Expanding Your Digital Reach

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Publishers are masters of content, but in today’s age, print alone is only going to reach part of your intended audience. So how can a publisher put their existing and future content to use outside of their print, all while being money-conscious and profit-focused? ePublications are the solution.

However, having an ePublication and stopping there is not enough. The truth is that an ePublication without a strategy may end up costing you more than it makes. That’s where these 3 steps to expanding your digital reach with an ePublication come in:

  1. Create a value proposition for your ePublication

    An ePublication is not just another media to leverage–it’s a business move meant to broaden reach and give your content more value. Identify 4 reasons why having an ePublication is important and how it adds value to your readership and you. Take into account concepts like:

    1. Instant content delivery
    2. Monetization
    3. Mobile access
    4. Interactive features
    5. And more…

  2. Share the value with your readership

    Let’s say you create the value proposition and you conclude that there is enough value to make an ePublication part of your publishing strategy. It would be easy enough to just decide to implement it, but how do you make sure your customers see that value and help you reap the rewards from it? Developing a rollout plan to promote your ePublication is a great place to start (and you can do this even if you already have an ePublication in place). The idea is to leverage your social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc, to inform your audiences of the benefit they gained thanks to your ePublication, and how their use of it can help further the development of the publication.

  3. Never settle for the status quo

    Your audience is everywhere, and print is but one way to reach them. ePublications is another, and it adds value to the content experience and your overall  reach.  Your audience is ever-growing, and they are also ever-changing, thanks to the quick pace of the digital age. ePublications need to be able to keep up with that pace and adapt in design, style, content delivery, and timeline to meet the readers where they are at. Keep up with industry research and constantly test new ideas to try and improve both the reader experience and create more value from your ePublication.

Print is valuable beyond belief, even in the digital age. That said, readers these days don’t rely on print alone, and an ePublication is a great asset to serve them and you, but it’s only worth the implementation if done right. If you need help doing it right, we are glad to help.

Further Information

For more information on ePublications in general, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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USPS Proposes Further Price Changes for 2020

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The United States Postal Service’s (USPS) rates have undergone some major changes in the past 12 months, and it looks like the changes will continue into 2020. USPS has recently filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to have several changes in rate prices. If the notice is approved, the changes would take effect on January 26, 2020.

The changes being proposed are related to the Consumer Price Index and adjustments related to market conditions. Price changes related to Mailing Services by around 1.9%. Also, Shipping Services will increase, but the changes will vary based on the product or service.

Should the PRC approve the price changes, there are certain elements that would have no increases in the price: First-Class Mail Forever stamp, additional ounce prices for single-piece, and postcard stamp prices, and 1-ounce flats.

Further Information

To learn more about the USPS proposed changes, click here. For more information on USPS news in general, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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2019 Holiday Schedules | Freight & Mail Impacts

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Publication Printers Corp., like many companies in the United States, observes certain holidays. Due to this, there are sometimes differences in our freight and office hours on and around the dates of each holiday. Below are the changes and special hours to be observed on the stated holidays:

Thanksgiving 2019

Publication Printers:

CLOSED for Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28th. Resuming normal operations on Friday, November 29th.

Freight Carriers:

NO FREIGHT MOVEMENT or PICK-UP for Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th. Freight picked up on or before November 27th will resume transit on Monday, December 2nd.

USPS:

CLOSED for Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28th. Resuming limited operations on Friday, November 29th.

Christmas 2019

Publication Printers:

CLOSED for Christmas beginning Wednesday, December 25th. Resuming operations on Thursday, December 26th.

Freight Carriers:

Freight vendors will close early on Monday, December 23rd and NO FREIGHT MOVEMENT or PICK-UP will occur on Tuesday, December 24th or Wednesday, December 25th.  Freight picked up on or before the 23rd will resume transit on Thursday, December 26th.

USPS:

CLOSED for Christmas, Wednesday, December 25th. Resuming limited operations on Thursday, December 26th.

New Year 2019-2020

Publication Printers:

CLOSED for New Year’s beginning on Wednesday, January 1st. Resuming operations on Thursday, January 2nd.

Freight Carriers:

Closing early on Tuesday, December 31st and CLOSED on New Year’s Day.  Freight picked up on or before December 31st will resume transit on January 2nd.

USPS:

CLOSED for New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1st. Resuming limited operations on Thursday, January 2nd.

Further Information

For more information on Publication Printers Corp., click here and or call 303-936-0303.

If you want more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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PIA Course to Teach Print Design to Designers

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One of the most important relationships a magazine publisher has is the one with their printer. Without a printer, there is no print magazine; while there are many online-only publications, the money in the industry still remains with the print titles. However, the relationship between a printer and a publisher usually revolves around two things only: cost and quality.

A focus on cost is obvious, as publishers are looking to balance budgets more and more as the industry tightens. Quality, on the other hand, is an interesting variable. Of course, the quality of the printing should be a huge consideration, but the quality of what is provided to the printer should be just as vital.

Most professional designers today put their focus on digital, which is great for other industries, but quite problematic for print publishers. Designing for print requires an innate understanding of colors, bleeds and styles that do not apply in other design disciplines. A lack of those understandings can cause print jobs to be held up in production quite easily, or can result in poor quality submissions to the printer. A printer can do a lot to help a publisher resolve the problem, but there is only one true solution: better trained designers.

The Printing Industries of America (PIA), the world’s largest graphic arts trade association and an organization with expert knowledge of the print industry, is seeking to help resolve the lack of training. They have released an iLearning course titled “Print Production for Designers” meant to help bridge the gap of understanding many designers have with print knowledge. The goal of the course is two-fold:

  1. Broaden the horizons of designers.
  2. Help publishers have access to higher-quality designers who can help them produce better quality magazines.

Printers can also make use of the course, and should take it upon themselves to help educate their clients. Printers are responsible for their role in quality, but it is also their responsibility to hold their clientele accountable for providing proper files; otherwise, a printer cannot do their job correctly. The PIA course provides printers the means to foster this new level of relationship with publishers as well, and in the end, it can help printers save time and publishers money.

Further Information

To learn more about the iLearning Course “Print Production for Designers,” click here. For more information about the Printing Industries of America in general, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Meredith and NY Times Collaborate to Create a Special Section

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In a world where high-margin opportunities are less common for publishers, special sections remain a great money-maker. That may explain why Meredith Corporation and the New York Times are making use of one-time titles once again to maximize their reach and profits.

Special sections, also referred to as a special edition or special interest magazines, are one-off magazines meant to capture the hype or exposure on a focused topic. Many times, special sections fall into the “bookazine” category, being significantly longer editions and hyper-focused. This said, with the pursuit of new revenue options, some publications are doing smaller but more frequent special sections, as they tend to have much higher profit margins with the same print run size and audience.

The Meredith/Times special section recently released was a “Summer of 69” issue with a unique spin to the special section concept: multi-publication collaboration. This special section, the first New York Times standalone magazine ever, was built with the help of Meredith Corp., one of the nation’s largest magazine producers, to coordinate with the standard coverage within the New York Times newspaper that was covering the 50th anniversary of the event.

While there have been numerous publications to coordinate content between their parent title and their special sections, completely independent publications working together is not a common practice. This action shows a potential opportunity for publishers to not only expand their profit options, but to help keep each other standing strong in an economy that has not been kind to publishers in general.

Further Information

To learn more about Meredith Corporation’s and the New York Times’ special edition magazines, click here. For more information publishers and special editions in general, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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How Zero Click Affects SEO

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Search engine optimization (SEO) has been considered one of the most important digital marketing aspects to invest in, regardless of business or industry. When it comes to online traffic, being able to find yourself listed high in a search is what the main source of views, and those views often translate to dollars.

For the magazine industry, SEO is even more pivotal than most cases though. With the argument over print’s ability to compete with digital, a lot of publishers put their marketing eggs in the online basket they rely on SEO to generate readership and give value to online advertisement spaces.

Without decent listing and clicks, the digital traffic for magazines would be greatly hampered, and that’s not good when many feel print is questionable (though there is plenty of evidence to speak otherwise, available in our other blog posts).

Google’s newest functionality and optimization have started to lean in a different direction. Paid searches, quick snippets, and other instantaneous results have caused the majority of searches to result in zero clicks, equaling 55% of all Google clicks as of last month. This is the first time in 20 years that Google searches favor no-click searches.

In the words of a Sparktoro employee, who recently wrote a report on the situation, this is done to promote those who implement paid Google services and to help keep searchers within Google’s platforms, and not directing searchers to your content. He stated that “We’ve passed a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden.” an example of a walled-garden is Facebook, they display snippets or brief content on your feeds/story that give clear information without the reader needing to fully access your content, thus keeping the reader within its walls. Sparktoro is a software company focused on audience intelligence resources, and with great expertise in search engine culture.

Online-only content producers, like Buzzfeed, who cover content in almost every facet on a localized and more general scale, are pulling traffic and searches away from content where newspapers and magazines were the primary source. They are also the likely entities that use Google’s paid features or would produce the content snippets that produce zero click searches. Publishers not helming massively powerful and notable publications cannot compete with that kind of digital power and influence.

The solution to the problem is easier than you would think. Big, super-digital companies are going to own the paid spots, but the fact stands that zero-click searches are still searches for information, and it is simply a matter of keeping pace with search engine optimization and Google’s system to stay in the game. It used to be just about meta-data and search rankings, but the game has evolved. Now snippets, audio clips, video views, and other content plays a role too.

Publishers simply need to diversify content and publish it to meet the most current SEO standards possible. Afterall, no one is better at producing content built for multiple media than publishers that are leveraging print, online, and digital to reach their audiences. Do what you do best, just do it with the intention of informing your audiences and appeasing Google.

Further Information

To learn more about Google’s “zero click” searches, click here. For more information on the details of low clicks on searches and why in general, click here. To see the Sparktoro report on the situation, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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The Economist and Newsletters

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Newsletters are a unique form of communication, and one publishers should never overlook. Whether print or digital, newsletters function just like a magazine or newspaper; they have a circulation audience, seek to inform, and are delivered in timely intervals. In a way, it is a natural extension of a publisher’s strategy to incorporate newsletters, and it comes with several perks. A perfect case study proving this is The Economist.

In the last year, The Economist has doubled the normal amount of web traffic it sees from newsletters through updates in design and content strategies. This has led to increased profit margins, better numbers on the website, and additional subscribers to the publication itself. It is through actions and campaigns like their updated newsletters that The Economist manages to make more off subscription sales than advertising (a huge rarity in today’s age).

According to their 2019 annual report, The Economist netted $333 million this past year, of which 59% came from subscriptions and circulation to their 1.7 million subscribers (print and digital). Only 17% of that $333 million came from advertising, and that is a 3% drop from the previous year.

Now we know newsletters are a part of their success, but this is The Economist, who has a massive following, staff, and budget. Is this translatable to niche publishers or regional publishers, who have much smaller pools of resources and spending? YES. The Economist’s newsletters are not an asset and profit generator because they are backed by the robust power wielded by the publication, but because the process and approach are effective, and that approach can be replicated and borrowed by any publisher.

The Economist’s newsletter editor, Sunnie Huang, was quoted last year saying “Almost every week there are some sort of experiments going on. They could be as small as testing different image sizes or as drastic as overhauling the format of the newsletter. Every week we learn something new about our audience and grow as a team.”

Huang’s words are just a glimpse into the overall strategy behind The Economist’s newsletters, but this little glimpse says a ton. First and foremost, the newsletter has an editor, someone who manages its content in the same way there are editors for newspapers and magazines. The newsletter, to them, is a standalone piece that serves the needs of the reader, not just a reiteration of another publication’s content. Second, it is clear that they treat newsletters as a way to engage and deepen the relationship with the reader, not just a way to increase reach.

During the same interview where Huang gave the previous quote, she also delved much deeper into the nuances of how they approached the creation of the newsletter, and how they deliver it. They implemented UX (user experience) design to create the newsletter to fit their audience, not just look branded or clean. They also developed test campaigns to measure pain points for readers, how to resolve them, and even address the specific content requests and preferences that their audience had for newsletters (and they were different from The Economist’s magazine preferences). Even headlines are calculated to match the most frequently-used platforms of consumption.

The results of the stated efforts and the many others that are not stated: an entirely new pool of readers that receive the content that is perfect for them, and that pool of readers is 1.4x more likely to subscribe to The Economist’s full magazine than the average, interested reader who is not a newsletter subscriber. It also provides another touchpoint for those that are already subscribed, providing unique content and approaches that differ from the main publication. This means more engagement with your audience, and that increases the likelihood or re-subscription.

The Economist’s efforts in newsletters, along with efforts in other digital and print venues, can all be summed up with a simple quote from their Head of Produce, Denise Law: The idea is to bring a new culture of becoming a subscriber-first publication … We’re not just making money from eyeballs, but growing reader revenue.”

Further Information

To learn more about The Economist’s newsletter process and related interviews, click here. To see The Economist’s annual report, click here. For more information on the benefits of newsletters for publishers, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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QR Codes for Publishers

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Publishers have been looking to maximize mobile and web for the better part of 3 decades, searching for ways to drive engagement quickly and easily from print readers. Who would have thought that one of the earliest solutions to the problem would still be a leader 25 years later: the QR (quick response) code?

Essentially a variation of a barcode, QR codes are now all over the world, used in everything from manufacture inventory to advertisement. Almost every phone is now automatically programmed to read them too.

So anyone with a smart phone can read a barcode. What does that mean for a publisher creating print content? The answer: you can drive someone from a static page to interactive media, turning a reader into an action-taker online in seconds, and you can even turn a profit from it!

1. Enhance your print content with digital, complementary content

Print publications have a number of limitations, from column inches and content-advertisement balance to page count. This means that a lot of great content gets cut from a story before it reaches the final publication. On top of that, there is a lot of story-related media that cannot go into print, like an interview recording or video footage of an event. With QR codes, a publisher can allow a reader to instantly gain access to all the story that did not make the print publication.

2. Generate results from print Calls-to-Action that are easy to track

Calls-to-action in print are very hard to track. A retailer drops $1000 on a full-page print ad promoting a promo code or exclusive sale, and how many walk into the store and buy? Unless you are doing some very complex technological tracking and collecting a massive amount of data, the answer is probably “I don’t know.” With QR codes, you can drive the reader directly to the called action, and instantly gather a lot of information. The reader gets what they want quickly, and you or the advertiser can know the actual results of the campaign.

3. Increase exposure and the chance of purchase

Due to the ease of scanning QR codes, it is easy to lead a reader from a print story or an ad talking about a product or service to the purchase page. No more hoping the reader follows a multi-step funnel to eventually convert. Just send the reader directly to what they want. The easier the process is for them, the more sales are likely to come.

4. Build “Likes” and “Leads” quickly and easily

Social media is a difficult medium for publishers, mainly because the pace of the user is faster than the content creation of a publisher, and everyone is consuming multiple things at the same time. That said, if a publisher could easily tie their print audience into the social media audience, this issue could be solved. QR codes make that possible by giving readers of a print magazine easy access to like a page, comment on or share a post, fill out a form, or any number of other quick actions that connect the person to the publisher’s digital presence while also driving engagement with the print.

BONUS: Brand QR codes to fit your colors, style, and needs

The original design of the QR code was not meant to be pretty, but instead, functional and easy for a scanner to read. Technology has come a long ways since then. QR codes no longer have to be a square, black and white, unbranded code. With a savvy designer, it is easy to make a QR code into its own branded ad tailored for the publisher, advertiser, or just personalized in general. Also, the options for what happens when you scan a QR code are now vast as there are more customization options. Do some research and figure out what you want to use it for, and make it happen!

If you need help with QR codes, or need someone to help create your branded QR code, feel free to contact us at sales@myppmg.com. We can help!

Further Information

To learn more about QR codes, their history, and how they work, click here. For more information regarding the use of QR codes for magazines and newspapers, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Reasons Pubs Should Consider Mobile Apps

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Almost 30 years ago, the internet reshaped the way people interact and engage with published content. Now, mobile devices ­– likes phones and tablets – are doing it again. Estimates show that 60% of the web traffic related to consuming news and publisher content is coming from mobile devices, meaning mobile is a medium that needs to be leveraged.

This said, this is not an “if you build it, they will come” scenario. Publishers need to be conscientious about their decisions, and take strategic action, and right now, the data says that if you are going to leverage mobile, you do so via a mobile app, and here’s why!

1. Boasts better, targeted engagement

The majority of time spent on mobile devices is dedicated to time in applications, not on the general web browser. This alone makes a mobile app a valuable asset if you are targeting mobile audiences, but add the fact that app users average 300% more page views than mobile web browser users, and the answer is clear.

2. Personalized, branded experience

Websites these days are often dynamic, built to fit whatever device a user is on. However, just because the website conforms to the device does not mean it is ideal for it. The experience someone has from sitting at a computer is very different from that on a phone or tablet. Not to mention, on the internet, everyone is just a click away from leaving your content and going to someone else’s content. An app fully immerses the user in your brand while also making the brand experience 100% mobile optimized.

3. App Ads Are Better Than Mobile Ads

To put an ad on a website, especially one that conforms to the user’s device, requires cookies. Think of them like little trackers that follow someone around as they are on the internet. The problem is that many new security protocols, or the user themselves, can block cookies, making many ads not work. App ads, however, are not in a browser, and usually target by device ID, which is much more secure, more detailed (demographic and behavioral data), and also can track location. It is simply a better, stronger ad opportunity, not to mention the guaranteed exposure to anyone in the app itself.

4. More Revenue More Ways

From more ad options to subscriptions, in-app purchases, e-commerce opportunities, and even sponsored content, mobile apps give publishers several new ways to attract readers and monetize them. Combined with the engagement, branding, and data that an app provides, all of which also provide further revenue growth, and the evidence is clear: if you are going to leverage mobile, do so with an app!

Further Information

Contact us to learn more about how you can take advantage of a mobile app.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers click here.

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2019: Awards and Recognitions for Publication Printers Corp.

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For more than 40 years, Publication Printers has been carving its niche in the publication printing world. During those years of growth and progress, we have earned recognition not only as a printing company, but as an organization in general.

To showcase capabilities, and to also help the publishers we partner with, Publication Printers enters into several annual print competitions. These shows provide us the opportunity to showcase our work, and continue to prove our place in the industry as a world-class printer. Here is a quick rundown of our results in 2019 so far:

Publication Printers Takes Home “Best of Show” and more from WSPA:

The Western States Printing Alliance is one of many regional print association chapters across the United States, and the chapter in which Publication Printers participates. They host an annual award contest for the best works of the year in numerous categories, and also crown one submission as the Best of Show. Publication Printers submitted 6 entries in total, and brought home 5 awards!

  • Best of Show Award (comes with automatic entry for the Benny awards at PIA!)

Category: Heatset Web Magazine (swept the category)

  • Gold Award
  • Silver Award
  • Bronze Award

Category: Catalog

  • Silver Award

Further Information

To see the awards Publication Printers brought home in 2018, click here. If you would like more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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