The Beano is the longest running weekly children’s comic in the UK, having published issues for the past 81 years, almost to the day. But bringing a kids print comic into the digital age is hardly a straightforward task, which is why publisher DC Thomson has had an increased focus over the past few years on the Beano Studios, and as part of that, the Beano Digital Network.
The Beano Digital Network brings together everything the brand does online for kids, centred around the beano.com website. It encompasses everything from videos to quizzes and games, as well as the interactive comic.
This week, the Media Voices Podcast sat down with the network’s Head of Editorial Lydia Mossahebi to learn more about how they keep the brand fresh for today’s kids online.
Here, we pick out three key strategies that have worked for the Beano’s digital team.
1: REALLY get to know your audience
One of the ongoing challenges of creating content for children, whether that be magazines, videos or books, is getting a sense of what they’re really interested in, as opposed to what their parents or other adults think they’re interested in.
To keep the Beano team up to speed, the publisher relies on a group of trend spotters; a panel of kids that they speak to on a weekly basis over a long period of time.
“We really build relationships with those kids,” Mossahebi explained. “They tell us what they’re watching on YouTube, what’s happening in the playground, what they’re hearing, and what they think about the news as well.”
It was this trend spotting panel that helped the brand get ahead of the Fortnite curve long before other publishers.