Anyone else out there find comfort within the pages of books and magazines? You do, too? That’s a relief.

Blue light fatigue

I was reading a copy of my favourite magazine earlier today and marvelling at how engaged I felt with it. There’s no doubt that content delivered digitally can reach a huge number of eyeballs, retaining a fluidity print can’t match. But there’s still something reassuring about reading information from a printed publication.

Publishers are starting to realise this, as are businesses. Print will continue to have a place in lots of consumers’ hearts; for marketeers, this creates opportunity.

The figures speak for themselves: according to the 2018 Ofcom News Consumption Survey, magazines were deemed the most trusted source of news and opinion – leaving TV, Radio, Social Media and other internet sites in the dust.

A print revolution

Trust in print endures, so an opportunity lies open for brands to use print as a platform to communicate with their audiences on a different level. It may be more bespoke, less mass media, but, nonetheless, it’s very effective.

You know your instinct is right when the giants of the digital world start cottoning on. Airbnb recently launched a print magazine, with the aim of creating a more personal conduit to travellers. As we know, the online travel sector is flooded with information, some trusted, some not. Airbnb created a publication that could act as an authoritative source of information for travellers all over the world.

Even Facebook launched a print publication, Grow. Although the magazine’s content is also available online, Facebook is aiming to create a lifestyle publication for business leaders who don’t have time for long reads at work. Grow adopts a cosier, coffee table-friendly guise to impart its thought leadership content.

Hit the press running

So, how can you look to adopt print as part of your marketing strategy?

The first step is to segment and understand your data – think before you print. Yes, print runs aren’t free, but by creating bespoke publications for a certain section of your audience, you can offer something of authentic value without breaking the bank.

Perhaps you orbit the financial sector and are looking to connect with high net worth clients? Maybe you’re working in the insurance industry, brainstorming ways to communicate brand-specific information on a niche area of business, such as classic car insurance? By targeting your desired audience with an authentic, non-sales orientated publication, engagement can be increased and brand loyalty will grow – plus, who doesn’t enjoy a bloody good read?

It’s also worth noting that creating a print publication doesn’t just have to be about attracting new customers. Engaging existing audiences – a subscription membership, for example – through print allows you to communicate them on different levels having quality conversations that carry real trustworthiness.

What’s New In Publishing (WNIP) agrees that magazines are alive and well. Terri White, Editor in Chief of Empire Magazine at Bauer Media, said:

“The digital space can be hectic, loud and cluttered… voices surfacing or not, depending on SEO and Algorithms. With magazines, the intimacy is unrivalled, when readers hold print in their hands a visceral, powerful connection is created.”

The next chapter

Terri’s spot on. So, where do we go from here? The next step is to understand how and why print could be right for your audience.

Our team at M2 have created magazines for big brands such as Fender, Autotrader and Wedding Ideas – we’re print aficionados. If you’d like to talk about developing a printed strategy with us, get in touch today – we’ll give you the guidance you need.

Ben Hollom

October 28, 2019