Online Digital Publishing Trends: Facebook, Newsletters, and … 2017?

Our friends at provide an online digital publishing forecast for next year; plus, what some magazines aren’t getting about Facebook

If there’s one thing we know about online digital publishing, it’s that the industry never stops changing for even a moment.

But we wouldn’t have it any other way, of course. And, yes, we definitely know more than one thing about digital publishing. We know, for instance, that mobile apps and responsive design continue to be pressing issues for digital magazines; we know digital magazines are worried about their presence on Facebook; and we know that email newsletters can work wonders for your company. knows all of that, too. Let’s take a look at some of their recent coverage!

The Online Digital Publishing Outlook in 2017

That’s right, folks … fall has just barely hit us, and is already talking 2017. We love it. Ron Matejko‘s crystal ball includes a lot of mobile app talk, along with staffing, subscriptions, and more … including how digital can drum up more print success.

“Cities West Publishing in Scottsdale, Arizona was an early adopter of producing digital magazine apps with the Adobe Digital Publishing Software. In 2016, the company expanded its app offerings to go beyond interactive versions of its two monthly print publications and now also includes apps that supplement multimedia editorial and sales campaigns for two of its special issues,” Matejko writes.

“One example is an app it released in January, to go with the debut of Phoenix Home & Garden’s Top Design Sources issue. The magazine features more than 1,200 listings of design experts, shops, and services, which were reformatted in an app for Apple and Android mobile devices. The TDS app was developed in house with its own unique functionality instead of replicating the magazine format. In addition to acting as a mobile resource guide for those who downloaded the app, it also drove business with its enhanced interactive listings for partners who received this added value item if they purchased a print ad. The results were strong, so its brother publication, PHOENIX magazine, replicated the model in July by releasing an app to coincide with its annual Travel Guide issue.”

Creating Email Newsletters That Attract Subscribers

Don’t even get us started about email newsletter publishing – it’s one of our true passions. Looks like we’ve got something in common with, which has a nice post on this best practice at the heart of the Mequoda Method.

“For businesses that rely and thrive on website performance and engagement, you’re likely measuring and reporting on your audiences’ interactions with your website content,” Nate Kristy writes.

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“The same processes should also apply to newsletters. Ideally, newsletter success is considered around the following metrics: 95% deliverability or above; 15-25% open rate; 3% click through rate or above.”

What Is the Real Problem for Facebook Publishers?

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. It’s not on the trends list discussed above, but it almost goes without saying: Facebook will be a concern for publishers for the foreseeable future. has an interesting piece about what Facebook magazines can do to maximize their investment of time and resources into this dominant social platform.

“Our mistake has been to look at Facebook — and all social media for that matter — as another publishing channel. We’re good at building audiences and so we do the same thing on social media. We’re obsessed with how many people follow our page and what the organic reach and engagement is with each post. But the reality is that none of that really matters. Facebook metrics are eye candy designed to make us feel like we’re accomplishing something,” Eric Shanfelt writes.

“Instead, what we really need to measure is how well we are using Facebook to build our own audience database. We will change our definition of success on social media once we realize that Facebook is NOT a publishing channel … it’s an audience development tool. Even with reduced organic reach, your Facebook page can still help build your own audience database. You’ll certainly want to continue following best practices by posting good content, engaging with your audience, and cross-promoting other market leaders. But be sure to mix in compelling lead magnets in your feed on a regular basis … things that people actually WANT to register for. Remember, while it doesn’t hurt to keep growing your Facebook followers and measuring engagement, ultimately you should measure your success on the number of email leads your page generates each month.”

Which online digital publishing trends will you be tracking in 2017? Let us know in the comments!

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