Print is not dead…really!

Admit it. You love to flop down on the couch with a new magazine. Nice, cool to the touch, slick, full-color pages, beautiful pictures, interesting articles with data you will use, recipes you will make, websites you will visit, a product you might try.

Print is really not dead. I guarantee. And it’s also a great marketing tool. I’m not talking only about print ads, I’m talking a Customer Magazine, produced by your company and exclusively for your client base.

newskeepr cover smallAt all of my positions, I have either apprenticed, assisted, edited or created customer magazines (or newsletters) for my companies. At Diskeeper Corporation (now Condusiv), my “Newskeeper” customer magazine went out to our entire database–nearly 100K contacts, monthly. They still produce the “Newskeeper” at Condusiv to this day. Magazines are something I really enjoy creating, and is my specialty.

A fully branded customer magazine is marketing tool that communicates quality. Since you need more than one small article, you may have to enlist others on your staff or in other departments. It’s a great chance for others to show off their writing talents and feature their knowledge on your product or service. In the sales and technical departments they always knew when I was looking for writers as I would come in with cookies and good will.

BMWMagazineAs recently as 2014 actual digital/online companies have gotten on board with the print magazine: CNET, WebMD and Net-a-Porter are distinctive tech companies who have jumped in with their own publications. Of course the luxury items have their snazzy magazines, like Driven, BMW’s customer magazine. Heck, tractor company John Deere has been around forever and had a customer magazine for nearly as long, Homestead.

There are also many different ways to distribute the magazine. Recommended is by mail, to keep your client database updated. In addition, you can send out the magazine in email form, connecting it to the articles posted on your blog, as well as hosted the magazine digitally online and distributed through online magazine sites, such as issu.com. It’s valuable and extended material for social media as the articles themselves can be shared and retweeted. This spreads article-type content out about your product that is carefully written and edited and controlled by you, furthering your brand.

Remember, people spend actual TIME with a magazine. “Studies have shown that the average reader spends almost 45 minutes with a single magazine; compare that to the average time spent engaging with a single Tweet.” (from Print is the New Black) An opportune time for you to really further your messages with your clients and customers. eventually driving more sales.

 

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Content Driven

It’s kind of funny that “content” is what is currently perceived as one of the high points of marketing (especially online). I have always thought it was kind of cool that I provided information, data, tips, tricks, etc. within my large marketing tools—first newsletters from the nutritional clinic, then technical tips and tricks in the Newskeeper magazine from Diskeeper Corporation, and later on video and audio clips with helpful business advice to auto repair shops on the Management Success website.

Content is something you can provide, free of charge, to your customers and potential customers, in order to create an idea of “exchange in abundance”. You’re willing to give away information that others might want to provide at a premium. It’s a fantastic way to create a large amount of goodwill for your company, word of mouth, testimonials, and in the end, more satisfied customers.

Going the extra mile and setting up a special section on your website with video tips or possibly a question and answer forum, or creating a designed magazine that is attractive and interesting to read with useful information can make fantastic returns in revenue—and happy customers.

The trick is to figure out what you have that they need, and you can provide to them for free at very little or no cost to you. If you can spend money, a professionally designed magazine or newsletter is a fantastic way to not only get your company into offices and homes in hard copy format, but also keep your customers’ addresses current. It is recommended you do a mailing every 6 months or so, with a Return Service on the mailer to get those valuable updated addresses. Having that material also hosted in some way online, through a blog or even “web” versions of your magazine is another avenue to providing content. Sharing and re-sharing through social media can drive traffic to your website and begin a relationship with people who then become customers.

Even if you do need to spend money to get this valuable content out and online, it’s money very well spent.

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