Harness the Longevity and Power of Magazine Advertising

Harnassing the power of magazine advertising

As one of the world's first trusted sources of respected information, magazines continue to prosper even while other forms of print, like newspapers, are slowly fading. Magazines continue to occupy a unique position in the world of mass media. This position of respect isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Therefore, it is to your benefit to harness the longevity and power of magazine advertising as part of your overall marketing strategy. 

A Brief History of Magazines

Before looking at the benefit, power, and longevity offered by magazine advertising, it’s important to understand the history of this medium. The first mass publications in America began after the Civil War. In Germany, England, and even America before that time, magazines were not for mass consumption and were instead thought of as “genteel.” 

 The very first appearance of a magazine was the Erbaulich Monaths-Unterredugen which ran from 1663 to 1668. This German offering was started by the poet and theologian of Hamburn Johann Rist. The first appearance of a paid ad in this type of media appeared in the La Presse in June 1836. This Paris newspaper began using advertising as a way to lower its overall costs. This was thought up by editor Emile de Girardin and then copied by virtually all types of media. 10-Keys-Creating-Effective-Magazine-Ads

 The Gentleman’s Magazine, which started in 1731 in England was the very first widely-distributed magazine. It remained in circulation for an astounding 200 years. The American version of this was American Magazine by Andrew Bradford which made an appearance in 1741. Three days later, in the General Magazine by Benjamin Franklin also made an appearance with neither publication lasting very long. (You might recognize Franklin’s other publications more, which were more popular, such as Poor Richard's Almanac, which ran from 1732 to 1757 and contained proverbs and maxims.)As mentioned above, magazine publishing boomed after the Civil War in the United States. The first monthly publication was McClure's Magazine by Sidney McClure in 1893. 

 Within America, the Saturday Evening Post’s Cyrus Curtis began attracting advertising revenue after buying the publication for $1,000 in 1897. He invested another $1,250,000 of his money into the publication before it took off. When it did, though, its appeal grew immensely thanks to its articles and well-founded stories about the business world. In 1922, it boasted a circulation of over 2,000,000 and enjoyed an advertising revenue of more than $28,000,000. This showcases the power of the magazine when it comes to advertising. 

The Power of the Magazine Has Stood The Test of Time

Magazines are immensely powerful and have stood the test of time. Therefore, they are a tool you should be using to leverage your brand and to bring increased awareness and revenue. Read on to learn 7 solid reasons why they are still going strong even in today’s modern, digital world:

1. Targetability

Magazines offer a lifestyle niche that targets a readership or people group. A captive audience if you will. For example, consider the marketability of some of our popular magazines. Boom! Magazine targets the affluent baby boomer. CEO Magazine targets owners, CEOs, and c-suite readers, and Inside Columbia Magazine, which targets primarily female readers. Consequently, you as a business owner can target the right kind of customers by placing ads in specific publications that go along with your product or service for even more positive results. 

2. Focused Attention

Another draw of the magazine is the focused attention it demands. In a digital world, you know that time is of the essence. Individuals will spend their time scrolling or clicking through information, spending on average about 15 seconds on any one topic. It is difficult to make an impact or to garner even a second glance in that short of a span. Thankfully, magazines are different. They are like a mini-vacation from a world gone mad or at least harried.  Consequently, magazine readers will spend around 40 minutes pursuing a publication. This gives you a much better chance of gaining the attention of a potential customer since the magazine itself is holding their attention much longer than a typical website page.  

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3. Better Chance of Being Noticed

Visual memory recall partnered with a tactile experience like that found in a magazine gives you a better chance of being noticed. Keep in mind, people are already interested in what’s inside a magazine content-wise, and high-quality full-color ads that are carefully considered only enhance this experience. In addition, people simply like the act of flipping through the pages of a magazine. It’s something that is soothing and likely takes them back to a time of life when there was less stress and less responsibilities. 

4. Reader Confidence/ Consumer Trust: Credibility

In a world where digital safety is always a concern and television newscasts are riddled with “fake news” a magazine is one media that retains the highest trust among readers. Their longevity and dedication to providing quality content that matches the interests of their readers have led to this level of distinction. As a result, readers trust the publication and they know what they are going to get when they open it up and look forward to the process of reading through its pages. In this world where nearly everything can be faked and discerning reality from fantasy can be difficult, the truthfulness of a respected publication is noteworthy. 

5. Staying Power: Longer Shelf Life

Magazines stick around and earn “coffee-table status,” meaning they are displayed on end tables and coffee tables in homes, banks, waiting rooms, libraries, and more. In fact, some people dog-ear the pages of their favorite articles to refer back to at a later time. They often tear out ads, articles and recipes and more to then post on their fridge or tuck into a notebook for reference later. This means your investment in an ad in a magazine will not only benefit you now but can go on months and even years down the road. No other media offers this kind of ongoing branding over time. 

6. Brand Power: Brand Recognition and Loyalty

A magazine is a status symbol. We have had people say “you know you’ve arrived as a business when you are found in the pages of Inside Columbia Magazine.” The product is trusted and revered and the brand recognition is transferred to your business. Therefore, having your product, service or company appear in a trusted publication can garner you a measure of respect and trust from potential customers instantly. 

7. ROAS: Return on Ad Spend


Magazines have the highest return-on-ad-spend. They are effective at all stages of the buying funnel. They cannot only drive awareness but will also drive retail conversions. Given the focused targetability of the readership and the time spent reading the magazine, your ads have a greater likelihood of success. It stands to reason that you want to invest in advertising strategies that have been proven successful. Thankfully, magazines have been and continue to be a good bang for your advertising buck! 

Bottom Line: Respect The Magazine

To sum it all up, don’t be doggin’ the magazine. While newspapers are admittedly drying up…magazines are still going strong. Want proof? Just check out the newsstands at the grocery store, check-out line, gas stations, and bookstores. You’ll find a magazine waiting to be purchased and then taken home to devour. 

 So, put your kids to bed, grab a glass of wine and curl up in your favorite comfy chair or the fluffy corner of your couch with your preferred magazine. You’ve got over half an hour (statistically) to slowly and reverently turn the pages and enjoy this experience. 

 If you want to learn more about how to maximize your overall advertising campaign with magazine advertising, contact our account managers today. We understand the immense value, power, and longevity that magazines provide and want to help you harness this for your brand.  


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