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Digital strategies for niche publishers

Charity Delich – Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Booz & Company, Inc. strategy+business is a business and management magazine published by Booz & Company, Inc., and edited by Art Kleiner. It is distributed traditionally to bookstore newsstands and is also available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. strategy+business lends a B2B perspective on digital. Impacting their decision to transition to the digital arena was finding that aside from their website, strategy + business didn’t have much of a digital presence. They were curious to see how a small publisher could start in this space, so they began by looking to large publishers.  The goal – take the tactics skillfully executed by large publishers and apply them to niche publishing. RELATED: Justin Boling, Group Magazine, offers another strategy In answering these questions, these items stood out – content is king pick the right distribution platforms choose the right pricing model develop a strong marketing strategy. Content is King – At the end of the day, nothing matters more in B2B than the quality of the content. Platforms – Natively, strategy+business decided that iPad was critical but iPhone, Android and Nook were also important to reaching their audience. Pricing – strategy+business moved from offering a free app to paid, offering both subscriptions and single issue purchases. Strategy – An integrated marketing approach that includes digital editions and apps, as promoted via social media and their website ads. To drive advertising dollars, they are leveraging analytics to educate advertisers on digital impressions of their content. On an experimental basis, they share articles with Google Currents RESULTS – The magazine’s digital circulation base is growing rapidly....

One niche publisher’s advice – designing for digital works

Justin Boling – Marketing Manager Group Magazine, Unfiltered Magazine Group Magazine is a youth ministry publication that has been around for 30 years, but have only been digital for a little over a year. Justin says a big factor in their decision to go digital was their audience, a younger and tablet-savvy reader. When it came time to formulate their digital strategy,  their approach was to sit down and ask themselves what they wanted to include. Regarding content – print replica or digital content? Pricing – free or paid? Advertising – If we design for digital, how do we include advertising? WHAT THEY DECIDED Group Publishing checked with their readers and discovered two important reader preferences – a preference for native apps over browser viewing and a need for engaging content. Group Magazine‘s reader base is 50% volunteer youth workers. Audience size is the most important metric to Group Publishing and to their advertisers. The subscriber base for this title really responds to video. With the number of videos Group wanted to build in, a custom designed publication was easier than trying to retrofit pages designed for print. But videos also represent an advertising opportunity. “With a digital edition, the beauty is that you can offer more advertising options, such as videos,” says Justin. RELATED: Jim Kushlan, AMERICA IN WWII, offers another strategy ADVICE FOR DIGITAL PUBLISHERS Focus on what works for you and your brand. It’s often easy to look at competitors and try to decide if what worked for them would work for Group.  The truth is – it’s more important to focus on what works for you. If...

Updated Statement from BlueToad Inc. – clarifying media reports

written by Paul DeHart, CEO and President During the last 24 hours, the cyber attack of our system has garnered significant media coverage. Many of our publishers have reached out to us for clarification, so we wanted to take a moment to clear up any misconceptions that may have arisen from the media coverage. The use of UDIDs was a reasonable industry practice and Apple itself has stated that they are still allowing UDIDs to be used in code bases. We do not handle credit card information, social security numbers, medical information or other highly sensitive information. We believe we have followed reasonable practices in how we have handled our collection of UDIDs, names, emails and similar information. Contrary to some of the information that has been reported, BlueToad believes that you will not be harmed as a result of the UDID information posted on the Internet.  We do not suggest that you remove apps from your device or that you purchase a new device as a result of this incident. We have updated our code base in March to no longer use UDID information.  We are in the process of upgrading all of our apps to this new code set. In addition, we have discontinued storing any UDID information sent to our servers by apps that have not been upgraded. We have never used UDID information in an improper or ill-advised manner.  We did not store UDID information along with any other personally identifiable information – like names, emails, passwords, addresses, etc… We have never used UDIDs as an authentication token or password, to track user location or...

Statement from BlueToad regarding the cyber attack suffered in the recent case of stolen Apple UDIDs

Written by Paul DeHart, CEO and President A little more than a week ago, BlueToad was the victim of a criminal cyber attack, which resulted in the theft of Apple UDIDs from our systems.  Shortly thereafter, an unknown group posted these UDIDs on the Internet. At BlueToad, we understand the importance of protecting the safety and security of information contained on our systems. Although we successfully defend against thousands of cyber attacks each day, this determined criminal attack ultimately resulted in a breach to a portion of our systems. When we discovered that we were the likely source of the information in question, we immediately reached out to law enforcement to inform them and to cooperate with their ongoing criminal investigation of the parties responsible for the criminal attack and the posting of the stolen information. We have fixed the vulnerability and are working around the clock to ensure that a security breach doesn’t happen again.  In doing so, we have engaged an independent and nationally-recognized security assurance company to assist in our ongoing efforts. We sincerely apologize to our partners, clients, publishers, employees and users of our apps.  We take information security very seriously and have great respect and appreciation for the public’s concern surrounding app and information privacy. BlueToad does not collect, nor have we ever collected, highly sensitive personal information like credit cards, social security numbers or medical information.  The illegally obtained information primarily consisted of Apple device names and UDIDs – information that was reported and stored pursuant to commercial industry development practices. Upon Apple’s recommendation several months ago, we modified our code base to...

BlueToad Apps look good on the New iPad

Posted by Jessica Bush Aslanian, director of sales and marketing at BlueToad, Inc. Post updated on August 8, 2012 to reflect 3.1 release notes. More than 3 million New iPads were sold the first weekend alone. So it is likely that some of your readers are already reading your App content on this exciting new device. BlueToad has some exciting news about how your App looks on the New iPad and what we’re doing to make it even better. Out of the box – You Look Good! Your BlueToad App on the New iPad ALREADY looks better than it did on the iPad 2 and you haven’t even lifted a finger. That’s because BlueToad serves the reader a higher resolution jpeg than the 768 x 1024 pixel dimensions that earlier iPad versions called for  (960 pixels wide x the height as calculated given the aspect ratio of your pdf).  So rest easy – you’re already a step ahead of many of the magazines in App Store and Newsstand. Touch here to download an example of our current v 2.3.6 App.   App 3.1 – Even Better The next version of our iPad App will take even more advantage of the New iPad’s best qualities. You can call it the “New App” or App 3.1 – either way, we’re happy! Here are some of the hottest features in the new App. Full release notes are available here: 3.1 iOS App Change Log These features are available to readers on the New iPad. Readers on earlier iPad versions will continue to receive content optimized for their device: Crystal clear display – Your...

BlueToad upgrades App to further enhance the reader experience on the New iPad

  THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REFLECT NEWSSTAND ADDITIONAL ASSETS BlueToad has upgraded its v 2.4 App to v 3.0 to incorporate a graphics update to make use of the Retina Display, as well as some other forthcoming features.  In preparation for this release, we made the following announcement on March 27th to our Current App Customers. PREPARING for VERSION 3.0 — Action Required Additional Assets The New iPad takes advantage of higher resolution icons in App Store and the iPad Desktop.  Upgrading to App version 3.0 will require each publisher to provide four (4) additional assets, as listed below.  Once completed, please send them to apps@bluetoad.com.  We will submit upgrades in the order that the assets are received.         Application Icon for Desktop: 144 x 144 PNG Launch Image (portrait): 1536W x 2008H PNG Launch Image (landscape): 2048W x 1496H PNG Large Application Icon for App Store:1024 x 1024 PNG For Apple Newsstand publications: Newsstand Icon: A mock cover at least 1024 pixels on its longest side PNG Issue Description The upgraded Cover Gallery in the App now has dedicated space for you to promote each new issue to the reader.  Click here to see an example. This text pulls from the Issue Description field in the BlueToad dashboard of each available issue.  Populating the App with text is as easy as populating this information in the BlueToad dashboard. Click here for tips on where and how to update this information. This post has been updated to include v 3.0 iOS App Change Log and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (App 3.0...

Email tips for publishers

Many publishers print great content in their magazine and post great content on their website. More today than ever are creating digital editions and magazine apps. But how do you reach your audience to drive readers to your other outlets? One way through email marketing. Email marketing is not the same thing as spamming—the most effective email lists are qualified with an opt- in confirmation. This provides you with a clean list that will provide you a better return on investment. Note: Some call this Opt-in email advertising or permission marketing. Here are some tips you can follow if you’re getting started with email delivery of digital content, as highlighted in “Can Digital Editions be Sexy?” from  the July/August issue of Publishing Executive Magazine. Think of ‘push and pull’.  The ‘push,’ includes pushing content in front of readers, such as, including in the e-mail alert about the new digital edition’s availability links to individual articles of interest to get them to open the digital edition. Resend e-mails to “unopens”, but change the e-mail subject to get their attention. Send initial e-mails at approximately the same time/ day of the week so readers see a pattern. As for the “pull” part of the “push and pull” strategy: Use Web, Facebook and Twitter to share articles and links to your digital edition to pull people into the issue. Use the digital edition to pull people to your website in the same way. From the issue itself, include links to interactive pages on your site to create that relationship with your site in addition to the digital edition. Have an App?, Use...

iPad app v 2.2 now available

Many of you have been asking for our version 2.2 iPad App. It’s now here! The release notes are attached to this post for your review. Highlights are: The ability to insert HTML5 animations into your App Render different pages based on if the reader is holding the app in portrait or landscape? (We call this “Perspectives”) Check out these features in more covered in our change log for iPad app version 2.2...