Your magazine advertising checklist
Posted on 10th July 2023
Do you think magazine advertising is only for large businesses?
Not all magazines are large, glossy, national publications. There are also titles dedicated to specific subjects and locations that can be ideal for smaller local businesses. Here are some of the things to think about when you’re deciding whether magazine advertising will suit you.
Audience – many national magazines have local editions, so some research can be well worthwhile. However, their local sections might still cover an area which is too large for your needs. The alternative is to look for magazines that cover the specific area where your business operates.
Many people are very interested in buying goods and services locally. On the other hand, some people are happy to look further afield for just the right specialised products or services. They might even tell others with similar interests all about you. The advertising team for any publication can provide information about its coverage area, along with rates and deadlines.
Circulation – you can save yourself a lot of time and expense by advertising in an established magazine rather than sending information directly to potential customers. Magazines also have a long shelf life and are often read multiple times before the next edition appears. People often treat reading a magazine as a leisure activity rather than a research project. In a relaxed frame of mind, they are likely to be receptive to your advertisement when they see it.
Make sure you ask some key questions before you place your order for advertising space. These might include:
what's the magazine's circulation?
what are the audience demographics?
how often is the magazine published?
how is it distributed?
are any special sections or themes planned for the year?
Reputation – your business can benefit from the reputation of a popular and well-trusted magazine. You can build your brand and save money by booking advertisements in several issues at once.
While it might be tempting to ‘try’ one advertisement as a test, repetition will build confidence. Potential customers are more likely to contact you if they see your advertisement several times.
Good timing will also increase your likelihood of success. Your customers might only have a slight interest in what you offer when they see your first advertisement. By advertising in several consecutive editions, they will have time to think in more detail about their requirements.
Return on investment – building your brand is important but you’ll also want to see your sales improve. Set some reasonable goals for the results you expect to achieve before you book your advertisements. For example, if a single sale would provide £2,000 of profit for your business you can justify a £1,000 investment. However, if you must sell 10,000 items to achieve the same profit you will want to research your audience and the magazine’s circulation very carefully.
The cost per thousand people reached or CPM can help you choose the right publications. You might also negotiate a special rate if you’re willing to book several advertisements, so don’t be afraid to ask. In contrast, some pages, such as the inside front cover, will often have a premium price. This is because they are more likely to catch your readers’ attention.
Many magazines will also include your advertisements in their online editions if you're advertising in their printed titles. This can significantly increase the number of people who are likely to see your advertisement, so ask about online advertising too. Just remember to include your website address in your advertisement.
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