Today's advertisers have a host of choices to consider when it comes to choosing how to divvy up the advertising budget. Digital outlets like live video and social platforms are the exciting newcomer to the game and tried-and-true channels like magazine and newspaper advertising continue to drive results. With the rise of smartphone usage, digital advertising has its allure: it is hip, contemporary and relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, magazine advertising benefits often outweigh these newer avenues, particularly in the area of building consumer trust.
Companies may be investing more in digital advertising, but modern businesses know that combining print and digital advertising — creating a true cross-channel advertising plan that leverages the strengths of both — is the key to success.
Covering (Most) Grounds of the Print and Digital Advertising Landscape
When people think of print advertising, the two choices that come to mind are newspapers and magazines. Of course, even these two categories have a host of options within them as well. You can reach for the top with the New York Times and Time magazine or keep it local with a paper like the Nome Nugget that boasts a circulation of 6000. No choice is inherently better than the other; it only matters what your goal is and who you are trying to reach.
Of course, print is not limited to only newspapers and magazines. Anything that is printed on paper counts, too, including newsletters, flyers and direct mail. Pamphlets for the reception area, kits for prospective clients, guides or eBooks are all things you can print out to help clients throughout their decision making process. In a world that is becoming more digital by the minute, sometimes the refreshing option is familiar, tangible paper.
Digital advertising is no easier to pin down than print. The first pioneers in the digital advertising arena are banners and sidebars, but since those early days, digital advertising has branched off in every direction. The ubiquitous pop-up has made a resurgence this year as many businesses use them to gain signups for newsletters and sidebar advertising is getting smarter as it uses your shopping history to create retargeted ads designed to scoop up web-browsers.
Aside from advertising on your website, digital advertising also includes search advertising and pay-per-click advertising on sites like Google and Bing. Boosting and sponsoring posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are also easy ways to expand your reach with online advertising. If you enjoy watching more action-packed ads, head over to YouTube where digital advertising keeps videos free and plentiful for digital audiences.
Digital advertising also encompasses the entire realm contained inside those tiny smartphones — mobile isn’t an advertising trend you can afford to ignore. Not only are all of the above examples packed inside, but there is also a whole set of advertising that goes on inside of apps. From in-game advertising to push notifications to geo-targeted ad drops, advertising has infiltrated every nook and cranny — but because it is a smartphone, these ads are relevant, useful and often welcome because their delivery is based on highly specific targeting efforts.
What's happening as modern consumers meet modern business advertising tactics?
Today's consumers take a lot of time thinking about how to spend their money, and they tend to do it alone rather than with sales or company representatives. They may read about a product, service or brand in a magazine and then pick up their smartphone to do a little research. Later, at the computer, they may return to that research or be drawn back to it with a bit of retargeted advertising.
Think about being useful, helpful and informative at these steps rather than simply delivering a message. When you build an integrated experience, consumers will still feel the personal attention of a dedicated company representative without the added overhead from you.
Sticking to traditional publishing channels is going to exclude the vast audiences that can be tapped using modern digital advertising. At the same time, print and magazine advertising benefits must still be considered as time-honored publications are the most direct road to building brand awareness and consumer trust.
As an advertiser, your job is to be there every step of the way and to provide the content the consumer needs in that moment to help move the decision along.
The best path is to take an audience-centered approach. Instead of thinking about individual communications with your audience, think about building an experience at every touch point. That means using cross-channel advertising to leave the right messages in the right places and times. Beautiful, glossy images and long-form ads will be well received by magazine readers who read slower and stay on pages much longer than web browsers.
Quick and inviting digital messages can lead consumers either to more information via blogs and articles or to a sale with incentives based on the shopper's history. Or, you can create the path for the consumer by starting with a print ad that invites the shopper online to continue the conversation.
Being Where Your Customers Are Doesn't Have to Be Complicated
Ok, so the idea of cross-channel advertising sounds like a winner, but what does that actually mean? Do you have to submerge yourself in every available outlet or come up with a complex algorithm of carefully deployed ads? The good news is that a cross-channel strategy can be as simple as you need it to be or as complex as you have the resources for. We've also already done a lot of the homework for you and next you'll find ways to get started.
Use Magazines to Support Your Digital Efforts
Check out these ways to create a foundation for your cross-channel strategy with magazine advertising that will build consumer trust and create more brand awareness. We'll share with you how to make the biggest impact on your digital advertising to make the most of each connection.
Improve Your Digital Strategy
Digital marketing strategies are successful when they can bend to the wind of consumer wants and needs. It's not enough to get your digital ads into the most popular spaces or the spaces that have worked well for other brands. Instead, you want to be where your customers are. These four tips will help you get there.
Meet Consumer Expectations
In the good old days, media consumption from consumers was far more predictable. You might watch a morning news program before work and sit down to your favorite sitcom in the evening after dinner — at the appointed hour, of course, because DVRs weren't there.
Sunday's were for the big newspaper, and lunch breaks were enjoyed with a relaxing magazine. Today's consumers are sporadic and unpredictable as a group, because media is everywhere in their daily lives. To be successful, you must learn to accommodate their transient nature of media consumption.
Understand Your Audience
In case you're still on the fence about including magazines in your advertising strategy, take a look at this summary of who reads magazines. You may be surprised to learn that magazine readers are often affluent, big spenders and that they like to be inspired by print advertising.