Oftentimes when reading digital magazines, I get disappointed. I expect more than PDF replicas of the print edition. It’s sort of like having a full HD TV and only getting sound. Easy, user-friendly navigation, interactive features like quizzes and checklists and content adapted specifically for the device makes all the difference. Likewise, ads need not be the basic replicas of traditional print ads – Ads with only web links and little or no call to action are a loss for the advertisers. To be embraced by consumers, it’s better to add interactivity and the right context to ads in the digital magazines, such that a user after tapping on an ad knows what’s next.
A report on “Tabvertising” summarizes advertising in tablet apps and magazines as – Tablet magazine ads aren’t the same as web ads, but they’re not print ads either. They’re both and neither. To make good tablet ads, you need good ideas but it’s hard to come up with a great idea without any input.
So here’s some inspiration on how to think and what to do when advertising in a tablet magazine:
1. Make sure the landing page is tablet friendly and has a clear call to action
You don’t have to create a special iPad version of your site (although having a mobile and tablet friendly version is a good idea, considering the large volumes of mobile traffic). Besides, a user isn’t likely to get up and go to their MacBook because they saw your ad. The solution is simple: have the tap lead to a page where the user can get a free trial, let them enter their e-mail address and they get an e-mail with a download link to their computer.
2. If you don’t sell your products, promote those who do
If you’re manufacturing products and sell through retailers, it doesn’t make much sense to have the tap lead to your homepage. Sure, maybe the user wants to find out more – but they can do that at one of your retailers. Linking to several of your retailers allows the reader to choose their favorite store, and you won’t get in trouble for having favorites. However, links to your social media accounts, like your Twitter page or your Facebook page, make a lot of sense. The user can follow you directly from the iPad, without even leaving the magazine.
3. Don’t cram all your products on one page
Digital magazines truly made for tablets allow both vertical and horizontal scrolling. If your ad catches the reader’s interest, and you have a lot to show, it’s a good idea to have a long vertical page. Less clutter on the screen leads to clearer communication and a possibility to show off each product by itself.
4. Pick the low hanging fruit
In the example above, you saw an example of taking advantage of the iPad’s built-in functionality. Similarly, using the GPS allows you to show the nearest reseller of your products no matter where the reader is. Like iPhone and iPad apps, you can link directly to the app store, and the user is only two taps away from having your awesome app or magazine. This works well for publishers who have multiple titles and they can market their other magazines as well!
5. Make use of the cool features in the magazine platform
There’s more than swiping to a well-made tablet magazine. And if the reader sees something that intrigues them, they’re likely to interact with it. You can have one single page with a lot of information using features like pop-ups, and you can even make it fun for the user to discover the information.
6. Design for both horizontal and vertical orientation
A truly perfect digital magazine works in both horizontal and vertical orientation (and to make a shameless plug: our platform makes it easy for you to design both layouts at once). And if the magazine looks good in both orientations, your ad should too. If the user is reading the magazine in horizontal orientation, forcing them to turn the iPad to view your ad is like asking someone to change position in the couch to see your TV ad. Hooking seamlessly to the user’s experience makes it more likely that they will be open to your message.
7. Make use of your existing material
Tablets are multimedia devices, but it’s easy to think “magazine advertising = print advertising”. If you’ve got a campaign with a TV commercial-ready, it’s a waste of resources to run a static print-replica ad with a link to your site in a tablet magazine. Embedding a video is easy and makes the ad richer and more fun for the potential customer.
8. Do something unexpected
Tablets allow for an endless possibility of creative ways of getting a user’s attention. Once you’ve piqued the reader’s interest, it’s easy to get them to act. You can go creative by adding an animated background, a video, or anything that interests your readers.
9. Think outside print
Tablets aren’t print, they’re not web – they’re something in between. If you’re going to choose either or, sometimes it’s more effective to go for the web approach. This approach requires the user to be connected and anyone reading the magazine offline will miss it, but a button with a super clear call to action results in higher conversions.
10. Tune in to the reader’s frequency
When you think about advertising your product in a magazine, you’re careful to choose the right magazine. Marketing a high tech bike makes more sense in Popular Science than in British Journal of Photography, whereas marketing a new professional camera makes more sense in the latter. We should be as good at making the ad speak the reader’s language.
Hope that you found the list useful and will incorporate them the next time you post an advertisement in your digital magazines.