Are you putting your ad in the right hands?
There you are, proud as a new parent with your newly born print ad. Now it’s time to introduce it to the world. So how do you determine which publication will take proper care of your bundle of joy? When it comes to advertising, print media is one of the more predictable in its audience reach; however, here are a few things to consider when evaluating new publications:
Check for audience audits.
Magazine publishers should regularly audit their circulation to give advertisers an accurate view of the quantity and types of readers reached through their publication. Audits can be done through independent third-party services, such as BPA, or through the publisher’s own internal audit, commonly called the “publisher’s statement.” Third-party audits provide an additional unbiased layer of accuracy about the magazine’s true audience that can give you confidence the audience reached with the publication is the closest match to your target.
Look for circulation trends.
Comparing circulation numbers can tell you a lot about the quality of the magazine, such as whether they continually grow their audience both in the number and quality and the number of subscribed readers who share their copy of the magazine with non-subscribers (known as pass-along). These two metrics alone can tell you which publications are likely to have the most long-term reach into your target audience.
Do they offer digital and print distribution?
Your target consumer likely includes a mix of people who prefer digital communication and those who prefer traditional methods such as print. If your ad is placed in a magazine that offers subscribers their choice of communication type, you can be sure you aren’t leaving digital reach on the table. This also indicates a higher engagement rate when subscribers are allowed to the communication method that best suites their lifestyles.
Does the audience match your target?
Publications should be able to quickly provide you with the latest demographics on their circulation including industry, age, gender, location and more. Make sure the print audience mirrors your target consumer to be sure you’re reaching an audience with a higher propensity to buy with each ad.
Check inventory availability.
Frequency is no myth. Studies show that consumers must be exposed to a brand multiple times to recall the brand when it's time to make a buying decision. Be sure the publication you chose has space available for your ad in more than one issue. Agree to more than one issue at once to reserve your space before the publication sells out.
The more niche the publication, the more targeted the audience. However, not all niche publishers are created equal so be sure you’re spending ad dollars wisely by selecting a publication that reaches and engages your ideal buyers. Picking the right publication is just one of the many components of a successful print ad. Download our free infographic The Anatomy of a Successful Print Ad and learn a few other tactics for ensuring print ad success.