Published on: 19-07-2017

How successful is your customer magazine?

This question is becoming increasingly common within organizations. And why not? You invest a lot of time and money in it, so of course you want to know what specific benefits it brings. In this blog, I explain how to assess the success of your customer magazine and how to use this information to make your magazine even more successful.

Measure the results of your work

This is already standard practice in other marketing disciplines. For example among marketing colleagues who provide the lead generation with Adwords and social advertising campaigns. They use transparent KPIs to ensure that the result of their activities is measurable. With the data available and services such as Google Analytics, you can precisely identify where you stand and what you can do to improve results. It’s hardly surprising then that marketing communication professionals are also increasingly being challenged to measure the return on investment of their work, such as that on the customer magazine.

Qualitative vs. quantitative insight

Measuring the return on investment of a printed customer magazine is not easy. Of course, high-quality reader research can provide useful insights. But it’s time-consuming and expensive research that gives you no guarantee that the customer will actually do what he or she says. So isn’t it great that you can assess the success of your magazine based on data?

Go digital

It starts with the development of a customer magazine that enables you to measure everything down to the finer detail. A digital publication enables you to do just that. You have the content, such as copy and images, available already. Use it to compile your first digital publication. From the outset, make use of the additional possibilities of a digital publication, such as video and response forms. You can even personalize your customer magazine, which is unthinkable with a printed version.

When is your customer magazine successful?

In order to determine success, you have to be able to compare the results with something. Before publication, you should therefore determine what goals you aim to achieve – in other words, the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Reach your target group

Do you have the e-mail addresses of your readership base? This is of course essential for effective online distribution. Take a look at these tips for even more advice on smart distribution.

Create online magazine

Build, measure, learn

Many organizations have already digitized their customer magazines – take a look at the case study of PwC for example. The data collected from these publications provides valuable insights. Research shows that a customer magazine reader spends on average between 4 and 5 minutes reading a magazine. Of course, you wish to ensure that this valuable time is put to good advantage. You should therefore make sure that you subject your first digital publication to extensive analysis and use the insights to improve the next edition.

Video is the new text

Many organizations are seeing the added value of video as a means of communication and are using it for interviews with management, with customers, for the opening of a new branch, and so on. Ensuring that the videos achieve the reach they deserve is far from easy. A digital customer magazine can provide the answer. You can easily embed video in the magazine and combine it with context that encourages readers to view the video. The resulting data can tell you whether the video is actually being viewed as well as you initially expected.

Less is more?

A final word on the average reading time. An average of ‘only’ 4 to 5 minutes? This means that including four times as much content is ill-advised. Most of it will hardly be read. This is not because it’s not interesting, but because the available time of your audience has run out. You should therefore consider publishing less content and increasing the frequency. If you want to know if it’s working, the data will give you all the answers you need.

Would you like to know more about digitizing your customer magazine or do you need help in analyzing your first publication? If so, contact me on michiel@instantmagazine.com and I’ll be happy to help!

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