Compelling content: how to harness the power of digital magazines

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Retail, Sport & Leisure

Ricardo Neves - 19 September 2023 - 5 min read

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Content marketing is one of the strongest tools in a brand’s arsenal, but how can you retain the quality and trust of print publications while creating an immersive digital experience? Read on to find out how your business can harness the power of digital magazines

The branded content revolution

It’s no secret that content can be a powerful marketing tool. Whether your customers can be found scrolling TikTok, watching TV ads while catching up on their favourite soap, or flicking through a magazine on the train, offering them compelling content can grab their attention, ignite their imagination, and help to reinforce their bond with your brand.

The most effective content marketing is cross-channel, and you can connect with customers via print media, online, social media, video-on-demand, out of home, and more. No matter the format, the principles behind creating great content remain constant: it needs to be accessible, engaging, useful, and factually accurate.

Print publications have long provided a perfect blank canvas for branded content, but as companies get to grips with an increasingly time-poor audience and understand the need to react dynamically, the restrictions that come with print publishing have led to a digital content revolution.

Not only can going digital put your customers in control of how, where, and when they access your content, it also allows you to introduce interactive functionality, audio, and video, which can all amplify your brand. Digital publications have the power to unleash your team’s creativity – and ensure that every click is captured.

Creating an immersive digital experience

There’s an art to seamlessly combining the worlds of print and digital. While the formats can be complementary and, on the surface, contain the same content, simply taking a print publication and turning it into a PDF won’t help you stand out from the crowd. A truly immersive digital experience uses innovative design and interactive content to take the reader on a journey and keep them coming back for more.

Three smartphones displaying the LIDL digital magazine.

Even so, you don’t need to hire a team of developers or spend hours swotting up on HTML to make the switch. Today, most tools and publishing platforms like Ceros use no-code design, which means they’re surprisingly easy-to-use, cost-effective, and adaptable. Companies who choose to invest in digital publications get the best of both worlds: the aesthetics, quality, and authority of a print magazine as well as the engagement and data that comes with digital marketing.

Bringing a brand’s story to life

Let’s use the Lidl GB magazine as an example. The European retail giant produces a seasonal print publication, a magazine that’s eagerly consumed by its customers, serving up inspiration, announcing new product launches, and sharing the company’s sustainability initiatives. Communicating these messages through content helps make the supermarket much more than just the most convenient or best value choice – it brings its personality to life.

Transforming this print publication into a fully digitised experience took the art of storytelling to a whole new level. Rhapsody’s team of design superstars were able to maintain everything Lidl customers loved about the print magazine while using animation, video, and high-quality imagery to improve engagement and foster brand loyalty among a new, digital-first audience.

Introducing dynamic personalisation

As Ferris Bueller once said, “life moves pretty fast”, but luckily, digital magazines can more than keep up.

Print deadlines are notoriously strict, and content needs to be locked in well in advance of publication. Last-minute changes are possible but can cause headaches for everyone involved. Switching to a digital magazine format makes those sleepless nights a thing of the past! Teams can make changes almost instantly, amending prices, introducing promotions, and adding special offers even after publication.

LIDL digital magazine shown on two pads.

Digital magazines are also perfect for personalisation. Treating each customer as an individual, and serving them relevant content, elevates their experience, enhances trust, and generally leads to much stronger commercial results than a generic one-size-fits-all approach ever could.

Going back to Lidl GB for a moment; the retailer understands the importance of personalisation and so has been able to go digital without losing the localised content that has always enhanced each of its three print publications. Geo-targeted content allows every edition to reflect the market where it’s distributed (England, Scotland, and Wales).

Breaking down barriers

At the end of the day, it’s all about making life easier without compromising on quality. Switching from print publications to digital magazines removes friction for customers and lets them access the content they want when and where they want it.

With your content accessible on multiple devices and browsers, customers can catch up on your latest news on their daily commute, double-check a recipe while browsing the supermarket aisles, or click straight through to your website to add a new product to their online shopping basket. There’s no need for dual devices or printing off notes, everything from additional articles and photographs to customer reviews and product listings can be linked and accessed with the click of a button.

Ready to unlock the power of digital publications for your business? Get in touch with Rhapsody today to find out how we can transform your print publication into a compelling online experience.

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