Considering that my company publishes a national magazine for college-bound teenagers, you might think the title of this article paints me as self-serving.
Maybe you think I’m trying to preserve print because it’s our company’s core product. But even though our printed magazine brings in the lion’s share of our revenue, it’s not the main reason behind print’s relevance.
Actually, our company is much more than print. We are a brand that has a Web site, an online community, an online newsletter, a social media presence, we instant message with our readers, and oh, we print a five-times-a-year magazine, too.
A printed magazine at the core of our media properties adds an air of credibility. It’s almost like when someone publishes a book and suddenly becomes an expert. Why do you think celebrities like Oprah, Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray have created magazines? They realize print is a powerful tool for building brand credibility.
But wait, there’s more.
Besides delivering branding opportunities, content to readers and leads for advertisers, our print magazine is also an amazing online traffic generator. In fact, our magazine is the number one driver of traffic to our Web site. It’s like buying keywords, only better!
It also drives traffic for our advertisers. Third-party research shows that 60 percent of our readers visit an advertiser’s Web site after viewing their ad in Next Step.
I’m going to pitch this to David Letterman, but in case he doesn’t pick it up, I’ll share my Top 10 Reasons Print Should Remain a Vital Part of Your Marketing Mix.
10. Print provides differentiation. How many of the millions of Web sites have a print magazine to drive traffic to it? The vast minority, I assure you. Print provides a unique strategy to drive traffic to online marketing.
9. Print offers incredible branding. Nothing makes your brand more recognized than a beautiful glossy ad. A well-designed ad engages readers, and according to a recent third party-driven Next Step poll, 55 percent of teens say they pay a lot of attention to print ads.
8. Print makes introductions. Print is a great party host; it introduces readers to your brand, and familiarizes customers when it comes time for keyword purchases.
7. Print readers are focused. In this world of multi-taskers (texting, e-mailing and listening to iPod while watching TV), it’s hard for advertisers to get noticed. But according to a Ball State University survey, magazines are the exclusive or primary medium 85 percent of the time they are used by consumers.
6. Print travels. A magazine is your companion wherever you go: your favorite chair, your bed, an airplane—even your bathroom. A laptop on the porcelain throne just does not offer the same experience.
5. Print sways trendsetters. Those who sway other consumers (influencers) are themselves influenced by print. This influence ranking, from a third party-driven Next Step poll, shows magazines in first place at 61 percent with in-store and TV trailing at 58 and 55 percent.
4. Print drives users to other platforms. The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association says 47.2 percent of shoppers are most likely to start an online search after viewing a magazine ad. Our research shows more than 75 percent of nextSTEPmag.com users type in the URL directly—which they likely found in the magazine.
3. Readers are receptive to print. Fact: People remember effective print ads. Magazine ads have the second highest receptivity of any media, second only to TV. But try to “TiVo” a magazine ad!
2. You can pass along print, and it has longevity. Magazines get shared in households and among friends. Check out your own coffee table. Any magazines that have been hanging around a few years?
And the number reason why print should remain in your mix is…
1. Print is a lead-generation tool! Used correctly, print drives leads to your prospect funnel. Good print vehicles have a mechanism to deliver targeted leads to their advertisers. (Yep, we have one.) So at the very least, consider print a unique and effective lead-gen tool!
David Mammano is the Founder/CEO of Next Step Publishing.