Flexing Its Web Muscle
"The publishing industry, in general, is looking at ways to decrease costs while increasing brand awareness, reader satisfaction, advertising and merchandising opportunities and subscription revenue," explains Allison Douglas, online marketing director for Fitness magazine.
The publication launched a companion Web site at www.fitnessmagazine.com to help drive online subscriptions by informing readers in a cost-effective, highly-interactive environment. The site was designed by Motivo, an award-winning interactive agency.
"For Fitness, we felt we needed a great companion Web site to do all of those things," says Douglas. "Motivo created a highly-interactive, low-maintenance marketing site to do just this. Our site is updated daily, virtually on its own. Motivo designed a sophisticated infrastructure in order to simplify our job of maintaining the site which reduces our time and money spent."
But are more and more magazines really finding a need for online publishing? According to Karen Stevenson, group director of Motivo, "It is essential."
"Companion Web sites offer magazines many cost-effective solutions to traditional, labor-intensive marketing tactics. They also provide a wonderfully integrated cross-media opportunity for sponsors and advertisers. These sites establish the publication's online presence and, perhaps most importantly, provide a brand new opportunity to drive subscriptions. Moving this process to the digital space eliminates much of the printing and postage expenses normally associated with it," notes Stevenson.
Douglas adds, "The upkeep is minimal. Once you make the initial investment in the site, you have a wonderful tool to increase subscriptions, provide additional advertising and sponsorship opportunities and build an online 'library' with interactive capabilities for your readers."
The Fitness magazine site offers readers archival features that help create a comprehensive set of online resources to use to get fit, stay in shape and be healthy. Features include recipe database, download directions for available workout slide shows and an interactive body mass calculator. The new Fitness site also offers advertisers and sponsors opportunities to survey readers through daily online quizzes and polls. This month, community-building tools such as bulletin boards and live chats, also will be added.
In addition to the Fitness site, Motivo has created micro sites for marketing, traffic optimization programs, sweepstakes and subscription acquisition Web sites and advertising banner creation for other print publications, including Rosie Magazine.
According to Motivo, "The Web site follows the same themes as the magazine, expanding on the content and adding interactive experiences." For most print publications that utilize an interactive experience to enhance print positioning, the mission is to drive interaction among users online and transform them into print subscribers.
For Rosie, one month after the launch, the site traffic exceeded one million views.
-Natalie Hope McDonald