Print’s Very Much Alive: Magazine Examples from 9 Brands
While marketers flood new digital channels and explore the latest amplification strategies, a number of companies continue to invest in the “traditional” media of print to reach their customers.
CMI research reveals that while print is not a particularly popular way to distribute content – approximately one-third of B2B and B2C marketers use print – those who do use print consider it the most important channel after email and LinkedIn (for B2B) and Facebook (for B2C).
Read on for inspiration across industries, marketing goals, and styles.
thinkMoney by TD Ameritrade
Agency/Publisher: T3 Custom
Now in its 10th year, thinkMoney has won many editorial and design awards, and is often spotlighted as a custom magazine done right. Why all the attention? Quality in the details. thinkMoney targets options traders – a very particular niche within the investing world. Its audience is smart, risk-taking and even a bit contrarian … so the magazine must have a look, feel, and voice that appeal to that highly discriminating audience. For example, thinkMoney only hires writers and editors who are themselves active traders. And the design of the magazine is completely original – the magazine’s covers use bold visuals that include subtle humor and a side wink. All this adds up to a beautifully executed publication that educates a tough-to-impress crowd.
.@TDAmeritrade thinkMoney mag has look, feel, & voice of its highly discriminating audience @soloportfolio
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Outcomes Magazine by Eyeview
Video marketing company Eyeview launched a print magazine in early 2017. CMO Jeff Fagel explains that the format allows room for studying complex topics in digital media, artificial intelligence, and video marketing. And the company’s roster of contributors in the inaugural issue – among them journalists and well-regarded analysts – is just the sort of group that can pull off meaty reporting.
Live by Alberta Theater Projects
Agency/Publisher: RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions
Alberta Theater Projects has been investing in developing and staging plays since the 1970s, but a few years ago it wondered whether it could deliver more than the traditional playbill. The result: Live magazine, a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create and stage plays. By giving ticketholders a chance to see all the details and challenges involved in theater, ATP hopes to create deeper relationships with its audience. The magazine mixes magnificent photography and heartfelt writing about the beauty of theatrical expression.
.@ATPlive uses its magazine to create deeper relationships with its audiences, says @soloportfolio.
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Four Seasons Magazine by Four Seasons
It’s really no surprise that a print magazine by Four Seasons is as beautiful and sumptuous as the destinations it highlights. Rather than focus on traditional “what-to-see” content for its top destinations, the magazine focuses on multi-sensory experiences – from a profile of top truffle farmers in Australia to a photo exploration of out-of-the-way finds in Tokyo’s Nakameguro neighborhood. Four Seasons Magazine boasts over 1 million readers and agency Pace says readers who engage with the magazine spend more money with the hotel brand (magazine readership boosts revenue per booking by 42%).
ARC Magazine by Lincoln Electric
ARC Magazine bills itself as a “welding lifestyle magazine” – and we applaud the quirky phrase. Launched in 2015, the magazine targets the metal-forming and -fabricating community with content that is both educational and entertaining. Rather than dwell on fabrication techniques or materials – though it covers both – the magazine focuses on the people behind interesting projects and ideas. Craig Coffey, manager of Lincoln’s marketing communication team, says the awards the magazine has received are due in large part to the way it is produced: “The fact that our team crafts each issue in-house, from cover to cover, makes this recognition even more special. It’s a testament to the talent and dedication of everyone at Lincoln that’s contributed to ARC since its inception.”
Is Print Still Relevant? Lincoln Electric Says Yes
Our Trust by Columbia Basin Trust
Agency/Publisher: Canada Wide Media
This new print publication raises awareness about the projects and programs sponsored by the Columbia Basin Trust. The magazine prints and mails once per year, and replaces a report that had the look and feel of an annual report or newsletter rather than a features-driven magazine. By investing in photography, design, and writing, the Columbia Basin Trust can tell more compelling stories about its environmental stewardship today and its vision for the future.
.@TheTrustInfo replaced its annual report with a features-driven magazine, says @soloportfolio.
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HOG Magazine for Harley-Davidson
Agency/Publisher: GS Design
Dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts with a special passion for Harley-Davidson, HOG Magazine elevates biking to an art form. It was named Best Print Magazine in 2016 by the Content Marketing Awards judges for its beautiful design, inspired editorial, and commitment to the Harley Owners Group community. Each issue includes member stories, gear reviews, ideas for customizing bikes, and suggested road trips. The true beauty of the HOG glossy, however, is how it all comes together with arresting photography and design.
Project M by Allianz SE
Agency/Publisher: C3 Creative Code & Content GmbH
Allianz SE is a leading voice in the field of pensions, and its Project M magazine shows off its subject-matter expertise in asset management and life insurance. The publication uses journalists, academics, and experts to examine key issues in the industry, plus its rich and modern design puts it on par with established media publications.
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Walmart World by Walmart
Walmart World is an internal publication tasked with increasing employee engagement, enhancing job success and satisfaction, and building stronger connections among Walmart’s 1.3 million associates. It’s an ambitious aim for any organization (let alone one with such a diverse and dispersed audience base). The magazine meets the challenge deftly by empowering employees to shape the magazine’s content. A monthly outreach letter to personnel managers solicits story ideas and submissions, while an associate-expert panel surfaces additional topics, and gathers quotes and feedback. The result is standout content that 94% of the company’s employees say they trust, 66% read regularly, and 71% cite as a source of pride in their company, according to a March 2015 research report.
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These nine brands clearly illustrate that print is alive – and well. Do you still have legacy print projects or are you considering adding a print component to your marketing? Make sure you connect them to your overall content marketing strategy to increase their likelihood of success. And don’t think of them as print-only activities – look for ways to weave them into your digital communication and vice versa. That way your content marketing program can maximize the benefits of both digital and print.
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute
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