What’s old is new again…printed magazines are on the move! In a time when blogging, short-form digital blasts, web articles, and social media have become the norm, publishers and brands are rethinking their strategies by using print as a “new way” to deliver their content. And printed magazines are at the forefront of this move.
Many got caught up in the novelty of digital as the new medium, as well as the significant cost savings. They could deliver content faster, easier, and cheaper, but then the realization came that it’s difficult to build or maintain a brand with digital content alone, because that content virtually disappears after a few days or even hours. Research has shown that the average reader of branded print magazines will spend up to 38 minutes with them, while digital content is lucky to get a couple of minutes because readers tend to just skim and multitask with online content.
Printed magazines are tangible and have a shelf life. Printed magazines deliver information in a format that engages all of the senses. They offer the reader an experience that can’t be matched by digital content. Brands are again using printed magazines to build perceptions about their brand, their value, and as a sign of commitment to their customers. It’s becoming a way to distinguish themselves from the sameness of the digital world.
Take for example that many in niche industries are now publishing printed magazines, such as Food Network’s Pioneer Woman and HGTV’s Fixer Upper Hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines. In fact, when they published their new printed magazine, The Magnolia Journal in 2016, it was the biggest magazine launch in the Meredith Corporation’s history with a print run of one million copies.
While your printed magazines may not achieve that large of a run, it does illustrate the power that print can have. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) believes that many brands will launch printed magazines in 2017 to complement their online components. The CMI also conducts an annual research report called the Content Marketing Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends, and they report that 68 percent of Business to Consumer marketers use print as part of their marketing efforts and 62 percent believe that print is an important component to the success of their content marketing.
What Custom Printed Magazines Can Do for You
A custom publication can help you build brand recognition and customer engagement. With this medium, you are giving your readers highly relevant content that they look forward to reading. Take for example, that 77% of respondents in a Custom Publishing Council study said that custom publications improved their opinion of the sponsoring brand and 74% said that they’d taken a recent action as a result of their experience with the publication. It’s clear that the more exposure that your audience has to your magazine, the more favorable they will feel about your brand, and the more likely there are to try your product or service.
Building trust with your audience is critical to success and a custom publication can help you become a credible source that they rely on. The Association of Magazine Media’s 2014 factbook reports that magazines are more trusted, inspiring, and influential than any other media. Your publication can also personalize your business by highlighting your employees and their expertise, which is essential to building trust with your customers.
You have the opportunity to educate your readers about various topics that are relevant to your business. An educational or informational approach to marketing can have greater impact than running ads about your business, because you become a valuable resource of information.
Magazines allow you to showcase your products, services, or customers in a much more in depth and dramatic way. A customer interview about their experience with your business can come to life using this high-quality platform that can engage your audience with eye-catching photography or graphics that support your content. You also have the editorial space to be able to explore topics that are more complex and help your readers gain more insight into your brand.
Your custom publication can enhance your social media efforts and drive traffic to your website. Face it, your customers are not coming to your website every day or reading all of your posts on the social media platforms that you use. The articles in your publication can send your readers to your online sources to participate in promotional offerings, quick surveys, and learning more about upcoming events. This gives you the opportunity to interact with your customers until the next time they receive your publication.