How falling for print’s old-fashioned charms can boost your content marketing

At a glance, print’s fortunes don’t stack up too well against newer competitors. But probe a bit deeper and print titles prove themselves to be a treasure trove for content marketers

News circulation figures remain firmly in the doldrums, and some promising magazines are finding they can’t even give their content away.

For content marketers hoping to drive traffic, shifting to digital seems to be the simplest solution.

Transcending traffic

However, there’s more to print than raw readership data. New research shows that people trust ads appearing in print media more than any other source.

Thus the much-vaunted decline of print is not so simple. In this age of instant gratification, funnelling content to consumers via social media and video platforms is tempting for content marketers chasing traffic – but for those looking to engage and build long-term relationships with their consumers, print is still the way to go.

Seen in this light, print is recalibrating to meet new needs rather than thrashing about in its death throes – a trend anticipated by Content Desk in 2015. And a range of industries are starting to see the benefits.

Get inspired by print’s proponents

Airbnb provides an interesting recent example of a company investing time and money into developing a sophisticated print offering. Joanna Coles, content officer at Hearst (the company who helped develop Airbnbmag), described a good magazine as a “voyage of discovery”.

For Airbnb, their glossy new magazine represents a status symbol to demonstrate their growing company prestige as well as an efficient way of distributing internal news – both motivations that content marketers could tap into.

Another example of print’s benefits can be seen in Progressive Content’s very own Foodservice Consultant magazine. Distributed to thousands of members spread across three regions, it plays a vital role in updating foodservice consultants across the globe on internal society developments.

Recent feedback shows just how important this is, with the average read time for FCSI members standing at over half an hour and nearly three quarters agreeing Foodservice Consultant is a valued part of their membership.

Foodservice Consultant magazine highlights the benefits of printing when targeted at the right audiences. Readers’ enthusiastic engagement attests to its ongoing success in consolidating the highly specific insights and information required by industry professionals.

Print for victory

Admittedly, measuring the success of print in terms of raw traffic generated does not compare favourably to most digital media. But using other metrics, such as business prestige and customer trust (like Airbnb) or engagement with specific audiences (like Foodservice Consultant), can yield great results.

Perhaps, for content marketers, 2017 should be the year they rethink their approach to print. Although not for everyone, it has some advantages that can’t be gained anywhere else.

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