I often encounter advertisers who think digital advertising is less expensive than print. Then I spend some time explaining how it’s not an “either-or” mindset. A combination of print and digital works best and drives your highest ROI. I show advertisers that using both traditional print and digital components in an advertising campaign allows them to reach a much broader audience.
While a print magazine may have 20,000 readers, their website could be bringing in 40,000 unique visitors. Because of this, a combined advertising strategy of print and digital forms a much larger and more diverse audience – a win, win for your magazine.
Digital advertising drives engagement through clicks and video views and creates a relationship between the reader and the media. Print advertising is a key component to branding. Where print ads have a long shelf life and greater potential to be seen when they appear in or near articles, digital advertising has a brief moment to catch someone’s attention – or perhaps not at all if the user has ad blockers.
Using all forms of media is the best way to reach the largest market with a variety of messages and experiences. I have a client who uses high-impact print ads (full pages, spreads and inserts) to reinforce their brand and white papers with digital downloads and videos educating the market about the benefits of certain technology.
The results: our year-over-year brand perception study shows this particular company has the highest recall as a brand and is perceived as having the highest quality products. Plus, this company also enjoys the greatest market share among its competitors.
Ad sales professionals need to ask a lot of questions up front. What are the client’s goals and expectations? What are their success measurement tools? Those questions should be asked at the beginning of the sales process so the sales rep can customize a program to fit all of their client’s needs.
Sales people need to have plenty of examples of strategies and artwork that has been successful on both platforms. Show them the print ads, whitepapers and video. Coach them what to include in white papers and other content to enhance lead generation. Then talk about ways to measure the combined print and digital performance.
Be prepared with detailed facts and stats, fully-integrated media packaging, and then reinforce by sharing success stories. You can then help your clients decide what combination of advertising in your magazine works best and will deliver them the highest ROI.
Print is not dead! While in recent years, there has been a big shift to make everything digital, and the focus on print marketing, and print publishing has decreased, print advertising is still an effective way to market your organization, product or event. According to the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association, 47% of all consumers are more likely to start an online search after reviewing a magazine ad. However, what makes print advertising hard is that it’s not as easy to track as digital. For web ads, social media posts, websites, we can easily see numbers, click rates, visitors, likes. Print advertising can’t be tracked in the same way—but that does NOT lessen it’s value!
As a publisher of a print magazine, advertisers frequently don’t know how to maximize print advertising to their fullest potential. So, we’ve put together a list of ways to get the biggest return on your print magazine advertising.
There is a tendency to want to "try" it out meaning trying just one or two ads and then claiming they don’t work. A longer program will get you in front of the publication’s readers more often, and they will begin to recognize your company or service. We also recommend changing up your ad slightly from time to time.
(P.S. while an annual contract seems like (and is) a commitment, you actually will typically get a discounted per ad rate for signing up for a longer contract)
Sometimes our advertisers want to include EVERYTHING about their business and/or offer within one ad. We encourage you to narrow down your content. Focus on one offer, service or event. Make your message very clear and concise, so, as a reader is flipping through a magazine, they can quickly scan-read your ad. If you include everything and the kitchen sink in your ad content, the reader will simply be overwhelmed, and will most like just pass over your ad. We suggest 1 to 2 large images, a large headline, one call to action, 1 to 2 information sentences and/or bullet pointed ideas, and then your main contact info. Read Anatomy of an Effective Ad Design.
There are several ways to track your print ad using several digital tracking options and/or in person tracking options. You can also include a QR code (as long as you’re using it smartly), or a vanity URL that directs the user to a very specific landing page. This will allow you to track how many visitors you get directly from that URL or QR code.
This should go without saying, but from our experience, it needs to be said. Make sure your ad always has a branded overall look and feel. Hopefully you already have an established logo and business brand (if not, call us, we can help!), so make sure your print ads stay true to it. This not only includes some of the visual aspects, such as color palette, fonts, and photography usage, but also includes language and copy that matches your overall brand and culture and/or a specific campaign you may be running.
While we are big believers in print advertising, we know you have mix it up. Your advertising and marketing needs to incorporate both print and digital components. So, why not integrate the two? Have your print advertising point the reader to your website or list a specific hashtag, have a social media post mention your print ad.
These are five basic tips that can help you get the biggest response to your print advertising.
Print advertising can be an effective medium to include in your marketing strategy. In fact, a recent FedEx survey found that 4 out of 5 small business owners feel print helped them stand out from the competition. Other reports revealed that print ads have 70% higher recall when compared to digital, while 82% of people trust print ads when making a purchase decision.
Despite the effectiveness of print advertising, all print isn’t created equal. Both magazine and direct mail, for example, can be used to reach your target audience, but magazine offers unique benefits. While direct mail ads may reach more people depending on how far of a reach you are willing to pay for, magazine ads give you access to a more dedicated and engaged audience, helping you increase conversions and ROI. Therefore, it's important to clearly understand these differences in order to determine which channel is the best choice for your advertising strategy.
Before launching your next advertising campaign, take some time to explore the differences between magazine advertising and direct mail advertising, as well as their benefits in terms of reach and customer engagement.
When customers subscribe to a particular magazine, it’s typically because it covers a single topic of interest. These magazines may focus on specific topics, like running, gardening, business, automobiles or beauty. However, others may feature broader topics, such as women’s health or teen lifestyle. Zimmer’s Inside Columbia Magazine, for example, features local events, lifestyle articles, a community calendar and more designed for the Columbia, MO, community. In either case, marketers can use magazine to deliver targeted ads to customers based on their subscriptions.
Conversely, most direct mail campaigns reach broader audiences, often targeting an entire area or zip code with a single offer. While this may help to expand your reach, you will also likely reach a large number of uninterested people. And according to a Marketing-GAP report, 55% of people listed “not interested in the product” as their reason for throwing direct mail away.
Direct mail is experiencing an uptick in reach and response rates, according to DMA research. Yet, almost half of all direct mail advertisements are discarded before recipients have the chance to learn about your product or offer. Direct mail typically falls into the “junk mail” category in most households, and 44% of junk mail is thrown away unopened.
Magazines, however, are still a popular pastime for many Americans, according to a Freeport Press survey. Findings revealed that more than 35% of people spend up to 30 minutes with one print magazine, while nearly 18% spend up to 60 minutes. More notably, the top 25 print magazines reach more adults and teens than the top 25 prime-time TV programs. This gives marketers more opportunity to get in front of their target audience, as well as build brand trust through association with customers’ favorite magazine.
Let’s face it: direct mail design often fails at standing out and capturing a customer’s attention from a pile of mail. The ads often contain too much information, outdated designs and conflicting colors, which can cause recipients to lose interest in your product or offer.
Magazine ads, on the other hand, are typically created by a professional designer and they’re more creative and sleeker by nature. Ads are also printed on paper with a glossy finish that improves the image quality. With a memorable design and targeted message, magazine can help your brand flourish.
Another significant difference between magazine and direct mail advertising is the ad objective. Direct mail relies on an actual call-to-action to drive direct responses and measure success, while magazine advertising is focused more on driving awareness for brands. This means that magazine is more focused on building relationships with your audience rather than simply selling to them.
It can take up to 18-20 touchpoints to reach a customer for the first time, according to Compu-Mail. And delivering an offer to customers via direct mail before “warming” them up can deter them from further engaging with you and negatively impact your campaign effectiveness.
Magazine and direct mail advertising are similar in some ways, but they differ in their ability to reach and engage your customers. Magazine can offer a range of benefits in certain areas - such as targeting, awareness and creative design - in which direct mail advertising may fall short. This doesn’t mean that direct mail can’t be an effective channel; it just means that you should consider the limitations and further explore your print options in order to reach your marketing goals.