When I have conversations with marketers and publishers about these kinds of moves, I always hear the notion that “print is dead.” Well, I’m here to tell you that there has never been a bigger opportunity for brands in the printed channel than right now.
While I would not want to be in the broad-based, horizontal print game (ala USA Today), highly niche, highly targeted publications are flourishing as a marketing tool. For example, ThinkMoney magazinefrom TD Ameritrade sees about 90 percent of its customers take direct action on a product it sells through the print magazine. The magazine is a true collision of amazing design and provocative information. It’s the type of content that is anticipated by its trader audience. And better yet, since traders are in front of computers all day long, they look forward to the opportunity to disconnect and discover.
Even our own Chief Content Officer magazine has a clear competitive advantage in the marketplace because it’s in print. At a recent event (not ours), three marketing executives came up to me and told me how much they enjoy the magazine and can’t wait until the next one arrives (they didn’t mention our daily digital content… they just mentioned print).
Most prognosticators say that by 2020 most printed media will be gone. I think anyone who makes those types of comments doesn’t understand history. Just type into Google “The Death of TV” and you’ll see hundreds of articles predicting the end of television. One could make the argument that right now is the golden age of television, with amazing shows like Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men and Homeland leading the way.
The evolution of the internet doesn’t kill off these channels… it makes us look at them differentlybecause they are used differently by consumers.
We are releasing our third annual content marketing study next week. Among the findings, the usage of EVERY channel is flat or up. After years of seeing the usage of print magazines on the downside, we saw no change year-over-year. Yes, marketers, for the most part, have stopped fleeing from the print channel.
Of course, content marketing strategy comes first, followed by channel strategy. But as a content marketer, it is our responsibility to look at all available channels to tell our stories.
Here are a few reasons why there might be an amazing opportunity in the print channel:
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