Q&A with Laura Rowe from Olive Magazine: A Multi-Channel Approach to Publishing

Since 2003, olive Magazine has been releasing monthly editions of its magazine featuring recipes, restaurants, and food-focused travel tips. Today it has a multi-channel presence, with a print edition, website, and mobile app.

We caught up with Laura Rowe from olive at the Digital Content Expo in Berlin, and she shared  some of olive’s secrets for a successful multi-channel presence that puts the audience at the heart of all of the publisher’s initiatives.

How do you make sure your content is accessible in the best ways for your audience across all of their devices?

All of our user insight suggests that our readers are a cosmopolitan, urban bunch who live life looking through a foodie lens, so it makes sense to be across a wide variety of platforms (with suitable content on each) to tap into that passion.

We provide a high-end premium print product, that really makes the most of our beautiful food photography, and our content is also available through different channels such as our modern, easy-to-use mobile app or Apple News feed, or our smart website where you can scroll through 1000s of recipes, restaurant recommendations and travel itineraries.

We even customize our content across our social platforms – as these users all have their own quirks and preferences, too.

Checking in and analyzing the data across all of our platforms regularly is super important to make sure we stay on top of this and the inevitable changes and evolutions .

With so many channels to choose from, how did you and the team decide on the right content distribution channels?

We started out 15 years ago as a print magazine and have obviously expanded to be a multi-platform dynamic brand since then, with both print and digital subscription options.

olive magazine digital or print subscription
Readers can subscribe to the olive Magazine print edition, or read it digitally.

 

We listened to our readers, looked at our content and decided where it would best fit.

We launched a podcast in 2016 because it felt like a natural extension to our rapidly growing digital offering (video, website and social) – so we’re now our readers cook-along soundtrack!

olive magazine podcast
A new podcast episode is published weekly

 

Some platforms come and go (in particular social platforms which you can never fully control) – but if you know your readers, you’ll know which platforms are right and which ones aren’t.

And, it’s always exciting when new technology emerges, as with it brings new opportunities and chances to experiment

How do you use notifications on different channels to let your audience know when new, relevant content gets published that they’ll be interested in?

We use push notifications at several at key points throughout the day for our mobile app and Apple News feed to remind our readers what lovely recipes await them! 

Our content is designed to make you hungry!

We’re also hoping to extend this push notification functionality onto our website next year due to its effectiveness in our mobile app and Apple News feed.

How has olive Magazine’s approach to social media changed? Has the decline in reach for publishers on platforms like Facebook affected you, and how are you reacting to this?

It has changed dramatically over the past three years, and continues to do so every day.

We used to rely on social media for traffic and now we have moved away from completely relying on it to drive our audience to the website and app – but it is still a big driver for us because we’re smart with how we use it!

We weren’t massively affected by the Facebook changes that hurt the reach of many publishers, as we had already switched our digital strategy to an evergreen SEO focus and owning our own channels with the website, podcast, and mobile app.

We now use social as a PR tool, a form of direct communication with our readers, and we use it to gain insight into what our audience enjoys and will engage with.

We constantly react to changes and updates on each individual platform, and innovate and evolve how we create and present our content, just as we would on the magazine or website.

What are you doing on mobile and how are you responding to the opportunity offered by new audiences and changing behavior in content consumption on smartphones?

Our website and digital app are mobile first as the majority of our readers consume our content this way.

olive magazine mobile app

What has olive’s experience been with using your mobile apps as a way to provide a highly accessibly and high-quality mobile reading experience?

Our mobile app has changed and evolved a lot, again, in the past three years – responding to what our readers want.

olive magazine mobile app editions
Browse and purchase different issues directly through the olive app

 

We’re now presenting our curated content on this app in a very simple news-feed format and it’s proven to be a very popular way for our readers to consume our content, and provide them with additional content from other publications that they would enjoy too.

olive magazine app login
Subscribers can login to their accounts in the app to access their personal content feed.

 

What’s your advice for publishers wanting to engage their audience?

Keep the audience at the heart of your decision making.

Know your audience inside out, and all of their nuances across all platforms, and you can’t go wrong!

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