Creative Marketing for Your Magazine

By October 11, 2017Marketing, Tips

See Part One and Part Two of this three-part series.

Creative Marketing Tips 

Let’s say you’ve ramped up ad sales, digital subscription, and merchandise for your growing publication. What’s next? Stepping outside of the traditional boundaries of monetization has been a favorite among swoon-worthy magazines on Issuu, from NUDE Mag to a known classic publication like Kinfolk. Let’s explore some creative marketing tips to monetize your digital magazine to the next level.

Brand Partnerships

Collaborations are an opportunity for both brands to come together and create something that both audiences would love and appreciate. From the initial planning to the execution and launch for partnerships, brands want to partner with magazines who have active, loyal readers. You want to make sure you collaborate with a brand that best fits with your magazine’s mission and core values. For example, Sweet Paul partners with brands to create compelling advertorials, a type of ad that provides product information in an editorial or journalistic style.

Sweet Paul Magazine – Fall 2017

My fabulous Autumn 2017 issue is full of the food, crafts, shopping, trends, and lifestyle content you love! Fall features include: Fall’s Best Food | DIY Tactile Home Decor | SEEDS: The Star of the Show | The Making of an American Arrow | Sunday Supper | Pomegranate Passion | When Paul Met Valerie Bertinelli | Cardboard Crafts | The Secret Life of Tea | Tiffanie Turner’s Paper Flowers | A Trip to Laos | Q&A with Adrienne C.

Public Events

Parties, meetups, retreats, conferences, launch parties, and happy hours – events are fun, interactive, and a great way to bring your brand to life for your audience and partners. You can use Splash or EventBrite to easily post, promote, sell tickets online, and manage your sales with access to data, tools, and reports.

We’ve seen great events from publishers, including signings with cover stars, live readings, and music performances, especially acoustic sessions.  You can also consider raffles, photo booths, and surprise guests. For example, Issuu publisher, Mad Sounds Magazine recently hosted an events in Los Angeles. You can reach out to local businesses and brands to sponsor your event and in return, you can help promote the business at your event and on social media platforms. You can go further by collaborating with a photographer to capture the candid moments and videographer to film a montage of the events, then share the results on YouTube and Instagram. When your readers are loyal to your brand, they’ll want to be a part of the full experience of your magazine even if they can’t attend in person.

creative marketing tips

Image from FORGE. Art Magazine

Creative Agencies

There’s a new trend of independent publishers who are building creative agency arms to bring their brand and aesthetic know-how to clients. Kinfolk started Ouur Media to focus on the creation of print and digital media for a young creative audience. Their clients include Zara, West Elm, and LG Electronics. They’ve introduced a multifunctional and collaborative space called The Kinfolk Gallery that it is available to host events like pop-up shops, dinner gatherings, and photo shoots.

There’s also We Print Nice Things, a boutique publishing house in Australia, founded by Louise Bannister and Laura Burke, veterans from Frankie and Lunch Lady Magazine.

When you’re building your own creative agency, remember your existing magazine brand is your most powerful calling card, so be sure to and you should tailor your agency’s offerings to whatever your team’s forte already is, whether that’s storytelling, branding, social media, in-house design, photography, or even food styling.


Who doesn’t love sporting some cool merch from your favorite creative brand? You can create a cohesive design for popular merchandise like pin and sticker packs, embroidered patches, tote bags, t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts. Magazines like Complex and Thrasher Magazine are prime examples of integrating their brand’s identity and aesthetic design. You can also sell posters of your past covers like The Fader does with their 20” x 30” posters. There are options to sell merchandise directly to readers through user-friendly e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCartel, Squarespace, and WooCommerce. Or upload your design to an online printing service like Bonfire, CafePress, or TeeSpring to manufacture and fulfill orders. You’ll want to monitor what sells best in your store. You can also give merch away to influencers or run contests to build brand awareness on social media.

Don’t forget, you can read parts one here and two here of our Publisher’s Monetization Guide. In the meantime, you can check out our other guides, how-to videos and connect with issuu’s Publisher Community Hub.

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