll have seen a glimpse of how crazy busy the magazine world is. Strict deadlines have to be met and there’s no room for error. We’re not saying go to extreme lengths (definitely don’t make anyone cry). Our point is that the high standards make for a great product. If something goes to print, with an error, who’s held accountable? The team who put it together, of course. This goes for everything from those gorgeous high quality images you’re using (no Google Images, people) to the catchy titles of articles.
Mix it up content-wise
Very rarely will you find someone who enjoys reading mass blocks of text, when they’re reading a magazine or newspaper. Try to have at least one image and let’s not get all samey and repetitive. An opinion piece last week? Why not show your readers a little glimpse behind the scenes next time. After all, we’re all a little bit nosy. What about an interview with an industry leader? Is that person you? Hurrah! Get chatting – we want to hear what you have to say. Quick, quick.
Magazines have regular subscribers
It’s super easy to add a subscription option to your blog. Drop it in your weekly email. Almost every glossy mag offers you a welcome gift for subscribing. We’re not saying you should send every subscriber some Molton Brown,unless of course you want to but everyone loves a freebie. Offer your readers something to acknowledge their loyalty. Some exclusive content, maybe? Something that they can use.
Great print media has staying power
There are a lot of magazines out there and there is a lot of content on the web. Don’t get overwhelmed. It would appear easier to throw in the towel, get by on what you’ve always done and never try something different. But you’re no quitter. Would Vogue have a 122 year history, if it had packed in? Of course not. And what has made them stand out? The dedication to great quality that we keep going on about. Here’s the harsh truth, any old person can publish any old rubbish. You’re better than that. Act like it. Be head and shoulders above the rest.
Print had to change with the times
There came a time when magazines and newspapers began to migrate over to digital. ‘But I’m reading this article on the internet.’ We know. That’s not our point. We’re saying that once the team at Condé Nast realised that their audience were reading their mags on-the-go, they had to follow them. Where are your audience? What are they into? If something isn’t quite working, don’t be afraid of shaking it up a little. Who knows what brilliant results you could achieve?
Magazines know the power of team
If you’ve ever looked down the masthead of a magazine, you will see editors, sub-editors, features writers and researchers for absolutely everything. Mags know their teams inside out. They split responsibility and use people’s strengths. You need to do the same. Team Rice features an expert for each of our services. Fortunately for you, you get to hear about them all. Let your team shine! Could Anna Wintour write the entirety of Vogue by herself?
Let’s round this up, so you can get strategising. Remember:
– Content is at the forefront of many a digital strategy and rightly so.
– Find your niche
– Give readers a reason to come back to you
– Don’t churn out any old rubbish and hope for the best
– Learn who’s good at what, in your team
Who knew that these traditional ways of creating amazing content could make for something so refreshing? We can’t wait to see what you come up with.