Magazine advertising has been around for a long time and for good reason: it’s a highly effective way to get your message in front of your target audience, an audience who is interested in hearing from you.
Here are just a few benefits of advertising in magazines:
- A magazine’s strength lies in the active way in which readers choose and use the medium. Magazines are an active medium and the reader is in control.
- Magazines deliver receptive readers. Often the positive brand image of the magazine is transferred onto the advertisements.
- Readers find magazine ads relevant and valuable. And, since readers are in control of which ads they interact with and when, magazine advertising is not considered an interruption.
- Magazines allow advertisers to easily target their message with precision and without wasting their ad spend.
- Readers tend to take action after seeing magazine ads.
Follow the four strategies below to create and launch successful magazine advertising campaigns.
Not all magazines are created equal, and not all are the right channel for your message. You’ll first need to determine which magazines fit your target market segments, that is, the ones that will most likely be read by this audience. If you sell organic cloth diapers, it makes little sense to advertise in a hunting magazine. Determine who your ideal prospect is and then think from their POV to determine what kind of information or form of entertainment they are drawn to.
Once you’ve selected the magazine that makes the most sense to advertise in, you’ll want to determine its reach. Ask the sales representative for the magazine’s circulation numbers and pay attention to the number of direct subscribers to the magazine’s circulation ratio. This is important because many magazines sit on the shelves of book stores and grocery stores and are never purchased.
You’ll also want to inquire about which states the magazine is distributed in, its cycle, pricing and market image.
Knowing market image is important because this is the subscriber’s perception of the magazine’s quality and content. Magazine A might have a lower circulation rate, but if it has a better image than Magazine B, it has a greater chance of being read by your prospective customers who will then view your ad and place more trust in it.
Next, decide where to place your ad within the magazine. According to Starch Advertising Research published by the Rochester Institute of Technology, placing ads next to the table of contents offers the best reach. If your budget doesn’t quite allow for this, placing your ad next to an article or editorial related to your offer is also a good option. For example, if your ad is offering a free consultation on window replacements, you could place it next to an article about home winterizing.
You may also consider piggybacking and place your ad next to another prominent ad. Leverage someone else’s budget and claim a spot right next to those big ads so the reader’s eye will naturally be drawn to yours.
Make Your Budget Work Harder
You should always ask your sales rep for a media kit that lists all the rates for the various ad sizes. When placing your order, be sure you understand how the magazine’s scheduling and readership and your business cycle all work synergistically to reap the greatest rewards.
Also, consider using some of your advertising budget to create professional ads. Depending on what your offer is and who your ideal customers are, a polished ad can mean the difference between seeing a 3% increase in sales or a 7% increase.
No matter what you may have heard about the “death” of print, advertising in magazines is still one of the most effective ways to get messaging in front of a target audience. Magazines reach millions of consumers on a regular basis, deliver ROI, generate positive brand awareness and significantly increase sales. In other words, if you haven’t included magazines into your marketing plan yet, what are you waiting for?