Magazines Register

Ready, Set, Go! Develop Your Audience for Your Magazine Launch

If you have no readers, you have no magazine. For that reason, before you launch your new magazine, you need to develop your audience. Growing the right audience for your niche will let you maximize advertising revenue results. Here are some things to consider while developing your audience:

  • Create an audience development plan. An audience development plan is a detailed outline of how you are going to reach your audience-related goals. Yours should contain actions such as programming, marketing, communications, and community engagement. You must include collaboration among all involved departments and communicate your plan creation across the entire organization. In your plan, you should:
    • Start with a clearly defined goal.
    • Build an understanding of audience potential and a map of how to get there.
    • Create a flowchart or other project management tool to manage collaboration between planning, implementing, and delivering on an audience-building promotion.
    • Determine what resources you’ll need to accomplish your goals.
  • Define and characterize your target audience. What do they read? What problems or challenges do they have — and what niche content will you provide that they can’t get elsewhere? Create personas based on who they are: An effective audience persona is a composite picture of the people who read or might read your content. You can accomplish this through direct interviews, surveys, focus groups, and other research methods. Include basic demographics as well as specific insights on audience behaviors.
  • Make sure your content is credible, authoritative, and provides solutions for your target audience’s challenges.
    girl reading magazine
  • Use digital channels to develop your audience. With the variety of platforms available for distributing your message, there are many ways to engage your potential readers. It’s important to match topics, content, and formats to the right digital channel types. Does your target audience prefer videos or webinars? Do they want in-depth articles? Give them what they want and how they want it. Define their niches and find out where audiences are hanging out online. Monitor their conversations and don’t be afraid to jump in.
  • Make sure your website is a subscription-conversion tool. Use free high-quality content to attract visitors, then make it easy and compelling for them to subscribe or at least provide an email address so you can contact them further. Experiment and test options such as colors, item placements, forms, calls to action, offers, and bonuses.
  • Don’t dismiss print. In fact, there’s a trend toward preferring physical over electronic when it comes to reading books or magazines. This trend holds true even among millennials.
  • Make sure your content and web presence are mobile friendly and easily consumable for people on the go. Think about customer service and make your content easy to find, access, and consume.
  • Create a strong social media presence. Choose appropriate channels for your niche. Make your content relevant, evocative, and sharable.

Although audience development is a prerequisite for launching your magazine, it’s not a one-time effort; it’s not “set it and forget it.” Audience development is an ongoing endeavor. You must pay attention to trends, test what works, and be willing to change what isn’t working.

Contact your Sheridan representative for a consultation or visit our contact page to learn how Sheridan experts can help streamline and simplify your publishing processes.

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