An online publisher wants to launch a new interactive and online magazine for the youth, aged between 10 and 16. The product will not have a printed version. Its content will be free and the magazine will make its money from advertising on the web.
mce_keep=”true”!_LT_STRONGWhat kind of editorial content will you offer this market?!_LT_/STRONG
align=leftThat’s a tough brief! And a tricky age group. A 10-year-old and a 16-year-old are at very, very different life stages. If it’s a mixed-gender magazine, then it’s going to be quite an editorial challenge. There are also so many content niches available. But if the target audience is mixed and from such a wide age group, I would follow a trusted editorial theme like that of National Geographic Kids magazine with a focus on nature, conservation and interesting and unusual animals.
align=left!_LT_STRONGHow will you make the youth market aware of the new online magazine and how will you draw users to the website?!_LT_/STRONG
align=leftThrough mobile. Cell penetration is way larger than online in South Africa and kids are obsessed with their mobile phones. I would partner with IM services like mxit and access databases with permission-based sms to advertise the mag-ezine.
align=left!_LT_STRONGHow will you convince advertisers to advertise their products here and what kind of rates would you offer advertisers?!_LT_/STRONG
align=leftThat’s the cracker. Advertising and media agencies are still obsessed with traditional media. They are also more supportive of web and mobile if it has a parent print brand. Like with any traditional selling environment though you need to develop the right sales pitch with passionate people. Don’t waste time with long-shot brands that don’t fit the environment. I would forget about the pay-forimpression route and rather approach clients with tactical sponsorships on the site. These sponsorships could also link to events.
align=left!_LT_STRONGIn your opinion, what kind of advertisers will be interested in advertising on an online youth magazine?!_LT_/STRONG
align=leftAll depends on the positioning of the magazine and whether the planner or client values 360-degree campaigns. An online fashion bible would attract the clothing houses no doubt, but an online mag aimed at wildlife and outdoor adventure would obviously attract a whole different crowd.
align=leftOne of the most enthusiastic advertising groups to kids is the food clients (the likes of KFC and Spur) and with creative thinking on these brands you could do some really great online ad campaigns for them.
align=left!_LT_STRONGDo you think the South African advertising and reader markets are ready for such a product?!_LT_/STRONG
align=leftIf you look at the biggest sites in the world none of them are online magazines. They’re social networking sites, email and search engines. I think, like with any good content though, people will read it if it appeals to their interest directly, is incredibly well written, unique and consistent. But even with great content I would couple this with some sort of come-back factor (games, quizzes, competitions) or usage component (like email, IM, sms).
align=left!_LT_STRONGWhat needs to happen for the advertising market to be less sceptical about online advertising? When do you think the attitude toward online will start changing in South Africa?!_LT_/STRONG
It would be nice to think that suddenly the tide will turn and clients will be keen on digital media but online is a growing audience and still relatively small compared to most other mediums. However, online media is entirely measurable – which you simply cannot do with other media – and it demands active participation from its users. It’s also immediate. Once usage picks up, and that is simply a matter of time, there will be no excuse for advertisers. However, I think with creative ideas you can attract spend from clients. Seventeen digital proposed a virtual makeover game to Clinique. It was huge fun and users spent loads of time trying all the latest products. Priceless interaction.!_LT_EMNatalie Dixon is the digital publisher of youth at 8 Ink Media.!_LT_/EM
align=left!_LT_EMÃ¢Â–Â !_LT_/EM This article first appeared in !_LT_EMThe Media!_LT_/EM magazine.