Why print publications continue to be preferred

Home Column Why print publications continue to be preferred

By Steven Feldman There is a perception out there that traditional print magazines have been destroyed by digital information. Many companies are dumping more revenue into online content generation and omnichannel pay-to-click. Of course, you can find some evidence of the decline of print. Some print publications have moved strictly to a digital platform to save the cost of printing, mailing and paper—and potentially their existence. But just like Mark Twain, the reality is that the death of magazines and the advertising that fuels them have been greatly exaggerated.

Saying print publications are dead is fake news. FCNews, for example, continues to thrive through its print and digital platforms. We thrive to make our retailer readers more professional and profitable. We are that seamless conduit from manufacturers to retailers, allowing suppliers to get their messages out to their customers. This hasn’t changed in 35 years. We continue to develop creative ways to move this industry forward. That is our hallmark. That will never change.

But it’s not just FCNews. Look at any industry, whether it is consumer or B2B. The truth is that magazines are doing just fine, thank you. Just look at these telling statistics:

• Magazine readership in the U.S. has actually risen since 2012, reaching more than 220 million.

• The number of magazine titles in circulation has stayed relatively constant since 2008, remaining somewhere between 7,100 and 7,300.

• Some magazine brands are growing significantly. For example: Entrepreneur is growing at an annual rate of 39%; Town & Country at 34.4%; and Popular Science at 24.5%.

• Some magazine publishers, far from experiencing a race to the bottom, are increasing the price of print publications, with one doubling the price in three years while experiencing double-digit rate growth in subscriptions. (FCNews has kept its prices stable.)

There is evidence, too, that millennials aren’t just online junkies. According to On the Bay Magazine, 95% of people under 25 read magazines. What this suggests is that magazines are evolving. “In fact, when you take the circulation of the magazine industry worldwide into account, it reaches as many people monthly as some of the major social media networks,” according to the website Optinopoli.

Does magazine advertising still resonate? Is it possible to advertise in traditional print magazines and receive some return on investment (ROI)?

The numbers show print magazines still get the attention of their respective audiences. This means there’s still ROI in magazine advertising. Magazines deliver higher ROI on advertising spending across all media, averaging a $3.94 return on every dollar spent. That’s 50% higher than all other categories. Nielsen looked at this as well and found magazines had the highest aggregate ROI over TV, online, online video and outdoor. That’s not just in the U.S., either; a European study found the same high rate of return for magazine advertising.

The ROI that resides within magazine advertising is tied to these specific benefits:

  1. Instant credibility: Recognized print publications hold a certain prestige and credibility in the reader’s mind. When they pick up a copy of a magazine like FCNews, their mind associates the information within to be legitimate and trustworthy. As an advertiser, this means there is a big opportunity to get your company and product/service firmly implanted into the reader’s mind as a credible brand.
  2. Company association to elevate your brand: There’s a saying that you’re a reflection of the five people you spend the most time with. When it comes to advertising, the companies that readers see within the pages of FCNews are the ones they will associate with your brand. If you’re in a quality magazine like FCNews along with other reputable companies, readers will instantly elevate your company to that same level.
  3. Direct response calling and visitors to your website: Not only are magazines like FCNews great for building your brand, but they can also deliver sales leads. Advertisements or feature articles with a call to action (phone number or website address) direct readers to get more information or begin an engagement.
  4. Audience engagement: Another significant benefit of magazines is that when readers pick them up, their full attention is on the magazine. They don’t have the option to hold a copy of FCNews with one hand while checking their social media with the other. When someone picks up a magazine, he or she focuses and engages with the text and ads. This response is unique, compelling and potentially profitable.

Long story short, there is a reason why so many suppliers continue to advertise in magazines like FCNews. Let us know how we can help build exposure for you this year and beyond.

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March 1/8, 2021

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