By Joe Pulizzi published October 16, 2008 Est Read Time: 4 min

15 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Custom Magazine

Almost every company in the world has some kind of customized magazine or newsletter. According to the Custom Publishing Council, there are more than 100,000 custom publications in the United States alone. Sadly, many companies don’t leverage their custom magazine to the fullest extent, while most don’t understand the distribution options available.

Especially in these tougher economic times, custom magazines, along with all marketing, is going to be even more scrutinized, so it’s important to leverage everything you can out of the content. If your magazine content is truly valuable, make sure it’s not being wasted by just delivering it in print and losing it forever (believe it or not, many companies and associations do that).

For the basic custom magazine project, here are some ways to get the most “bang for your buck” out of your content, and create multiple avenues for qualified prospects and customers to reach you:

  1. Record audio and video of interviews for the magazine or newsletter for later repurposing. Most interviews are completed for the purpose of getting the magazine article, but content opportunities are everywhere.  Train your editorial team to make the most of their interviews.
  2. Develop a news release schedule before the magazine comes out. Target three or four key topics that affect your customers and the industry (based on the magazine content). The release link should take them to the magazine subscription or digital magazine subscription page. An incentive could be a free subscription to the print magazine or newsletter.
  3. Discuss the magazine on your corporate blog. Get your editor to post some of the key findings/issues. If you don’t have a corporate blog, create one on your magazine microsite (only if it makes sense and you can sustain it).
  4. Sent out news releases through a keyword-optimized service such as PRWeb.
  5. Post videos of interviews to YouTube and other targeted video portals specific to your industry. Upload audio to microsites. Research podcast directories that may be relevant to your industry. Look into creating a podcast RSS feed.
  6. Send digital magazine version to the international audience or domestic audience you didn’t want to spend printing and postage on (or possibly a secondary customer target).
  7. Make sure all articles have their own HTML pages on your microsite. Be sure each article has social media capabilities such as letting people add it to Facebook, Digg, or StumbleUpon, to name a few.
  8. Be sure to Stumble! noteworthy articles and choose the proper category for the article. Say, for example, the article goes best in agriculture; those people who have tagged agriculture as a keyword may see your article when they use StumbleUpon.
  9. If you have a Twitter account, run the RSS feed for your magazine articles through a service such as TwitterFox.
  10. Provide something remarkable and different on your microsite for download. This does two things: 1) continues the conversation with your current customers, or 2) gives you information on prospects so you can begin a conversation with them. Something remarkable may be a free eBook about the 10 trends in your industry, or a free white paper on a new, cutting-edge technology. Keep the sales pitch out. Seek only to educate at this point.
  11. Use pay-per-click, targeting specific keywords to drive people to your downloadable content offering. Your primary strategy should be organic results and inbound marketing, but a highly targeted pay-per-click campaign on long-tail keywords should be an option.
  12. Be sure to make RSS feeds available for your web content.
  13. Continue the news release program, pushing the audience to the videos, an eBook, or key articles. Remember, news releases aren’t for getting press; they are for building key links and for helping bloggers and influencers find your site. Industry bloggers can be key to your magazine effort.
  14. Upload articles to key vertical and social bookmarking sites such as SmallBusinessBrief.com for small business, Sphinn for SEO/SEM, Junta42 for content marketing, or Digg.com for wider exposure.
  15. And if you are really on the cutting edge, create a Facebook fan page or group around your magazine or your company and promote within that vehicle. Invite your key customers to join the Facebook group. Personally, I prefer the Facebook group we created over the fan page.  It seems to offer more opportunities for true interaction.

There is more that you can do, but this gives you an idea of how you should be marketing your relevant and valuable content. Think of it this way: How much valuable content have you or your organization created that has only been seen by one group of people—or worse yet, not engaged with at all? Marketing problem, not content problem.

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Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the bestselling author of seven content marketing books including his latest, Content Inc. He has founded four companies, including the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), and his newest venture, The Tilt. His podcast series, This Old Marketing with Robert Rose, has generated millions of downloads from over 150 countries. He is also the author of The Random Newsletter, delivered to thousands every two weeks. His Foundation, The Orange Effect, delivers speech therapy and technology services to children in 35 states. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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