It’s true, digital advertising checks off several boxes on a marketer’s goals and objectives list. It provides short-term metrics we love and gives us the opportunity to experiment with different messages, audiences and platforms at relatively low risk. But, it can also be a short-sighted approach to brand building and you could be leaving valuable impressions and touchpoints on the table if your campaign doesn’t integrate print advertising.
There is no single path to purchase. People prefer to consume content when, where and how they want. So having a well-balanced media strategy is crucial to long-term success. Magazine advertising is an important part of that equation for several reasons. This post is not about print vs. digital—it’s about how and why they can work together to give you the best results, especially in business-to-business marketing.
1. Screen time is a growing issue for consumers.
Now more than ever, people are tracking how much time they spend in front of a screen, and the movement of “unplugging” is something people are taking seriously. Magazines offer readers the ability to unplug from the screen while still providing education and entertainment.
2. Magazine readers are 100% real.
Advertisers have migrated more toward digital advertising because of the metrics it provides, but it’s safe to say that they have to take a slight leap of faith in whether or not they are reaching real or appropriate audiences. There is no doubt you are reaching the right audience with magazine advertising. Verified circulation tells us exactly who we’re reaching.
3. Magazines offer brand safety.
Sometime during the past few years, digital media—and the convenience and instant gratification it offers—have come to replace accuracy and integrity. Magazines are a brand-safe medium because they integrate an extensive editorial process that creates legitimacy for publications, which have their own reputations to consider.
4. “Experience” is the new buzzword.
More and more brands are investing in building experiences, and that can include magazines. Receiving a physical copy is just the first part of the experience. Readers quickly scan the cover, crack open the pages, smell the paper and flip through the issue, exploring at their leisure.
5. Print is not dead.
Although news categories across print have been hard hit, special-interest and trade publications are prospering. The perception of magazines is a reflection of the change in how people consume content—not because their fondness toward magazines has changed. Magazines will continue to evolve to support modern consumption while retaining their inherent value.
6. Anticipated. Welcomed. Relevant.
People love getting things in the mail, especially now. In fact, 60 percent of magazine readers feel positively about receiving a magazine. Unlike dying newsstand sales, magazine subscriptions are thriving because people enjoy magazines; they just don’t want to go out and buy them. Receiving a magazine in the mail is a surprise and gift.
7. No privacy concerns.
Magazines are a welcomed medium: No gates. No passwords. No cookies. Readers subscribe to the content and they don’t have to worry about who’s watching their interests and engagement.
8. Seamless integration of ads and content.
As long as there are people providing content and people consuming content, advertisers will want to place themselves somewhere in the middle. Research shows that magazine advertising is considered by readers to be part of the content. Remember, there are no ad blockers in print.
9. Magazines are memorable. It’s science.
Studies show the differences in how the brain reacts to magazine vs. digital advertising. The results indicate that while subjects processed digital content more quickly, they had a larger emotional response to print content, including perception of value and desire.
10. Beyond the bubble.
It’s human nature to stay inside your comfort zone, but exploration is how we grow. Digital searches and filters can keep people from reaching beyond what’s comfortable. Magazines allow readers to stretch and discover new products, tricks and stories.
2020 taught us that digital media is essential for staying up to date with work, news and connections, but it also reminded us that it can be overpopulated, exaggerated and sometimes, exhausting. Print media, specifically magazines, offer a trusted source for inspiring stories, new ideas and a sense of comfort and familiarity when a fresh copy arrives in the mail.