How to Use Pinterest for MagCloud Publishers

We’re quite fond of photos and videos much like the online community on Pinterest. It’s no wonder that we heart the pinboard-style visual sharing site (we made our own Pinterest account too!) and are always inspired by what people are pinning.

MagCloud_Pinterest2

Our publishers are also including Pinterest as part of their marketing strategy and we’re seeing a lot of readers using our new social sharing capabilities. Remember that readers can like, tweet, pin, and share their favorite print and digital publications from our website or within the web-based viewer.

For those of you starting a Pinterest account, here are a few tips we’ve found to be helpful on how to use the visual platform to market your publication and engage with your readers.

  • Pin photos from your publication or website – The pinned images will include a link back to your site, which will help drive traffic there.
  • Pin videos – Go beyond just pinning pictures and share videos especially ones that are highly relevant to the theme of your Pinterest boards.
  • Introduce the members of your team – Let your readers and customers know who’s behind the genius.
  • Follow other Pinterest users in your local area and/or field of expertise – You can see how other pinners are getting likes and re-pins and help build upon your presence in your community. Remember to follow us on Pinterest, too!
  • Ask fans to pin photos of themselves with your publication – This is a great way to build engagement with your readers and learn which issues are their favorites.
  • Test different captions – Be sure to include keyword phrases and hashtags, and remember to have fun with your captions.
  • Find out which pictures have been pinned from your site – Simply type the following URL: “http://pinterest.com/source/ADD YOUR URL HERE” and you can see which photos or content are most popular. Find out what people are pinning now, from MagCloud.com!

As a publisher, are you using Pinterest to market your publication? Share your tips on how to use Pinterest with us in the comments section below.

MagCloud Calendars + Your Business

Click here for info on our 2016 calendar templates!

The New Year is rapidly approaching, so if you’ve been wanting to put together a calendar for client gifts or to promote your business, then stop procrastinating and get to it!

No matter what business you’re in, calendars are a great way to keep your name in front of your client all year long.

We know that assembling a calendar can be time consuming, so to save you time, we’ve created templates for some of your favorite design software, in multiple sizes that fit just about any budget and style. Just pick your software and product size, then get your content and imagery together. With just a few edits to typeface and colors you can create a calendar that is uniquely your own.

<< Want to get inspired? Check out Merritt Photography’s Seasonal Reflections 2013 Calendar. Jennifer Koskinen created a fabulous calendar that celebrates the seasons with artful iphoneography and inspired quotations by distinguished photographers and designers. Koskinen did so using our 8″ x 8″ Small Square product to create an elegant and minimalist calendar that fits her brand and budget.

Product Options:

Small Square (8″ x 8″) calendars

These are ideal for square photos like those from Instagram. With Saddle-Stitch Binding a 28 page calendar will cost $5.60/each + Shipping.

Standard (8.25″ x 10.75″) calendars

Our classic letter-sized publication. With Saddle-Stitch Binding a 28 page calendar will cost $5.60/each + Shipping.

Large Square (12″ x 12″) calendars

One of our larger products, this Wire-O bound style has heavier stock paper and is well suited for showing off beautiful images. At 28 pages a calendar costs $12.08/each + Shipping

InDesign CS5 and Newer

InDesign CS4

Pages

Microsoft Word

Restrictions in Microsoft Word make it difficult to have an editable calendar grid in the Word template, so we’ve created three different templates for our Standard size calendar that offer a variety of grid styles as static images. Choose from a classic “Grid style”, a sleek “Line style” or a clean “Corner Style” and add your images to get the look you want.

Poyomi

Tabloid 14″ x 11″ calendar

Don’t want to use any of the above applications? MagCloud’s Partner Poyomi has an easy-to-use web-based platform that helps you create impressive 14″ x 11″ calendars that are printed by MagCloud. With their service you can easily upload photos from your computer or connect to your accounts on photo-sharing services like Flickr, Smugmug, Picasa and Facebook.

*Please note that using the Poyomi tool and templates to create a calendar or photo book will affect the pricing. For Poyomi pricing, visit poyomi.com/pricing

To get started with the Poyomi calendar tool click here.

Check out some of our favorite calendars currently on MagCloud:

Q+A with Merritt Design’s Jennifer Koskinen

No sooner did Jennifer Koskinen begin using MagCloud to showcase her architectural photography work than she found herself designing MagCloud magazines for her clients, too – quickly parlaying her architectural firm into a photography and graphic design boutique. In fact, MagCloud was a source of inspiration for transforming her architectural skills into graphic design skills.

“I love the creativity of designing photographs and then thinking of how to best present them,” Koskinen says. “MagCloud makes it easy and affordable to experiment with design ideas and try new things.”

  How did your architecture work lead to your new career in photography?

Jennifer Koskinen I fell in love with photography when I got my first camera in the eighth grade. But I’d never considered working as a photographer. I pursued a career in architecture, instead.

After a few years of design work, my firm hired me to shoot scouting photos of one of our projects in pursuit of publication. So I submitted my photographs to a magazine, thinking they’d send their own photographer to reshoot them.

The magazine loved what I sent and wanted to publish them. It was just the validation I needed to start shooting more, and soon I realized that I felt more creative photographing architecture than designing it. I absolutely love photography! It’s hard to believe that I get to do this for a living!

  How did MagCloud inspire you in your graphic design business?

JK I started creating my own magazines with MagCloud to give to existing and potential clients. Everyone loved them, right from the start, and wanted me to design magazines for them, too. I’ve created eight MagCloud magazines so far for other architects, builders, chefs, jewelry designers and so forth, with two more in the works. My clients in turn use the magazines to market their work, which makes for fabulous co-marketing for all of us!

  How did you get started publishing through MagCloud?

JK I’d been interested in self-publishing in general, but could find solutions only for books. When I came across MagCloud, I was immediately excited. The first thing I designed was a magazine for my architectural photography. The magazine format was intriguing, so I even wrote stories and included advertisements for some of my clients.

  How has MagCloud made a difference?

JK Next to my website, distributing my MagCloud magazines to potential clients is the most important thing I can do to attract business. I love the reaction that I get from people when I hand them out. People visibly respond to something they can hold in their hands and flip through at their own pace. I see them feel the paper and the weight of it. The pages hold the color so well. It’s one thing to see my images on a computer monitor – it’s nice to see them in print, too.

There’s nothing else out there that beats the quality and the price point better than these magazines. They’re invaluable, and they give my business credibility. There’s no doubt that my sales have dramatically increased because of MagCloud.

  What tips would you give to someone new to self-publishing?

JK Dive in. When I set out to design something, I look at things I love, study graphical trends, fonts, proportions – even white space and how it’s used. It’s really fun to play with, and MagCloud’s templates make everything so easy. I recommend studying what you like and then creating something that’s your own, including things you’ve noticed and like in other people’s designs. Have fun and try things you’ve never done.

  If your publication were a superhero, who would it be?

JK Pixelgirl! She’s a stylish superhero who can fly – cameras in tow – from location to location, harnessing her amazing powers of composition and her ability to capture the most dynamic subjects in the most beautiful light. And she gets home in time to cook dinner for her son!

Q+A with Paul Lips of Toobydoo Childrenswear

You don’t often find an expert in economics spending the day sketching designs for children’s rompers, tiny T-shirts and extra-small sweaters, but for Paul Lips, it’s a dream come true. This Holland-to-New York transplant had worked in the business side of fashion long before taking the leap to the design side – something he’d wanted to do since childhood.

Since launching his New York City-based Toobydoo children’s wear line in 2008, sales have more than doubled each year. Key to that, Lips says, is MagCloud’s ability to quickly print his high-quality catalogs and ship them to garment showrooms around the world. ”For buyers who’ve never seen our clothing up close and in person, MagCloud helps us present our products well,” he says.

  Tell us more about Toobydoo.

Paul Lips We’re a lifestyle design label for children, ages 0 to 8. Our philosophy is “go happy, go lucky” with “to be, do!” attitude. I think you see that in our garments. Children’s clothing should be fun – but it’s also about function. It has to be washable, easy to put on and easy to wear. There are all kinds of criteria to take into account, and I like having to keep that balance in mind.

  As a small business, how has custom publishing fit into your marketing plans?

PL We present our fashion collections through a line sheet that lists our products and specs – for example, age, price and style numbers. And then we produce a lookbook that features models wearing our garments in various lifestyle poses.

In fashion, it’s important to get from an initial idea to a product very quickly. We can do a photo shoot and, two days later, we can upload our line sheets and lookbook to MagCloud and have them instantly available in showrooms. Every day counts. If you don’t have your catalogs in the showroom when buyers are ready to buy, you’ll lose the order. They’ll buy someone else’s line.

  What got you started with publishing through MagCloud?

PL We were pretty early adopters. Our photographer mentioned it to us as an interesting way to produce our catalogs and ship them internationally. From that point on, we have always used it.

Our customers require that we have line sheets and lookbooks. They like the way our pieces are bound – it’s exactly what they want. They look at them, they circle items they like, they write notes on them. They can take the books with them. It makes it easy for them to order our products, and that’s what we want.

The quality is a perfect fit for us. And with MagCloud, we don’t have to order large quantities. If something changes in our line sheet – for example, we discontinue a certain garment – we can easily update the sheet and send it out again.

  What are your tips for someone new to self-publishing?

PL MagCloud is easy. The costs are so low that you can afford to experiment with different approaches. And you don’t have to buy a lot of software. You probably already have what you need on your computer. We use PowerPoint to lay out our pieces. You’ll be amazed with what you can do with the tools you already have.

  What author, artist, photographer or musician would you most like to have over for dinner?

PL Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. I like how he strikes a balance between playful and practical. That’s what I strive for in all of our designs.

Q+A with LIVESTRONG Magazine’s (SPOT ON Media) Margot Sandenbergh

When Tour de France superstar Lance Armstrong’s foundation needed someone to create and publish his LIVESTRONG Quarterly magazine, it turned to magazine publishing expert Margot Sandenbergh. When Sandenbergh needed a way to offer the magazine as an on-demand product, she turned to MagCloud.

“With custom publishing, you control everything – how it looks, what’s in it, who gets it and how often to publish it,” says Sandenbergh, CEO and cofounder of New York City-based SPOT ON media. “Custom media is one of today’s fastest-growing marketing tools, and one of the best ways to strengthen the bond between a company and its customers – or in this case, a cancer advocacy organization and its supporters.”

  Tell us more about SPOT ON media.

Margot Sandenbergh We develop custom marketing tools for business and nonprofits. We create original content, which might take the form of magazines, video and online or mobile applications. As part of our media service we help our clients define and refine their strategies for customer relationship marketing.

Today’s audience is very media savvy. People are now immune to the same old marketing messages – they almost have an inner voice that acts as a gatekeeper. Our job is to tell them something they don’t know, and make it useful, interesting and entertaining while we do it.

  Why magazines?

MS Because they work. We know that 92 percent of readers spend an average of 30 minutes reading a magazine – 45 to 50 percent read it cover to cover. More than half have purchased a product or a service as a direct result of reading a customer magazine. And 39 to 42 percent keep their magazines or pass them on to friends and colleagues.

  What got you started with publishing through MagCloud?

MS MagCloud is an idea whose time has come. We were looking for a print-on-demand solution and saw an article about MagCloud. We started testing it in 2008, and we’ve kept up with all the improvements since then. We love the perfect-bound binding and the iPad solution.

One of the great benefits of print-on-demand is that it removes the high upfront printing costs, which is great news for small publishers or nonprofits. Nonprofits often have a loyal membership base that is willing to buy the publication from the MagCloud “newsstand.”

  How has MagCloud made a difference?

MS We’ve been able to reach a larger audience. We have an international audience of more than 90 million yellow wristband supporters. We couldn’t possibly print that many magazines. The iPad version on MagCloud is perfect for many people in our audience, but those who prefer a print version can also buy it from the MagCloud site and have it shipped to them anywhere in the world.

We’re creating a 15th-anniversary issue for October 2012. This special keepsake issue celebrating the milestones of LIVESTRONG, will have an indefinite shelf-life – thanks to MagCloud.

  What are your tips for someone new to self-publishing?

MS Know your audience and think about what makes your content unique. It’s always advisable to survey your readers about their interests. We try to use writers and editors who represent our audience – health writers, cyclists, cancer survivors and advocates. That allows for a rich editorial base and content.

  If your publication were a superhero, who would it be?

MS Every cancer survivor is our hero.

Delicious Ideas for Your Wedding Catering Business

No matter how professional a staff you may have hired or how special the foods you prepare may be, your catering business will always need appealing promotional pieces to attract new customers. In most cases your menu or brochure is a customer’s first opportunity to meet you. MagCloud makes it easy to publish a variety of publications for your catering business, and with low-minimum print runs (in most cases as few as 1), digital distribution options and direct mailing features, it doesn’t matter if you’ve catered 2 events or 200, you’ll wow your clients with beautiful publications that leave their mouths watering.

So why not try some of these delicious ideas to promote your business:

Flyers to Promote Your Brand

Our double-sided, single sheet Flyer product is ideal for brief messages or content that changes often such as sales promotions, or seasonal offerings. It’s available in four size options: 8 x 8”, 5.5 x 8.5”, 8.5 x 5.5″ or 8.5 x 11” so you can be sure to pick something that really makes your brand shine.

Glossy Brochures to Highlight Your Services, Team & Experience

A brochure will help you showcase your catering business and help the customer get a detailed account of your company. Our 4-page Pamphlet product is the perfect way to quickly capture your audience’s attention and whether you use a standard 8.5 x 11″, a unique square 8 x 8″ size or a pocket-sized 5.5 x 8.5″ you can rest assured that it will be affordable and beautifully-printed. With an easy one-click option to opt-in for digital distribution, you can also offer your brochure as a free digital-download for potential clients to peruse on their PC or mobile device.

Print and Digital Price Sheets

Once a client is interested in booking you, you’ll want to make it as easy for them as possible. Price sheets that double as order forms make for a tidy way to create a menu together. With MagCloud’s combo of high-quality print-on-demand and easy-to-use digital distribution options, you can make your price sheets available as print copies that you keep on hand as well as digital versions so potential clients can view them on any PC or mobile device.

Sample Menus

MagCloud’s new flyer sizes are perfect for reprinting menus from past events to give your customers an idea of how a beautifully planned menu comes together. You could even go so far as to create a proposed menu for their event and present it to them at their tasting.

Wine Lists

With distributor prices and product availability constantly changing, MagCloud makes it easy to have an up-to-date wine list and still look professional. Whenever you need to change a price or add a new wine to your list, simply upload a new PDF and order as few or as many copies as you need.

Special & Seasonal Menus

If you offer a variety of cuisines, or even if you want to break up your menus by season or meal-type, you can easily create a standard menu template that you can change up to create more specialized menus.

Full-Service Catalogs

Many catering businesses are full service, and can provide chairs, tables, china, glassware, silverware, tents and umbrellas, and even arrange centerpieces, place cards, and party favors. If your business offers a wide range of services like this, be sure to present them to your client in your brochure, and offer more in-depth information through a specialized catalog.

Partner Publications

Partnering with venue coordinators, event planners and other service professionals like wedding photographers is a great way to get your brand out there to more clients. Try collaborating with the other pros working with you on events and see if you can work out a way to help promote one another with unique pieces that highlight both of your services. For example a collaboration with a photographer could result in mouth-watering photos of your food and presentation that you can use to promote your business, and referrals for future events.

A One-Stop Shop for Your Business

With publisher pages that can be personalized, and the ability to group similar publications into tidy categories, MagCloud is a great platform to keep all of your business materials in one place and make them easily accessible in both print and digital formats. It’s easy to direct your customers to your personalized and branded page where they can find your menus, catalogs and wine lists all in one place, making them handy to select and download.

Have you used MagCloud to promote your catering or event business? Have another great idea that we missed? Share it below in the comments section!

Product Spotlight: Flyer for Business

One of the new product types we recently announced is the Flyer. The Flyer product is a single sheet of paper printed on both sides in full color with a full bleed, available in quantities of 10 copies or more. You can create a Flyer by uploading a one or two-page 8.5” x 11” PDF to MagCloud. Keep in mind that all Flyers must be two pages long, to encompass both the front and back sides of the printed sheet, so if you do upload a 1 page PDF we will automatically add a second blank page to the end of the PDF for you. Like our Standard product, the cost for a printed Flyer is 20 cents per MagCloud page, or $0.40 for each double-sided piece. As always, orders of 20 copies or more receive a bulk discount of 25%, dropping the price to just $0.30 per Flyer.

We feel like this shorter page limit opens up a number of new options for our publishers, and have listed a few ideas below for how you might be able to use the Flyer product for your business:

< Inserts
Update previously printed collateral to be more timely and customized by adding a single sheet insert. Adding a single sheet insert to a previously printed piece like this can provide more relevant information targeted to a specific recipient, or offer an update to existing collateral. For example, if you’re passing out a catalog, you might include an insert about your upcoming product line or summer sale. Similarly, if you are sending previous donors a copy of your non-profit’s annual prospectus, you might include a more personal thank you letter as an insert.

Conference and Tradeshow Handouts >
Whether they are included in the conference materials or handed out at a tradeshow booth, providing printed handouts to attendees to highlight the features of your product or service will help potential customers remember who you are when they get home.

< Datasheets
The Flyer product is a great option for creating single sheets of technical specs on your product or service. The high quality of the digital printing provides a more professional appearance than desktop printing, while the single letter-sized sheet is a format that can easily be included in a packet with other materials, or left behind at a sales meeting.

Real Estate Sales Sheets >
If you’re an Australian real estate agent, why not use the Flyer product to create sales sheets for your newly listed homes. The full color printing will allow you to include photos along with background information about the listing, that can be offered up as a way to entice potential buyers. Since MagCloud allows for shorter print runs, you can order fewer copies initially and print more on demand as they are needed, saving on storage and paper waste.

< Headshots and Resumes
Get your job interview or audition off on the right foot with a professionally printed resume or double-sided headshot.

Newsletters >
Use the Flyer product type to communicate with your clients or members by creating a single-sheet newsletter. With MagCloud’s digital options, you can offer your audience the same newsletter in both print and digital with a single PDF upload.

< Menus
A single 8.5″ x 11″ sheet is the great size for menus, and MagCloud’s print-on-demand model provides a cost-effective and easy way to order additional copies or make updates to the menu as needed. If you’re a caterer, you can take advantage of MagCloud’s shorter print runs to create Flyer-sized menus tailored to each event you cater, whether it’s an intimate dinner party or a large buffet.

Price Sheets >
Are you a photographer offering senior portrait packages? How about a sporting goods store offering bikes, kayaks, and skis for rent? Or a spa owner with a list of services you need to publicize? Whether you are a makeup artist, landscaper, tutor, or dog walker, let your potential customers know the rates for your services with a professionally printed price sheet that can incorporate full-color images of your prior work and personal branding.

< Flyers for Sales and Events
Use the Flyer product for what it was named after: flyers! Print and pass out single sheet flyers for your next retail sale, store opening, or company event. Whether you are hosting a signing in your book store, a concert in your coffee shop, or a spring sale in your clothing boutique, make sure your potential attendees and customers not only know about it but remember it with a printed flyer.

Looking for more inspiration, or wondering where to get started with your Flyer design? Templates that fit the 8.5″ x 11″ Flyer product type can be found around the internet, and even on your own computer. The Microsoft Office Suite, as well as Apple’s iWorks Pages come preloaded with a number of letter-sized templates that can be used for creating Flyer publications. In addition, sites like Inkd and Stock Layouts offer a range of different letter-sized templates in their Datasheet and Flyer sections that you can download for a price and edit to fit your needs before uploading to the MagCloud site for printing and distribution.

Have you already created something for your business with the new Flyer product? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Personalize Your MagCloud Page

If you’re using MagCloud to create collateral for your business, portfolios for photography, catalogs for your retail store, a unique magazine, or other content to promote your brand, then shouldn’t your MagCloud page reinforce your brand too?

It’s easy to make your MagCloud profile and publication pages work for you by taking a few minutes to flesh out your publisher profile and create header images that reinforce your brand throughout your pages.

Your Publisher Page

No matter what sort of business you’re into, when customers discover your content on MagCloud, you want them to be able to connect with you directly. Your profile page includes an option to link directly to a website of your choosing, and with some simple html you can also include hyperlinks, images and emphasize text within your profile description.

To get started, you’ll need to log into your account and go to your publisher profile editor.


Link to a website: <a href=”URL”>link</a>

In our Jane Doe example, we used some of MagCloud’s allowed HTML tags to include more links in Jane’s profile. To add a link to your website without having to include the whole website URL, you can simply insert a block of text like below:

Curious about more recent work, or what I’m up to?
Check out my <a href=”http://yourwebaddress.com”>blog</a&gt;.

It will show up in your profile like this:

Bold Text: <b>text</b>

To create bold text, you just need to add <b> before your selection and </b> after. We did this with our Jane example like this:

Hi! I’m Jane, and here on MagCloud you can find all of my portfolios, pricing guides, photography workbooks and collateral for my photography business <b>NotYourAverageJane</b>.

Which then looks like this:

Emphasize/italicize Text: <em>emphasis</em>

To add the title of Jane’s autobiography in italics we used the code for emphasis. Simply put <em> before the text you want italicized and </em> after the text to close the emphasis:

Want to find out more about me, and my life behind the lens? Be sure to check out my 200-page autobiography <em>Don’t Call Me Jane</em> available for purchase here on MagCloud.

Which will appear like this:

Image Link: <img src=”URL”>

You can also insert images or logos into your profile by linking to the image within the text using <img src=”URL”>. This requires that the image is the size you want it to appear in the profile, and that it already has an associated URL. It’s best if this image is pulled from your own website (like your logo) or if you have loaded a special sized image onto your own flickr or other photo host that allows linking directly to the image. If you link to a resource that you don’t control, you might run into broken links if the image is ever moved. For Jane’s example we linked the social media icons that she already had on her blog. This example actually includes two pieces of html, one for the icon image, and then the following text which links to the associated LinkedIn URL:

You can also find me on
<img src=”http://notyouraveragejane/images/LinkedIn_IN_Icon_25px.jpg&#8221; />
<a href=”http://linkedin.com”>LinkedIn</a&gt;

Which will appear like this:

Your Collection Page

For every group of documents you create, you get to have a “collection page” which can have it’s own branded banner and unique URL. This is great if you have a selection of related documents that you want to be able to promote as a group. A great example of this is MagCloud publisher, Golfweek, which has created collections of Souvenir Golf Programs and Golfweek Special Editions. Each collection reinforces the Golfweek brand and furthers their messaging but keeps relevant content together. Check out their banners below:

Customizing with Banners

Want to create your own branded banners? To setup the custom banner for a collection, you must first create the graphic that you plan to use. The banner specs require an image with a maximum size of 790 x 90px, in either JPG, GIF, or PNG formats. You can create this image in any software application of your choosing that can output to one of these formats. You can also upload a smaller image–it’s up to you.

Uploading Your Banner

Once you have your image ready to go, you’ll want to navigate to your collection page. You can get here by visiting your profile page (yourusername.magcloud.com) or by going to one of your publications via magcloud.com/publish. On the right-hand side of the page, you will see an “Add a Custom Banner Image” button.

Once you have clicked the button, you will be prompted to find the image file on your harddrive, and upload it to MagCloud.

The image you upload will be visible on the associated collection page,

and on each of the individual publication pages within that collection.

Have you used custom banners or any of these HTML tricks in your publisher/publication descriptions?
If so, please share them below in the comments section to inspire others.

Getting Your Members on the Same Page

Community organizations, non-profits and student groups all work hard to build a strong member base that understands and spreads their mission. From new member materials to monthly newsletters, a clear, well-designed member communications strategy is an important step towards that goal. Thankfully, MagCloud is here to help you achieve that goal. Many groups already publish their materials with MagCloud and we’re excited to show you the high quality work they’re producing. These examples should give you a few ideas about where to focus your materials:

Orange County Orchid Society publishes this monthly newsletter filled with images of the group’s beautiful orchids and to update the group on its members, the latest meeting notes, tips and a few local ads.

American Glass Guild newsletter features a message from the president of the AGG, the latest news on awards and recognition for members and a recap of a recent AGG workshop.

Fort Collins Alumnae Chapter of Delta Delta Delta has several important updates for members such as key upcoming dates, a note from the chapter’s PanHellenic rep, an update on Fall recruitment and plans for several events in the next year.

Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity quarterly publication is a good publication for other Greek organizations to get content tips for. It features a spotlight on outgoing seniors and new members and several editorial pieces from members looking to stretch their writing muscles.

The Pulse is a publication by the Korean American Students of Yale that packs a concise update into six pages including a message from the outgoing board, notes from the most recent board meeting, a look at the top 9 KASY moments of the year and, of course, some funny KASY superlatives. It’s worth noting that each KASY publication is similar in length but the content varies by issue.

Let us know what member communications materials you use to share updates with your members. We want to hear about it

When it Comes to Catalogs, Content is King

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared tips and templates to help design your catalog for MagCloud. Today we discuss catalog content, and a few best practices to keep in mind when selecting your content.

First up, images. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and you want the images you select for your catalog to speak highly of your products and services. Therefore, make sure you select high quality images for your publication (we recommend 300 dpi for printed publications), and that each image highlights the product or service you’re hoping to sell. Mixing up stand-alone product images with lifestyle imagery is a great way to offer more visual interest for the reader, just be sure that the products remain the focus regardless of the image style you select.

And where are images more prominent than on your catalog cover.  Catalog covers are critical in quickly grabbing your customer’s attention and getting them to open your publication.  MultiChannel Merchant recently published a great article discussing the key strategies in designing an effective catalog cover, which include relevance, emotion, drama and differentiaton.

Next, let’s talk about text. If you look at a lot of mainstream catalogs, you’ll notice that text is used only for detailed descriptions of the products and services being featured, but also as brief call out quotes and titles. Using text features like this help attract the reader’s attention and interest, and can be a great way to encourage the reader to linger over your catalog longer. It’s also a great opportunity to call out more marketable features of the products and services you are hoping to sell.

Similarly, smaller paragraphs of text are great for providing descriptions of your products and services, just be sure you don’t overwhelm your reader with too much text. You will want to include enough text to get your point across, but not so much that your customer loses interest halfway though.

Finally, just as important as the text and image content is how it is arranged. Since catalogs are complex by nature, it’s important to keep your content organized and clean. Having a table of contents and creating sections in your catalog can be a great way to break up a large amount of content. Also, as we’ve discussed before, using white space to break up your content is a great way to keep the focus on the products and services you’re hoping to highlight.

If you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration, check out Slodive’s 25 Best Catalog Design Inspirations.

Have any other tips to share from your own catalog creation experience? Share them in the comments below!