Advertorials Give New Life to Print
Magazines like Worth are seeing growth from advertorials.
Advertorialsâthe original âpaid contentââare no stranger to magazines. Marketing that looks like content is always attractive to advertisers and as publishers agonize over plummeting print revenue and clients starting to do their own branded Webinars, events and even magazines, advertorials are a way to lure them back and even hit budget.
Readerâs Digest Associationâs Taste of Home recently announced it will produce custom editorial columns that are more âsynergisticâ with advertisersâ promotional goals. Taste of Home created custom in-book sections that feature branded recipe cards for client Jimmy Dean that run next to the magazineâs own recipe cards section.
According to RDAâs Taste of Home and Home & Garden Media Group vice president and publisher Lora Gier, these sections are clearly marked as advertising and all advertorial sections are ânew pagesâ that donât take away from existing editorial pages.
âThe conversations we have are very strategic versus just discussing demographics and rates,â Gier says. âWe are winning exclusive business through these partnerships.â
Advertorials Without the âAdvertisingâ Tag
However, other publishers are pushing the boundaries of advertorials. Worth, which was acquired by Sandow Media in 2008, has launched a comprehensive new advertorial program targeting personal wealth advisors.
Worth charges financial advisors $2,495 per month or about $30,000 per year (the minimum commitment) to receive two-page profiles in six issues, free reprints, magazine subscriptions worth up to $11,000 for the advisorâs clients and a hard cover book with advisor profiles.
However, Worth isnât labeling profiles as âadvertisingâ but includes a sentence in the preamble of the profile section indicating that they are paid for.
âItâs a brave new world of publishing and weâre looking at a different business model,â says Worth publisher Patrick Williams. âWe are looking at a business model where 50 percent of our revenue will come from the brokers and wealth advisory committees, as well as attorneys who want an alterative way of reaching their clients.â
Williams says the magazine vets all of its profiles through the Paladdin Registry, which tracks financial advisors, so it can back up whatâs said in the profiles. âOne of our wealth advisorsâwho manages $1.1 billionâinsists on 20 distinct touch points with his clients and now six or seven of his touch points are taken care of by the magazine,â adds Williams.
A New Publisher/Client Dynamic
Internally, Worth has marketing managers who look after each client and Williams says selling and developing the profiles takes much longer than the process for selling a display ad. âWeâre almost in the business of marketing as well as advertising and magazine management,â he adds. âWeâre bringing a whole new marketing set to the publishing business. The fact that weâre a bi-monthly works out well.â
Williams expects the advertorial program to account for 50 to 60 percent of the magazineâs revenue in the near future, or $7 million to $8 million per year.
âWe want to return to that time when other revenue streams were where publications made their money and display advertising was icing on the cake,â says Williams. âWe will work as hard as we can for national advertisers but we want to bring it back to the point where that is bonus time for me.â
Of the 24 charter marketers in Worthâs first advertorial, 21 were in the wealth management business while the rest were attorneys.
âWe were expecting that most of them would have a good response to the marketing piece, but when I asked them how it was going, they cited the profiles as a direct driver of $51 million being moved into their portfolios,â says Williams.