How to Reach The Next Generation of Readers
Individually, the print magazine, the mobile apps, and the website may all perform well, but the trick is to create an ecosystem in which all platforms promote and fuel one another. "If we're doing a story about lions in the magazine, we may have a teaser there that reads, 'Hey, do you want to see a cute video of a lion and a porcupine having a tussle,' and they can watch it online. That takes them to the website where they can experience all sorts of other content, too."
Buchholz offers another example of content crossing platforms: "We have, for instance, our funny fill-ins-stories that have blanks for nouns and verbs, and you fill in your own and have a funny story at the end. This is a feature in every issue of our print magazine, and we also offer it in our iPad version -- and you can play it as many times as you want there, just by clearing the screen. So in the magazine, we'll be sure to point readers to the iPad version of the magazine, and to get them to enjoy the other assets that we have."
Conversations from the Social Media Sphere
Scott Laufer recalls being an early skeptic about social media's value proposition, feeling as though it detracted from the print and digital publications. Now, he sees its value not only for audience development, but for strategic co-marketing, as well: "We're finally starting to see where we can drive people to the print magazine, back to social media, back to the website. We're just starting to figure out how to get these pieces working together."
For as long as they've been around, teen magazines have inspired loyal and opinionated readerships. Ask an editor from the heydays of 1970s teen titles, and likely he or she will notably recall the truckloads of letters to the editor, contest entries, pleas and appeals for meet and greets with their favorite teen idols, celebrity heartthrobs, and inspiring public figures.