If print magazines are dying, brands haven’t gotten the message. Despite what you might have heard about the death of print, more and more businesses – especially young companies looking to build their brand – are establishing their own print magazines. So are brands just stuck in 1997? It’s more likely that brands have come to a smart conclusion: In a saturated digital media world, high-quality print magazines are a great way to stand out from the crowd.
Brands want to go where their customers are, whilst maximizing on the reach and credibility that magazines have to offer as a medium. Creating your very own print magazine is a great way to promote your products and services to prospective clients. In today’s digital age, this is the innovative route to take, and many renowned companies are embracing this marketing tactic, from Uber to Airbnb!
The goal of content marketing is to nurture a trusted relationship with your consumer. Your content marketing strategy should reflect your interest in helping customers, instead of just pushing sales at them. Emotive content marketing is key, and this is why print is the ideal platform. There is also an increased appetite among brands to reach people beyond the print format by creating tailored digital campaigns. Jolene Sickelmore, head of communications and execution at Three UK, says print is still an attractive proposition due to its “huge reach” against its target audience of young urban commuters.
Because it is tangible, print publications provide a sensory experience, and with this in mind, has the ability to elicit emotion in the reader. All marketing strategies must be put together to provide a rewarding, informative, and engaging experience. And print media offers the opportunity to do so. Studies have shown the difference between the way people process digital information, and the way they process printed information. Print readers maintain the capacity to concentrate on longer and more in-depth content. This is because this platform doesn’t come with any distractions, as opposed to the countless distractions on screen and online.
Think of how special it is to get a written letter as opposed to an email. If you’re trying to target a C-level audience, forget email – their assistant will just hit delete. But if you take your e-book, print it as a nice brochure and mail it to the exec’s office, it might get to their desk and leave a lasting impression.
Glossy magazines and major publications hold a certain niche that online doesn’t achieve. There is literal weight to your presence. This tangible platform resonates well with luxury consumers and clients – the trick is to find a complementary balance between digital and print within any given campaign for a multidimensional approach.
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Gone are the days when leftover budget from digital channels was used for print. For maximum impact around a product launch or announcement, build an integrated marketing campaign that brings the best of both worlds together. This trend isn’t isolated to any one industry. As you’ll see from our list below, everyone from big-name start-ups to iconic fashion brands to global airlines are launching ambitious print magazines. Let’s take a look at the five best.
Launched in late 2013, Rhapsody is a luxury lifestyle and culture magazine that’s a far cry from your average inflight offering. Printed exclusively for first-class travelers, Rhapsody has interviewed some of the biggest and important celebrities around, from Robert De Niro to Adam Levine to Bill and Melinda Gates.
Overall, Rhapsody is an excellent example of a brand using its budget to go big with its content. Its first-class customers get an exclusive treat, while it can also sell ads with the promise of a guaranteed and high-end audience.
At 128 ad-free pages, Airbnb’s new print magazine, Pineapple, is a thick, glossy magazine seemingly pulled straight from the golden age of magazines. It is a “crossroad of travel and anthropology; a document of community, belonging and shared space,” according to the magazine’s website.
Pineapple helps build a community under the Airbnb banner, creating strong brand associations between the startup and great adventures. The magazine’s initial run of 18,000 copies was distributed to hosts in Airbnb’s network as a kind of coffee table centerpiece, a tangible piece of travel-oriented storytelling, making staying at an Airbnb a bit more of a branded experience than simply using the app to crash at someone’s house.
Porter is meant to support the fashion retailer Net-a-Porter’s digital efforts, which have always been presented in a shoppable digital magazine format.
Natalie Massanet, Net-a-Porter’s founder, made clear the high expectations the company has for Porter in a talk before the publication’s launch: “We’re building a physical temple to our brand—like Apple did with stores.”
Of course, Porter isn’t the only fashion retailer charting the print magazine waters. ASOS, a U.K.-based clothes and beauty retailer aimed at young women, launched its publication way back in 2007, and by all measures has thrived since.
Like Net-a-Porter, ASOS is built largely on an e-commerce model, so its print magazine is meant primarily for branding purposes and to drive loyal readers to the site. With a print audience of 486,000, and an additional online audience of 120,000, Asosdominates the young-adult fashion market when it comes to brand magazines.
The Red Bulletin (Red Bull)
Red Bull has long been the standard bearer for brand publishing, so it makes sense that its print magazine kicks ass. Featuring nuanced looks at many of the extreme sports and hobbies Red Bull is now synonymous with, The Red Bulletin had been around since 2005 but was only launched in America in 2011. With a circulation of over 2 million, The Red Bulletin is the most popular brand magazine we’ve come across.
Inside the magazine’s glossy pages is a visual feast—every story comes with a cornucopia of high-quality photography. It also dives into nightlife, music, and pretty much any topic that would be deemed cool by your 19-year-old cousin.
In the smartphone-worshipping 21st century, print may not seem like the obvious choice. Despite this, a successful brand magazine will add value to your customer’s experience, provide useful information about your audience demographics, and can even generate advertising revenue.
It’s true that some advertisers are hesitant to invest in print to the extent they have in the past. However, user behaviours don’t match this prejudice against the medium – people still enjoy the experience of reading magazines.
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