How to Launch a Digital Strategy in Less Than 60 Days

When I say “launch a digital strategy” I mean every aspect of digital: online content, social media, e-newsletter, and even text messaging.  A True Digital Transformation. Everything your publication needs to reach an ever-growing digital audience wherever they are across the web, social and on their mobile devices.

Recently we partnered with a niche publisher to upgrade and relaunch all aspects of her digital strategy.  We took on the technology heavy lifting, so the publishing team could focus on what they do best – editorial and content development.

Digital Brings New Subscribers & New Revenue

Taking full advantage of the publisher’s great content, our teams built a new, mobile-optimized, search-engine-friendly, easy-to-update digital presence featuring the magazine. With that as our foundation, we worked together to build a traffic-acquisition plan to drive new readers to the upgraded site and drive subscription sales.

We are using all the digital marketing tools at our disposal: social media, paid advertising, and email marketing. New traffic to their site means new subscribers to their print magazine and e-newsletter, and added value for their advertisers.

This approach has opened new sources of digital revenue: paid email sponsorship, banner display ads, recruitment & job classifieds, business directory, event calendar listings, and an ecommerce integration for online subscriptions, merchandise, and event tickets.

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Dive In  

The goal of a well-designed digital site is to complement the print magazine.  It helps new readers and subscribers find your quality content on the search engines.  It provides flexibility for your readers who sometimes want to read from their mobile devices. And, it increases the exposure your advertisers’ have to your subscribers.

Data is the tell-all. The site was built with Google Analytics installed. You learn so much about the interest and behavior of your readers when you have the ability to track their actions.  We pair those metrics with a custom set of performance reports that helps the publisher see all aspects of her digital business.  All this new information is used to inform the editorial calendar, social media strategy, and even which advertisers to approach.

The site has Google DoubleClick for Publishers, creating new ad products for their sales team to sell run-of-site advertising to more of their current print clients. Instead of just “Run of Site,” advertisers can now sponsor sections that tie to their desired audience with these metrics.

All the content is tagged, and searchable.  This gives the site an immediate search engine optimization lift, because all articles can now be found on Google.  And, all those archived articles make great social media posts we can use to reach new readers on Facebook and other social platforms.

From all that great content, the e-newsletter editor can now drag and drop to build their email campaigns. We integrated directly into MailChimp. Now, creating a newsletter by hand can be done in less than three minutes.

Perhaps most importantly, the new site has a subscription sign-up form front and center in the new design.  It’s tied to the ecommerce integration we did, so the whole transaction can take place right there, on the site. All this has helped the publisher achieve one of her top priorities—to acquire new readers.

Digital is no longer an optional way to reach your subscribers.  Diana Landau said it best in her post “Roll Out the Digital Red Carpet”. The digital space is literally transforming in micro-moments. Niche media companies need solid monetization strategies for social media, native ads and other content.


More about Charity: Charity Huff is CEO of January Spring, a digital marketing & advertising agency that partners with niche media companies to make the most of digital. January Spring helps publishers grow their digital audience and subscribers through social media, e-newsletters and website redesigns. As a natural extension of that work, the agency also provides the very best digital and social solutions these publishers can bring to their advertisers.  Prior to starting January Spring with her partner, Shannon McBride, Charity built the advertising analytics platform, Tru Measure, widely used by the US newspaper publishing industry.



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