The Art of Creating Digital Magazines: Design, content and distribution

As the world becomes increasingly digital, more and more readers are turning to online magazines to get their fix of news, entertainment, and lifestyle content. But digital magazines encompass more than just media, the “magazine format” is useful for blogs and articles, annual reports, brochures, catalogs and even microsites. All of these digital content pieces can be built in a magazine type experience, which is what we will discuss in this article. 

Creating a digital magazine is not simply a matter of taking a print magazine and putting it online. Digital magazines require a different approach to design, content creation, and distribution in order to give the reader a true magazine experience and allow them to get an optimal experience regardless of the device they are using to view it on.  In this blog, we will explore some best practices for creating digital magazine experiences that will drive traffic, engage readers and ensure an optimal user experience.

Enhance your design

The design of a digital magazine is crucial to its success. It can help establish a strong brand identity, improve the user experience, and engage readers. By investing in a high quality design, digital magazines creators can set themselves apart from the competition and attract a loyal readership. 

Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Responsive design: With so many different devices and screen sizes out there, it’s important to make sure your magazine is optimized for all of them. It is much more efficient to use a responsive design that adapts to the device being used versus designing content for each device. Responsive design ensures will content will reshape to any device, and gives reader the most optimal viewing experience. 
  2. Consistency: Consistency is key to creating a cohesive magazine, and you want to ensure your branding is present throughout.  Use a consistent color scheme, typography, and layout throughout the magazine to ensure an optimal user experience and enhance your brand recognition.
  3. Interactive elements: Digital magazines offer the opportunity to include interactive elements such as videos, animations, image galleries, forms and clickable buttons. Use these elements to engage with your reader, allow them to give feedback and interact with your content, this can enhance the user experience without overwhelming the reader.
  4. Navigation: Make sure your magazine is easy to navigate, and think about the desktop user as well as the mobile user when designing your menus and navigation functions. Use clear headings, menus, search functions, and page numbers to help readers find what they’re looking for.

Once you have the design of your digital magazine down, it is now time to think about the content you want to include to ensure that your reader is continually engaged and wants to return. 

Create Engaging Content 

Creating compelling content is essential for any magazine, but digital magazines require a slightly different approach as it is not just text or copy itself need to be interesting and engaging, but the features and elements of the magazine need to work in harmony to create an engaging and interactive experience. There are some key elements to keep in mind to ensure that your content engages your reader to continue through your magazine and also makes them want to return. 

Here are some best practices for content creation:

  1. Headlines: Use attention-grabbing headlines to entice readers to click through to articles, both through text and typography. 
  2. Visuals: Use visuals such as photos, infographics, animations and illustrations to break up text, offer more context to your material and make your magazine more engaging.
  3. White Space: Negative or white space is the empty or unfilled space around the content which gives a page space and improves readability.  More white space can draw the eye and suggest a section break, whereas less white space can indicate that content on the page is grouped. Use this to your advantage to allow readers to understand the flow of your content. 
  4. Shorter articles: Digital readers tend to have shorter attention spans, so it’s important to keep articles relatively short and to the point. Include strong calls to action, and links to articles with more information so they will continue engaging with your content. 
  5. Multimedia content: Use multimedia content such as animations, videos and podcasts to provide additional depth and context to articles, often readers of digital magazines prefer to listen to content or watch a short video to learn the same information. Providing options in different formats will help them digest more of your content. 

Your content is your most valuable resource; ensure it is designed well, encourages engagement and is portrayed in multiple formats such as text, infographics, images, videos and podcasts to appeal to wide audiences and encourage continued engagement with your magazine. You can find more details to creating an engaging content experience in this blog post. 

Once you have designed your magazine, and presented your content it is now time to consider your distribution strategy. 

Distribute your content for optimal readership

Once you’ve created a great digital magazine, it’s time to get it out there. Your content strategy will be dependent on your audience, where they are and how they prefer to consume content online, but there are some good tips to maximize your distribution to ensure your magazine is in front of as many people as possible. 

Here are some best practices for distribution:

  1. Email: Use email newsletters to keep readers up-to-date with new issues and content. This is a great way to ensure your magazine is sent directly to your customers, subscribers and leads, and it means they can return to it through their inbox as needed. Use a catchy subject to increase open rates. 
  2. Social media: Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are a great way to promote your magazine and engage with readers. Promote sharing your content with your employees and followers to get your content seen by a wider audience, and include a strong image or video as your featured image to help clicks and open rates. 
  3. Search engine optimization (SEO): Use SEO techniques to improve your magazine’s visibility in search engine results. Research the keywords your audience is searching for and ensure these are in your titles and meta descriptions to boost your chances of your magazine being seen. Upload it in a consistent space in your website for easy access for your readers. 
  4. Digital publishing platforms: Publishing your content using a digital publishing platform like Flipbooks or Experios will increase your readership. Being able to provide a link to a Flipbook or microsite offers a unique reading experience and makes for easier sharing through email and social media. 

Distributing your digital magazine effectively will ensure it is in front of as many people as possible which increases your readership opportunities. You can read more on distributing your content to increase readership you in our blog. 

Key Takeaways 

Creating a successful digital magazine requires a combination of good design, compelling content, and effective distribution. It will take time and consistency to ensure your content is engaging, interactive and consistently visible to your audience. But if you follow the guides and best practices outlined here, you are setting your content up for success and you can create a magazine that engages readers and drives traffic to your website.

About Experios

Experios is 3D Issue’s all new Content Creation Platform that produces stunning responsive digital publications in a magazine type format. Build and design your publications from scratch with our unique drag and drop editor, publish anywhere even on your own domain, and track your performance with a full tracking and analytics package that can link to your Google Analytics so you can always measure the success of your digital content. You can get started with Experios for free today, schedule a demo or start your free trial.