Despite all the clamor, print is not dead. Don’t believe me? Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, who announced in May that she was teaming up with Vogue editor Anna Wintour to turn her lifestyle blog for the 1 percent, Goop, into a quarterly publication.
And when has Gwyn ever made a mistake? (Don’t answer that.)
A print version of Goop follows a growing trend among online businesses that have launched old school publications to enhance their brand: Fashion retailer Net-a-Porter introduced Porter in 2014. Uber created Momentum magazine for its drivers in 2015. And, after a fail with Pineapple magazine, Airbnb teamed up with Joanna Cole and Hearst to launch AirBnb Magazine in 2016.
Print publications can be a vital tool for brick-and-mortar businesses as well. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has found success with its suite of B2C publications, including Taste (available in all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores), Explore (a new product guide), and Premium Collection, a magalog promoting the stores’ luxury products.
How do you know if a print product is right for your business? Consider these three reasons why it can strengthen your brand.
1. Print can bring credibility. One of the key reasons online businesses like Goop and Net-a-Porter embrace print media is because of the credibility it lends to their virtual enterprise. A magazine can become a tangible expression of their digital platform. But all brands stand to benefit from a print product—with quality edit, an enterprise can establish itself as a leader in its field and one that can offer a true service to its audience using a medium that’s been around for hundreds of years. Andy Blau, senior vice president of finance and advertising at New York-based magazine publisher Time Inc. told Marketing News in April 2015:
“Print is still a top-of-funnel medium. It’s really for establishing brand worthiness in the marketplace, for establishing the value of the brand, for communicating very broadly, with broad reach, to the right target audience. It’s really pure brand advertising. And digital tries to do some of that, but it’s still much more of a direct response. People still measure digital with click-throughs and conversion rates, and you can’t necessarily maintain marketing of a brand through digital alone. Print advertising is a very efficient way of establishing a brand identity and for communicating that to the target market.”
2. Print can help you stand out from the crowd. Digital publishing and social media certainly come with their advantages—which is why so many businesses use them to build consumer relationships. But with so much “noise” on the Internet, your message is easily lost among the constant barrage of tweets, grams and blog posts. Print also has durability—a magazine will sit on a coffee table way longer than a tweet will stay in your feed. Moreover, people will dedicate more time to reading a magazine and face less distraction from competing content that may steal their attention. Ask yourself, how often do you click onto a different article when you are reading something online?
3. It’s the perfect complement to your digital content marketing. When paired with a strong online strategy, a print publication has the ability to reach an even larger, more diverse audience—without the added work. Content created for a publication can easily be repurposed on different platforms—photography can be used on Instagram, articles can be replicated for e-newsletters and blogs. In fact, a well-targeted social media strategy is vital for the success of your print product.
In the end, creating a print magazine can be a major marketing step for a brand. But with the right team behind it and a strong editorial mission, it can be the perfect tool to catapult your business ahead of the competition.
Creating a print magazine is a major marketing step for a brand. But it takes the right team behind it, with a strong editorial mission to catapult your business ahead of the competition. That’s where City/Studio can help. Click here to learn more about our custom publishing opportunities and examples.