Toronto Life’s David Topping Talks Engaging Audiences Online and IRL

Last week’s Magazines in a Digital World event hosted by Magazines Canada and Interactive Ontario featured St. Joseph’s own David Topping as a panelist. Digital Strategy and Product Manager for St. Joseph’s Toronto Life, Twelve Thirty Six and Torontoist, David shared insight in “Finding Your Community: Engaging Audiences Online and IRL.”

From print and events to apps and social media, Toronto Life publishes quality content across multiple platforms so that its community of users can choose when, where, and how they connect with the brand.

“Many readers don’t think of us as a magazine at all,” says David. “To them, we’re a website, or a Twitter or Instagram account they like to follow, or a place their friend is always posting good stuff to on Facebook.”

A multi-platform approach serves to introduce new readers to the Toronto Life community – even ones that live well outside of the city. “Stories that do very well online for Toronto Life reach readers around the world, not just Toronto or Canada,” David shared.

Social media, particularly Facebook, is another way Toronto Life attracts new readers.

“Facebook is where our readers are, and where we keep finding new ones, “says David.  “That—go where your readers are—is really the key. If we had lots of readers in their teens, we’d find them on another platform (Snapchat, or maybe even something like Facebook Messenger); if we published much more breaking news, we’d find our readers elsewhere, too (like Twitter).”

Toronto Life also engages its community though multiple events each year. (You can check out some of the highlights here.)

“We are often using events to capitalize on what we know our readers especially care about from the editorial work we do—our Best Restaurants event is a hit IRL part because our annual Best Restaurants package is a hit on newsstand and online, for instance,” says David.

With multiple options to share and promote content, how does Toronto Life decide what to share on which platform? The key is in being strategic, David shared. “We try and make sure whatever we do reaches as many readers on as many different platforms as possible. That’s less about what we share right now as how we share it, in what voice, when, and how frequently.”

For more insight from Magazines in a Digital World  – which also delved into virtual reality and video – you can check out the conversation #mdwTO.

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