Distributing Digital Publications

Oct 30, 2012 by Jurian Baas

An online magazine being distributed amongst happy cartoon characters on a globe.

The distribution of digital publications is something else than distributing offline, paper publications. But it's not the same as the distribution of normal webpages either. Digital publications are a bundle of pages and are mostly distributed with the objective of keeping these bundles intact. They are published periodically, so you want people to keep coming back to them. If you do this right, your publications will become something your visitors will look forward to. Needless to say, these recurring visitors are very valuable.

You probably follow the same old steps for getting more visitors to your online publications for some time now. We think the following examples can provide you with some inspiration. Different clients of Publitas.com distribute their digital content in different ways, and you can probably learn a thing or two from each other.

Posting the Publication On Your Website

A great (and obvious) way to distribute your online publications is to just include them on your site. For some clients, their weekly ads or catalogs are very important, so they allow them to take center stage on their site. You can choose to have a ‘weekly ad’ or ‘magazine’ button open a popup with the publication, or you can just embed the publication in the rest of your site. ASOS opts for the latter solution:

ASOS Online Magazine embedded in website
ASOS Magazine embedded in website.

Some people don't want to subscribe to RSS, social media, or watch their email for your online publications. They just go to your site every week, and browse through your weekly ads. It's that simple. Make it easy for these visitors, and give your online publications a prominent place on your website.

Distribution By Email

That said, a lot of clients get a huge amount of traffic and conversions through email campaigns. Most users like to be notified about your new issues through email, especially if you keep a dedicated email list.

People skip a lot of content on websites, especially on social networks. Email is different: because it is personally addressed, chances are much higher that you read every mail you get sent. Once in a while you might scan the newsletter, or unsubscribe from one, but the attention it receives in general is quite high.

A lot of tech-savvy people are completely biased when it comes to email. They see it as an old fashioned medium that is on its decline. This is a big mistake. Email is still huge!

Because your online publications are usually periodical, it makes sense to couple them to periodical emails in order to announce the availability of your publication. It also helps to provide a digest of the content with your email.

Social Networks

Distributing on social networks is exciting. You get the chance to engage in a conversation, and people will share your content with their network if they find your content valuable. It allows you to measure your success in more interesting ways than plain visitor statistics.

Because you are distributing your online publications in a much noisier environment, it pays off to be noticeable. It also gives you the opportunity to be more human. There is more you can do than posting plain updates. For example, you can create a 'Weekly Ads' or other publication section on your page. Here is how one of our clients does it:

Kruidvat Facebook Page
The Kruidvat Facebook Page.


Kruidvat Facebook Page Folder Overview
The Kruidvat Facebook Page: weekly ad overview.

Mobile Apps

Our mobile interface also makes it interesting to distribute mobile versions of your publications. Since native iOS and Android apps also feature the possibility to show webpages, you can seamlessly integrate your online publications in them. Here you can combine the benefit of having your content viewed through a native app (launched on a user’s mobile home screen), and always offering up-to-date content. We posted before about how one of our clients does this. It looks great:

Hünkemoller Mobile App with a link to their online catalog
The Hünkemoller mobile app.

Google Is a Channel Too

To tie it all up, we want to remind you that Google and other search engines are distribution methods in their own right. We make sure the content of your publications can be found on them, and you can follow these tips to adjust your content for an even better ranking. Users who search for a product or other content can end up on a spread of your online publication, and browse the publication from there.

We hope you can make good use of these examples of online publication distribution. Did we leave anything out, or do you have anything to add? Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or by commenting below. We're always happy to help.

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