Change is constant so it stands to reason that your readers’ habits, likes and dislikes are continually evolving too. That’s why regular surveys or focus groups are important.
Stagnation in a magazine can be dangerous – so keep talking to your audience. The more you find out the stronger your magazine will be.
Time to start working on an audience survey. First define your main objective, then decide on the priorities, but keep the survey short.
6 questions to ask your readers
- What makes you buy the magazine?
Reasons are not always obvious so ask. Mostly it’s a good cover-line yet sometimes it can be a writer, style or the information factor that sells magazines. Find out what positives are selling your title.
- Do you prefer magazines online, digitally or in print?
Factor in lifestyles and routines. For example a train commuter travelling for more than 30 minutes will probably opt for a digital version to read on a tablet. If that reader spends lunch at his/her desk then online could be preferable.
Choosing to read a print edition is likely to be when the reader has some down time.
- How do you get your news?
Find out this and you can target short snippets of your news stories at the correct medium to point more readers towards your title. Social media is now a favourite news resource for many.
- How long do you spend reading magazines?
Have copy sales been dropping lately, but online consumption has increased? If so it could be your audience want shorter articles.
- If you like an article do you share it with your friends?
This is not just a key question for gaining more readers and increasing copy sales. Finding out if they share stories and why can boost your social media pages and drive up likes and followers.
- What makes you comment on an article?
Dialogue helps sustain a magazine because readers feel more engaged. If interaction is poor you need to find out why and fix it. Getting readers to talk about articles and share experiences is a powerful resource when it comes to sustaining brand loyalty.