When it comes to magazine advertising, most people think of the large, glossy, national publications full of big brand advertisers. And it may seem like your own business doesn't belong alongside the "big guys," especially if you don't sell your product outside a one-hundred-mile radius--or even outside of your own state. But that's just not the case.
In fact, it's quite possible the next time you open one of those national magazines to see an ad for a business that's right in your own town that just has that one location. That's because, like a lot of other forms of advertising, many national magazines have local sections aimed at smaller businesses. Of course, these local sections are a bit larger than what you may be used to, covering such areas as the "Northeast" or the "Southwest" parts of the United States. So while you'll be reaching people way outside your neighborhood, you'll also attract local business (and may just wow the locals who see your ad on those pages).
Who should advertise in the local sections of the national magazines? Although it doesn't seem so at first blush, these ads are really good for small, "niche-y" stores that carry very specialized products, like hobby items. People will travel great distances to find a new supplier or expert or specialist for their hobby, and they'll spread the word of your existence to others with similar interests. These ads are also wonderful if you have locations in more than one area of any state or in more than one state. You can probably cover most or even all of them with just one ad if they all fall into one of those wide geographical areas that are sold as "local." Check the first few pages of any magazine to find contact information for the advertising department, where you can ask for a media kit and get information on rates and deadlines. And be sure to ask for a map that shows you what each local territory includes.
Advantages of Magazine Advertising
- More Targeted: specific magazine titles appeal to specific target groups more so than a newspaper advert.
- Long Life: magazines have a longer "life" than newspapers, they sit about in doctor's waiting rooms, magazine racks and with collectors.
- Pass-on Readership: people may pass magazines on to their friends and family which will increase exposure of your advert
- Status: some magazine titles are well respected in their field, so an advertisement in these will increase your product/service's prestige by association.
Benefits of Magazine Advertising for Businesses
Magazine advertisements refers to print ads that often run in local or national magazines. Think of all the pretty faces and new products you see in Vogue, Glamour, and Men's Health.
While many argue that conventional methods of marketing are slowly becoming obsolete, print ads remain a mainstay in the advertising budgets of many companies. According to one survey, readers only glance through a website for about 15 seconds to two minutes. If your ad is placed at the end of a webpage, or in the corner, there is a good chance that readers will ignore it, which means very little return on digital ad investment. On the other hand, magazines are a great way to market services and products because not only do they have an effective ROI, they also have the following benefits:
- Targeted Reach
Different magazines appeal to different audiences. For example, teenage girls may prefer to read Teen Vogue while teenage boys may read ESPN the Magazine. People who work from home may be more interested in magazines that cover topics such as entrepreneurship or work-life balance while working professionals may rely on business and economics magazines. Through magazine advertisements, you can find the right magazine for the right audience and place your ads strategically.
- Real Surpasses Virtual
Many people spend a lot of time online trying to chronicle their daily lives on Twitter or post the latest selfie to Instagram. However, since most readers only scan a website for 15 seconds before moving on, the real experience of actually reading a magazine surpasses the virtual one and can create a mind share – a share in the mind of the target customers.
- A Longer Shelf Life
Digital advertisements come and go. Companies sometimes must keep paying to ensure their ads are well-placed on websites and repeated every day. Magazines, on the other hand, are generally issued weekly or monthly. They have a longer "shelf life," as they sit in doctors' waiting rooms, magazine racks, boutiques, malls, and supermarkets. A magazine left in a doctor's office will be read by countless patients for many months, and your ad can be seen by many of them.
- Brand Recognition and Credibility
many magazines are well-respected among their target audience, so, when you advertise in such a reputable magazine, people can become familiar with your company and a level of trust is elevated. This recognition is then reinforced when they meet you in person, either at your place of business or at a local trade show or charity event. This not only builds brand recognition but, in time, brand loyalty. Advertisers can greatly benefit from this credibility when their ads are viewed not as ads but as recommendations from a trusted source.
- Pass-on Readership
many people pass on magazines to their friends and family members. This most likely increases the reach of your advertisement to more potential customers.
While there are plenty of benefits, certain traps exist that marketers may fall into if they aren't aware of effective magazine advertisement practices.
Magazine ads often need to be submitted weeks or even months before the issue is scheduled to be published. Therefore, it becomes important to have an effective marketing strategy in place. Testing ads is a crucial part of that process. Marketers must ensure that the advertisements are attractive enough to get the readers' attention. Many companies spend a fortune on hiring the right designers and advertisers for this purpose.
One trap in this process is that your ad runs the risk of being shoveled into the graveyard of ads that get placed at the end of the magazine unless you pay more for premium positioning. Ads placed on the right-hand page are more expensive than those on the left-hand page. Sometimes, marketers must pay a premium for ads on the outside edge, as opposed to the center. This is because of the way readers' eyes scan pages. The objective is to have a reader catch a glimpse of the ad while flipping through the pages.
Now that you know the major advantages and barriers to effective advertising, always remember to inquire about the following before you purchase ad space in any magazine:
- Magazine's distribution channels
- Magazine's demand and subscription numbers
- Magazine publication frequency
Understanding the distribution system and the demographics of readers as well as checking whether both coincide with the target market is always a wise decision and a key factor in selecting the right magazine for you.