There are consumer magazines, and there are professional magazines. There are also scholarly journals which are normally useful only for their own select coteries. Of the three, B2B companies can only make the most out of the second kind because of its professional readership and content that is hit right on the head and attractive at the same time.
Nielsen Catalina Solutions has done a meta-analysis to determine the average Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) across different media. The result shows that magazine is the most efficient medium for advertisers: for every $1.00 spent on magazine advertisement, the incremental sales are driven by $3.94. The average ROAS for other media were $2.63 (display channels), $2.62 (cross media), $2.55 (linear tv), $2.45 (mobile), $1.53 (digital video).
This is why Lincoln Electric, an international manufacturer of welding devices, started to issue its professional quarterly magazine, ARC. The magazine’s website reads on its about-us page, “ARC is about welding, but it’s also about the topics we think welders will enjoy”.
ARC is not just a magazine on welding. It’s a magazine on a welding lifestyle covering topics that range within the realm of education, culture, personal experiences, welding tips and techniques, and definitely ads of welding products. The end result is amazing: “A welding lifestyle magazine that in its first year has snapped up 21,500 subscribers.”
Now, Lincoln Electric is not alone in its decision to start its magazine; other big names in the B2B market have seen the benefits of a multi-platform magazine and decided to try their hands at this valuable device.
The B2B market is smaller and smarter. Decision-making is done by a group of experts that aim to maximize profit and minimize risk, and this means that there will be no customer loyalty unless the B2B company creates an intelligent trust with the picky groups of decision-makers.
Here is why you too need to issue out your magazine if you want to build a stronger brand loyalty:
It’s a Package:
Magazines are a well-structured means to form a loyal readership with the decision-makers. What I mean by “well-structured” is that a magazine is like a package with promises to fulfill. The template of the magazine might promise to include a how-to section, an opinion section, a survey section, and a social media section, as is the structure through which the posts are presented in magazine issues by MarketingProfs.
The structure of a magazine could be considered as a narrative that starts and ends with a notable course. Normally each issue of a magazine might revolve around a theme that is somehow preserved during the narrative of the magazine and in turn gives the readers a relatively good feeling of tangible intellectual satisfaction.
This tangible intellectual satisfaction MIGHT not be typically achieved through dispersed blog posts or educational emails.
Finding a content just suitable for your professional purposes on the internet is not an easy task. Most often you have to make inferences concerning an issue discussed in the post because you might not be the direct audience of the blog.
Magazines make blogging perfect:
Although credible technical blogs are valuable educational devices, magazines complement them in three areas.
The audience of a weblog is much broader than that of a magazine. Whereas blog posts normally aim to form a more or less general persona of their audience, B2B magazines are more specific in their audience selection. Content provided for the B2B magazines should therefore be narrowed down to the exact topics exclusive for their small group of readers. Having the highest number of weekly conversations about product categories compared to users of other media, “magazine readers are word-of-mouth leaders”, according to Magazine Media Factbook 2016/2017. They also have the most friends among “devoted media users” compared to radio and TV media. A B2B magazine should treat its audience as a community that shares a certain philosophy of living. It is rather imperative to include lifestyle tips and form quite an intimate aura of trust and friendship with your audience.
Blog posts are hyper reads. Chartbeat has done a study on the readers’ actual attention span over 2 billion page visits and it seems that “a stunning 55% [of readers] spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page”. What people do when reading a blog post is scan the text and find the chunks of information they are specifically looking for: they are in fact doing a hyper reading. We typically do not savor the tone and theme of the post: the link to other posts interfere with the actual process of reading, and we get a comparably shallower understanding of the text. Magazines on the other hand manage to elicit a more preserved attention. Readers, on average, spend 51.6 minutes on each issue of print magazines, and 49.8 minutes on digital versions. Hyper reading gives way to deep analytical reading, and people actually detect and enjoy the tone and theme of the piece.
Blog posts are normally written to fulfill a tighter schedule than the magazines, which are normally published at most once a week. The end result MIGHT be that less technical effort goes to writing of blog posts compared to the magazine pieces. Put in the words of Rich Reiff, CEO of Advantage Business Media, “We have to be very careful that what content we provide in the print property will stand the test of time and also be very valuable. It has to go in depth on something that’s going on in the industry”.
The Magazine Media 360° Brand Audience Report for the first half of 2016, published by the Association of Magazine Media, shows that “the average audience for magazine brands grew by 6.2 percent year-over-year”.
According to Magazine Media Factbook 2016/2017, another report by the same association, 90% of adults, 93% of people under 35, and 95% of those under 25, read magazines (print and digital) in the first half of 2015. It is also stated in the same report that advertising in print yields greater increases in brand awareness, brand favorability and purchase intent than online or TV advertising. Print advertising also adds substantially to the persuasion power of other advertising media.
Use magazines (print and digital) alongside other media to boost your brand awareness and loyalty.
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