Flip through your favorite magazine or take a glance at the front page of the newspaper and you're likely to find a directive to the publisher's website advertising supplemental material. Many publications even offer an option to ditch the print medium all together and consume your information entirely online. But for the avid news-reader and beauty advice seeker, is this the best option? After a few months, consumers may start resorting back to their beloved paper and ink method of consumption. As a business owner, keeping up with digital-age trends is vital to ensuring your company stays profitable and ahead of the game. But with consumers reverting back to paper, maintaining the right amount invested in the tried and true method of print is also a crucial component to success. So what advantages does print have and how can you ensure your print publication will thrive?
While many print forums are taking a digital approach, many digital companies are introducing print publications. Some businesses, according to Digiday, are adding a premium subscription as an additional benefit to an already acquired membership. In other words, they are throwing in a free print magazine to those who already pay for an online service. The advertising revenue would, in theory, offset the cost of publication.
Another technique print publications are using is cutting down circulation, while introducing more premium content at a higher price. Digiday said that Newsweek was circulating over 3 million issues at its height, but returned to print after two years of digital-only production at a circulation of a mere 70,000 this past March. By producing higher quality content at a higher price, print publications can thrive off of a smaller readership.
The same source also reported that Pitchfork, after 17 years of online-only production of music industry news, decided to go print in 2013. The Pitchfork Review comes out quarterly at almost $20 an issue for non-subscribers. Subscribers enjoy a discounted rate along with gifts, event invitations and access to certain digital content. Another marketing technique Pitchfork uses is printing on thick, high-quality paper. Pitchfork encourages readers to save and store the magazine like they would a vinyl record. Politico is another online forum that decided entering into the print market required exclusivity. It distributes primarily within Washington, D.C. to important buildings such as the White House, Supreme Court and Congress.
Online advertisers are forced to share their space with myriad other distractions. Videos, social media and other advertisements can take up a reader's screen all at the same time. Facing this obstacle and knowing that premium content is the new domain of print publications, advertisers are looking to cash in. Furthermore, advertisers can be specific. Since print publications are focusing on specific audiences, this allows advertisers to also focus on their prime market. Digiday said this is why alternative lifestyle brand Converse bought out Pitchfork's first print year and major financial institution JP Morgan is sponsoring a year-long publication within Politico's first year of its print newspaper.
Newspaper and magazine typographers have the ability to manipulate spacing, margins, size, font and location among myriad other techniques to ensure that stories and articles are being read in the right order. This type of format may lead readers to remember more of what they read as well as retain more information, according to a study done out of the University of Houston. The study found that readers consume more print information than online information over a 20-minute period. Not only are they retaining more information, they are actually remembering what they are reading as well.
So you want to add exclusivity to your business, attract advertisers and get readers to remember what you have to say? Start printing – again.