Print Does Matter – Why it’s Important when Building a Branding

With the growth in the use of mobile devices and user connectivity, it should be no surprise that online audiences are growing at a steady rate and are at an all-time high and showing no signs of slowing down.  People moving are away from traditional television like cable and moving to streaming platforms that offer more programming and better prices for their small and big-screen viewing.  

Given this digital audience growth, one might assume that this is coming at the expense of decreasing magazine audiences; however, that could not be further from the truth and in fact, it might even be contributing to the growth.


While it is true more and more people are joining digital mediums and platforms. If you look at the data from the last three years, the total magazine audience has grown by close to 6 million readers. If the magazine offers a digital edition of the magazines, well these publications have seen a total audience growth of more than 6 million readers during that same three-year period. Showing that readers are happy to enjoy multiple channels of communication.

Our magazine and the industry, continue to enjoy year-over-year readership growth.  Magazine features and advertising continues to prove an effective tool to boost brand awareness and trust.  Feature articles and advertorials help readers connect and get a better understanding of the entrepreneur, their journey, and their brand vision.  Readers who understand the brand vision and mission make an emotional connection with the entrepreneur and take an interest in the success of the business and purchase their products and services.  Plus, print and digital magazine exposure and advertising are now some of the best ways to boost the effectiveness of your other marketing efforts to keep your brand top of mind with customers. In other words, if you want the best returns on all your advertising and branding investments, then it is a must to add magazine exposure to your marketing media mix.

These are just some of the advertising statistics from the Magazine Media Factbook that you might be surprised to learn.

Magazines are Inspiring and Motivating

People turn to TV for entertainment and to the web for everything from shopping to homework to self-help. Magazine readers, on the other hand, turn to their favorite publications to be inspired and motivated and to get valuable information from a source they can trust. When it’s time to learn about a new product, more people choose magazines than TV or the web. When people want to connect emotionally or indulge in a relaxing bit of “alone time,” away from the kids or the hustle and bustle of life, they are choosing magazines.

More people reported that magazines give them something positive to talk about with others, and we already know that a lot of conversations are happening online via social media, but these can quickly become negative. 

Data shows that magazines are inspiring more purchases than any other advertising channel.

When you want to reach consumers with emotional content that inspires them to act — whether that is to purchase a product or service, start a conversation, or simply feel good about what they are reading about, then print and digital magazines are the best channels for you and your brand to achieving those goals.

Magazine Readers Bring the Conversation Online

Most business owners think that social media is replacing traditional print and digital channels, however, the numbers show it is augmenting it instead. Magazine readers are just bringing their conversations online and talking about the brands and businesses that they support and like.  We see the greatest example of this effect happening on Instagram with an almost 20% increase in magazine media industry likes and follows by users.

Readership and Engagement

The scientific data shows that paper-based reading stimulates emotions, drives sensory involvement, provides more focused attention, and most importantly is preferred by the majority of people.

Data also shows that 95% of people under the age of 25 are reading magazines and numbers is holding strong year after year, which goes against the common belief that young people are tossing print aside and it is an older person’s medium.  When you are advertising do not assume and certainly do not underestimate the power of high-quality photos, graphics and images and having the ability you view these materials and information without pop-ups and/or other interruptions.  

Plus, this medium is available again and again, keeping people of all ages engaged and looking for the next issues, while being able to look at previous issues, especially if the publication is open like Spotlight on Businesses Magazine.  

Magazine Advertising Campaigns are more Successful

The intent of the advertising is to drive brand awareness, brand engagement and revenue.  When advertising in print you engage the readers at a higher level than online or TV advertising.  Especially now that most streaming platforms offer ad-free subscription levels to these services.  Plus, data shows that print ads generate stronger brand engagement and trust with consumers than any other channel.

Magazine Advertising Will Boost All Your Other Efforts

When measuring brand awareness across channels, the biggest increases were seen when print was added to an online or television campaign. You might think this is due simply to the added exposure, but the data shows that print campaigns have the most positive impact on brand awareness. 

Online advertising alone provided, on average, a 4 percent increase in brand awareness; television alone provided a 5 percent increase. Combining online and TV together did a little better averaging a 6 percent increase in brand awareness.

What happened when print was added to the marketing mix?

Online campaigns that added print averaged a 10 percent increase in brand awareness; TV campaigns that added print averaged a 13 percent increase. 

However, a “Rule of Three” marketing campaign shows the best results.  What “Rule of Three” marketing campaign, well it is a true cross-channel approach, data from combining print, online and TV advertising and exposure shows that together they can increase brand awareness by 15 percent or more.

Magazine Readers Stay Connected and Engaged Longer

Television and internet advertising might be great ways to get quick and direct messages to your consumers. However, if you’re looking to deliver a more meaningful message that tells the reader your story and gives them all the information, they need to trust your brand and products, then magazines are the right channel. The average amount of time a reader spends viewing print and digital edition magazine issues is almost one hour per issue. Compare that to the fact that more than half of all web surfers spend less than 15 seconds on a website, and the choice should be clear on where you need to be focusing your marketing budget socially if you are a start-up.

As you can see print advertising is not a fad or a result of current social media platforms or new technology that will soon be obsolete or replaced.  Magazine advertising and exposure have proven themselves a durable and effective exposure medium for over a century.  The number of magazine readers continues to grow, and the influence that magazine advertising has on every other medium like TV, radio, newspapers, and online shows that it is an effective tool for building brand and product awareness.

What does this mean for advertisers? Not only should print advertising remain a staple in your media mix and budget, but also every time you’re considering a single media channel for an ad campaign, reconsider the boost you will get from simply adding a complementary print ad to your campaign to maximize your messages reach and return on marketing investment.

by Ryan Myson