Some things just go better together. You can have something great that stands strong by itself, but when combined with another great element to support it, it becomes stronger and more effective, creating an all-new force in and of itself.
Think of trying to move something heavy. You can do it alone and make some progress, but only so well, and for only so long. But by having another capable, trusted person helping you, by working together you are literally going twice as far, at least.
This is the same when it comes to strategically using magazine advertising in out-of-the-box ways. Challenge yourself to be creative with your magazine ads in leveraging loyal magazine readers to build your brand. For instance, you can place your business in a special section and connect the content of your ad to the topic. You can also purchase multiple magazine advertisements or advertorials in a variety of different sizes and formats to increase your brand awareness throughout a single publication. The idea here is not to limit yourself to just one method when you could be more successful with a variety of advertisements in one issue at the same time. A single publication has a variety of ways for your ad to be seen and recognized...so challenge yourself to think beyond a single traditional ad placement.
Taking advantage of all that magazine advertising has to offer is a great way to express what makes your business unique, as well as get seen and recognized in your local market and/or with your target audience. Inside Columbia Magazine, for example, is a city/regional magazine that reaches a wide variety of potential consumers and targets the mid-Missouri area. It offers multiple ways for a business to share its story with consumers. Let's explore some different kinds of magazine advertising there are and how they work better together:
First, let's talk about the advantages of running traditional magazine advertisements. These can be placed in each issue over an extended period of time for the purpose of branding a business in the mind of the reader. The benefits are many! As we mentioned, these can come in a variety of different sizes and formats, from half-page to full-page, to a two-page spread. Here are some of the main advantages to general branding ads:
Advertorials in particular are a create great way to show off your brand and grab a reader's attention with a more developed and robust ad. Designed to resemble a magazine's regular articles (editorial), these capture a reader's attention by sharing important information about a business's products or services. Advertorials are essentially paid editorials and are often not limited to one full page. In fact, they are powerful as a 2-page spread (double truck). They contain longer-form content and give a business the ability to share a story and educate a reader. They are branded for a business, and often contain small images that enhance the writing. The only minor requirement is that a magazine editor is required to let readers know that the advertorial is paid content. Advertorials can be placed anywhere throughout the magazine, as opposed to special sections which are entire sections dedicated to showcasing businesses within a specific topic.
With this unique advertising method, magazines build entire sections around a particular focus. Special sections are usually topic-specific. Inside Columbia Magazine has done a number of unique varieties of special sections in the past, such as Women in Business, Thought Leaders, Top Docs, Faces of Columbia, etc.
The benefit of advertising in Special Sections is that the magazine promotes the section heavily, as people enjoy reading about and seeing who is in each section. Loyal readers and new readers alike are drawn to those specific issues of the magazine specifically because they are interested in the featured topic.
Special sections give you the opportunity to metaphorically sit down with each reader and tell your story, educate and build a relationship. They allow you to really brand yourself in a way that traditional ads can’t. The idea is to showcase you, members of your staff, or clients and highlight your business’s personality, culture, values, mission, and brand voice. You have the freedom to say a lot more and effectively tell a story, educate consumers about important aspects of your business, and put your business in the spotlight.
We know what the 3 methods listed above have to offer individually, but how can they actually complement each other to the point that they are more effective when paired together?
Put simply, you will be featured in a publication in two different ways at the same time, which means you have the strengths of both playing to your advantage. Readers engage with and remember information differently. Some might connect better with traditional ads, and some might connect better with a featured profile. Some might be wanting to engage with longer format content such as a special section, while others might engage better with a more concise traditional ad or an intriguing branded advertorial.
It also depends on what the customer needs when looking at your ad. Are they ready to contact your business or look up your website? Or do they need to/want to get to know you and your brand better through a featured profile first? To be honest, they might just be looking for an interesting read, and your special section happened to spark their interest in your story. Once they decide to read, the relationship begins. Then, as they continue enjoying the magazine, they’ll turn a page and see your ad for another touchpoint.
It’s a perfect marketing 1-2 punch!