It was certainly a publicity win for Kim Kardashian. She was all over the internet, the hashtag was trending for days, and experts say her brand will not be tarnished in the least by any ensuing controversy.
And for Paper — which normally doesn’t get this sort of mass play — this cover put the arts and culture magazine’s name on everyone’s screens. The key will be taking this buzz and making it last longer than 15 minutes.
We got in touch with the outlet to find out what sort of impact this cover had and what they’re going to do to build on their newfound notoriety.
Responses were provided by Paper’s Chief Creative Offer, Drew Elliott.
PRN: Have you ever had a cover generate the amount of attention this one has?
DE: This by far has been the most attention that we have received for an issue. We have not even seen the full response as the issue has not even hit stands yet. What has made this such an important moment for us is the true integration of digital. Yes, we are a magazine and have been for 30 years, but we really look at ourselves as a content company and this was really a test of how we could push our brand to think digitally. The concept of #BreakTheInternet was almost a call-to-action theme for our Art Issue. Kim Kardashian, is such an important part of pop culture and we were so thrilled that she was on board to make this happen.
PRN: How important is social media to the success of Paper?
DE: Social media is a cornerstone of our company strategy. Elizabeth Thompson, who heads our digital and social efforts has done a tremendous job allowing the Paper brand to find new audiences. This issue was designed to help us expand this even further.
Starting in February we put our social strategy in place. We have grown Instagram from 32k to 128k (prior to Kim K launch) and now we’re at 156k. We have had similar growth in Tumblr which is a key platform for us, delivering us a younger audience through conversion. Twitter was obviously the launchpad of #BreakTheInternet and a key to that launch strategy. Google+ also worked with us to host a Hang Out with James Franco for this issue, and more videos are to come on YouTube.
PRN: Has there been an impact on the web traffic? Subscriber numbers? Social media followers?
DE: There has been a tremendous impact on our website for sure. We have seen over 22 million visitors to our site since we launched and the numbers grow every day. Our social footprint has increased due to the traffic and engagement is through the roof.
PRN: How do you ensure that the attention this cover gets continues to other issues of the magazine?
DE: Overall brand awareness for Paper was key in this idea. We felt that this would be a big moment for us, but we never anticipated this. I continue to make sure our teams are focused on great work, fantastic content, and amazing contributors. We don’t need to replicate, we need to iterate and keep people excited, surprised and discovering.
PRN: What’s the follow up to a cover that’s gotten this kind of attention?
DE: We have something up our sleeves.