There are so many local magazines across the UK that often it can be extremely hard to select the right one. At home I receive three or four a month and all have positives and negatives. So how do you choose the right one when you only have a limited budget and want to see a good return on your investment?
Magazines as an advertising medium
Magazines are a highly targeted way of engaging with audiences that would otherwise be hard to reach. They can be extremely influential and since most are divided into different sections or headings, they fulfil an array of their readers’ differing needs; thus appealing to a wide audience.
However you must understand that their success lies in the way in which their reader’s choose to use their preferred magazines – after all, the reader is in control.
What to look for
When considering a suitable magazine for advertising it is a good idea to do your research and online will prove extremely valuable (especially if you live out of the area). You should be able to discover a wealth of information using the internet, especially if you explore social media and hashtags.
Likewise, look at some previous editions – most good magazines will offer copies to view on their web site. You are looking for audience engagement and a good balance of editorial to advertising. Ask yourself if you would read the magazine and engage with it?
If you can, speak to fellow business owners as they can usually give sound advice and most of the time, a personal recommendation.
How does the magazine reach its audience?
Some publications are simply left in piles in the hope they will be collected by readers. This makes it virtually impossible to monitor the usage or the demographic of the reader, which will not help you as an advertiser.
Other publications deliver straight through the door at the reader’s home. Although costly, this is by far the best method to give advertisers a good ROI. This controlled delivery method ensures readers receive the magazine each and every month, which builds a vital relationship as the magazine becomes a friend and trusted companion.
Readers and demographics
It is vital you understand who reads the magazine and in which social group they sit, as this will enable you to target, acquire and develop the most profitable customers.
Some magazines will provide this information based on the Acorn classification (A, B, C1 etc), which uses significant social factors and popular behaviour to segment populations into 62 types of consumer. Others will simply segment by postcode or geography.
Consider who your target audience is and make sure the readers of your chosen magazine fit that profile.
Rate, circulation and readership
Understanding the circulation size will enable you to work out the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and you can use this to compare with other magazines or even media.
To calculate CPM, divide the cost of the ad by the number of readers, broken down by thousands. For example, if an advert costs £300 in a magazine with a circulation of 10,000, your cost to reach 1,000 readers is £30, since 10,000 / 1,000 = 10 and £300 / 10 = £30.
Readership is entirely different – this figure is often 2.5 to 3 times the circulation size and is sometimes estimated based on 2/3 people reading each copy of the magazine.
Thoroughly research your chosen magazine(s). Ask for previous editions and when you receive them, read them. Look at the other advertisers and see if there is much repeat advertising, also look to see if similar business types to yourself feature regularly, as this will give you an idea as to their success. Although this isn’t always an indicator, but it is a start.
Scrutinise social media too, as people are well versed in voicing their opinions online – good or bad.
Consider the readership and content of your chosen magazine and ensure your brand will attract the right customers if placed in that publication.
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