Using printed magazines to connect with customers

Businesses are often searching for ways to cut through the overwhelming number of advertising and marketing messages to reach their audiences.

Carefully positioned, magazines can be an effective and creative way to increase brand awareness, engage with customers or build brand loyalty.

In our world of fast media, short messages and in-your-face advertising, many people still enjoy reading what is known in the digital world as “long-form content”. As avid magazine readers will appreciate, there is something soothing about curling up on the sofa with a coffee or glass of wine and immersing yourself in a good magazine. Magazines also make perfect travel companions.
 

If you’re wondering if people still read magazines, they do. Recent research by Roy Morgan found magazine readership continues to increase, both in print and online.

A staggering 72% of Australians over the age of 14 reported that they read magazines in 2018, with readership increasing 1.2% since 2017.

And eight of the top 10 magazines in the country have larger readership via their print editions than the digital versions. With these numbers growing year-on-year, there’s no indication people are giving up print magazines any time soon.

 

What types of organisations are magazines ideal for?
 

The Roy Morgan research reported the top five most read categories of magazines were:

  • Food and entertainment
  • General interest
  • Women’s
  • Home & Garden
  • Business, Financial and Airline

 

The types of businesses that may find magazines are an effective way to reach their target market include:

  • Architects and designers
  • Professional services such as accounting, financial and legal
  • Health, wellbeing and fitness companies
  • Supermarkets and cooperatives
  • Aged care, retirement and over 50s lifestyle
  • Real estate and property investment
  • Schools and charities

Why develop a company magazine?
 

Brand awareness

Share your brand story with your networks and beyond using creative storytelling. Strategic placements in relevant places (like with partners, in reception areas or cafés) can help grow awareness of your company as well as products or services.
 

Consistent and regular contact

Magazines can be incorporated into your marketing mix as a regular touch point for customers, supporting and complementing a digital marketing strategy. Once your publication has developed a following, you’ll find there are customers who look forward to every issue. These customers make ideal brand advocates and are more likely to share the publication with friends and colleagues.
 

Explore or expand partnerships

Who can you partner with to create magazine content? Leveraging guest contributions, case studies or the opportunity to feature partner products can help strengthen relationships with existing partners and attract new collaborative relationships.
 

Position your business as a thought leader

A recent study found that brand trust ranked as one of the top five buying considerations by consumers. Positioning you or your business as a thought leader (buzzword alert!) or subject matter expert in your industry demonstrates a depth of knowledge that says you know what you are doing.

Magazines are an ideal platform for the exploration of in-depth ideas and information that is of value to your customers. Find out what your customers want to know about and focus on answering their questions rather than simply selling.
 

Connect customers to your products

Google ratings, reviews and referrals are all important aspects of consumer purchase decisions. Magazines allow you to take this one step further, telling more detailed stories and sharing the experience of customers in a visual way that inspires and educates.

There is no better person to talk about the benefits of your product or service than a customer. Try experimenting with different approaches that are informative or instructional.

Print considerations for magazines
 

The options for print with your magazines are varied, with decisions to be made on whether it will be printed digitally or offset, selection of paper stocks, choice of binding method and whether any embellishments will be used.

Options are generally constrained by the finished size, quantity required and any budget constraints.

As a general rule of thumb, fewer than 500 copies are more cost effective to print digitally with offset the best option for more than 500 copies. Having said that, there are other factors to consider including the ability of digital to produce more vibrant images on uncoated papers and whether any variability is required which may lead to runs of greater than 500 being produced digitally.
 

There is also an increasing trend towards offering different market segments slightly different magazines, with content specifically tailored to the intended audience, increasing engagement with the finished product.

For brands seeking colour consistency and brand integrity, offset may be a better option to look at because it offers better colour control from issue to issue. The larger sheet size on offset also opens up more options with exotic sizes for anyone wanting to produce an out of the box magazine.

Magazine binding

In terms of binding, most magazines of up to 80 pages are bound using saddlestitching where staples are placed in the centre fold of the magazine. For anything larger, it tends to switch to perfect or burst binding where the spine of the magazine is glued to hold all the pages together.

Embellishments

The use of any embellishments will largely be dictated by your target market and the value that can be added. These tend to most commonly be added to the cover to add protection and longevity to the publication (such as a celloglaze) or to highlight and bring attention to the publication (using features like a Spot UV or foiling).

Celloglazing is economical to setup for any run length of magazine. Foil and Spot UV have higher setup costs so they are most typically seen on run lengths of at least 300 and over.  

Express Print & Mail specialises in printing magazines for all types of organisations. Our design team can help you conceptualise a magazine for your business, school or non-profit organisation and work with you to get the ideal design, stock and print solution for your audience and budget. Contact our sales team for more information.