Their channels include their own blog on Flipboard, a YouTube channel, a Twitter account and a Facebook fanpage.
This is the official Flipboard channel for communicating official announcements and featuring popular content. Its MagMaker community, similar to the Medium channel, is a blog that provides its MagMakers the newest update information and tips and tricks to make great magazines .
Flipboard's official YouTube channel has almost 8000 subscribers, about three times more than what News Republic has. The videos are well made, organized, and presented in consistency with their brand elements and other marketing programs.
Its Twitter account is used as a more intimate community for casual conversations and popular content shares. It has 511K followers and very high fan engagement; it was literally flooded with retweets and tags right after the newest v4 update.
Flipboard's Facebook page is not as popular, with a little less than 164 thousand likes, and around 10 likes per post (mostly article shares).
The "My Magazine" campaign is a series of videos introducing various magazine creators and their values. Instead of celebrities, they chose to feature professionals and artists who are passionate about their missions and ideals, aiming for a more powerful emotional impact. The video itself is very clean and artistic, again perfectly aligning with the brand and product image.
They also made some #FlipTips, a series of cute tutorials and function intros that not only taught, but also intrigued their audience.
#MagsTurn3 was a promotional campaign on its three-year-anniversary, in which they announced Flipboard's major milestones and also made featured posts for the best articles and MagMakers.
This campaign was present on both their official blog and Twitter. The hashtag was used in hundreds of tweets, and featured posts were shared by the MagMakers themselves and many others onto social media platforms like Facebook.
Flipboard pushes advertisement revenues through sale of full-page ads, and more recently, video ads. Full-page ads are similar to magazine ads, and they don't cause distractions like links and flashing ads on other platforms. The new video advertisements let users see video and audio full page ads for select brands.
In 2014, they also enabled a shopping section for readers that features curated magazines from brands including Levi’s, Cisco, Estee Lauder, and Land Rover. These magazines act as online shopping sites, and include articles and images that feature catalog-style sections that can be used to showcase and then sell these products.
Flipboard has been growing fast, gaining more than 100 million users on their platform, but they are still struggling on profitability. The CEO states that it would at least take one more year for them to reach positive earnings, but the future looks very positive with their revolutionary v4 release.
After looking at the marketing strategies of Medium and Flipboard, I've noticed a few things in common which I believe are critical to their success.
- Emotional connections with their audience
Their advertisements are not about explaining how to use the app or telling people how popular it is, but about tackling the emotional aspect and showcasing the simplicity of their user experience designs. I think News Republic can definitely try going more towards this direction, starting with a clear, powerful slogan and building strong, consistent marketing plans around its core values.
Due to their highly promoted mission statements behind their products, Medium and Flipboard both have great brand awareness and highly positive images. This has been accomplished by clear guidelines on all their marketing efforts as well as coherent messages, designs and campaigns throughout all of their communication channels. In other words, the content they post are very well controlled. Flipboard is especially strong on YouTube, with a very well-organized channel featuring their campaigns and tutorials. As News Republic shifts from a news aggregator to a content aggregator, it would be a challenge to create the right brand positioning due to very little flexibility with the brand name. We do have our own YouTube channel already, so it would be easy to start with organizing the content, deleting duplicate or irrelevant videos, and produce new campaigns that are more closely related to our product.
- Strong influencer communities
Both Medium and Flipboard have active communities with their influencers and content creators on their own site, as well as other channels on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. As for NR Spark, the website only leads to the signup page, and the only communication channel with our writers is the Facebook Igniters Group. Managing our creators on a Facebook group might be hard to organize and seem less professional, so I believe that to maintain activity engagement and loyalty of our content providers, an official channel on Spark would be a great way to improve our communication with them.