A physical magazine creates a balance to the fast-moving content offered through social media, email marketing and similar digital resources. For example, your magazine may linger on a coffee table for weeks in customers’ homes, offering a long-term reminder of all you do for the community.

Six times a year, you provide a look into not only how your company benefits your neighbors with excellent communications services, but also how you perceive the community.

Making each of those six issues count requires planning, and we wanted to offer five tips for making the most of your magazine strategy.

The magazine is designed to position your company as the primary resource for communications services, subtly reenforcing that message through positive stories. As you plan future issues, first consider your marketing plans. What stories speak directly to those plans? Can customer profiles highlight the benefits of your services? Would a how-to story provide the reader key information needed to make the most of your services? First considering your big-picture marketing goals will help define the specific magazine stories that best serve those goals.

A followup on a previous topic can provide a rich opportunity for a great story. Did you profile a business a year or two ago that just started using fiber-based internet? How is the business doing now, and what new services has it added? Consider a look-back story to the days before fiber started rolling out, a time when slow download speeds made all we do today impossible. Examples abound. Just remember, revisiting a topic can create reader interest, because they may be curious to see if a story had a second or third chapter.

A one-page story is about 450-480 words. A two-page story tops out at 900 words. So, tightly focused stories on a single topic work best. Do you have three new services? Consider covering one per issue instead of doing everything at once. Do you want to feature local resources such as libraries or volunteer fire departments? Carve out slices of those broad story concepts into smaller, manageable bits. This approach will help the reader and create a thematic drive over the course of multiple publications.

Graphics, a photo-only page, bullet points and similar design-focused formats are great storytelling tools. Consider what approach might best impart the information you wish to convey to your readers, and consider if breaking away from the traditional story format might offer a new way to engage. Your assistant editor can help brainstorm, too. Visual storytelling is a wonderful opportunity to add an additional layer of polish to your publications.

Why would a reader care? Powerful story plans pair your marketing goals with content the reader finds engaging. Striking that balance is the power driving the Regional Telco Magazine.