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Have You Considered Local Magazine Advertising?


Stocked strategically on checkout aisles, tucked inside mailboxes, and on tables in every waiting room, it’s safe to say that magazines are everywhere. Magazines’ popularity isn’t a new phenomenon for America, becoming ubiquitous before the last person signed the US Constitution. Even today, with a digital play place in their pockets, the 2021 MPA Magazine Media Factbook shows that magazines remain popular with 72% of adults. This persistent popularity is why national and local magazine advertising remains a billion-dollar industry.


While brands like Vogue or National Geographic may be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of magazines, it’s their local counterparts that people read the most. This is one reason why local magazines are increasingly filled with ads for national brands; however, their popularity isn’t the only reason national brands spend upwards of $65 billion on local ads of all kinds each year. By utilizing local advertisements, large businesses can reach their target demographics more effectively, and tell them how and where to get their products in their area. Advertising locally also gives companies incredible insight into a campaign’s effect on regional and local demand, allowing them to make targeted adjustments to media strategy and messaging when necessary.


Local magazines set themselves apart from national magazines in a few ways:


  • Price: Local magazines, acting as a delivery tool for the ads within, are typically provided for free to households and businesses within their target market.

  • Distribution: Not requiring a subscription list, local magazines are sent to every household and business within an area or demographic.

  • Contents: With local magazines primarily used for advertising, they rarely contain articles. The articles found in local magazines are often written to promote a business, charity, or event.


If you’ve never advertised in a magazine, you may be nervous to start the journey and probably have questions before jumping in. Let’s explore the world of local magazine advertising together and determine if it’s a suitable investment to add to your advertising portfolio.


Why Invest in Local Magazine Advertising?


When we say that you should be spending part of your coveted ad budget on print advertising in 2022, it’s understandable to ask why. With most people being connected 24/7, why not focus online? What strengths does local magazine advertising have over its online counterpart? Let’s look at a few.


Builds Trust in Your Brand


According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 81% of consumers say trust is vital when choosing to work with a business. Despite this, more and more consumers have grown distrustful of advertisements. Print ads have managed to dodge this distrust, with 76% of consumers trusting the ads they receive in the mail and 82% saying that, in general, they trust print advertisements more than any other form.


Unrestrained from one demographic, this trust exists across all ages. In another survey by MarketingSherpa, over 70% of Millennials said they are more likely to trust advertisements they receive in the mail over online banner ads. With these numbers, it’s easy to see the benefits of leveraging local magazines for building brand trust.


Creates Awareness and Brand Recall


Word of mouth is the oldest, most potent form of advertising and is crucial in building a solid customer base. Like Kleenex or Jacuzzi, you want your business to be the first someone thinks about when thinking of your industry. To get there, you have to build brand recall amongst your customers. Figuring out how can be a struggle, but luckily, science is here to help. A neuromarketing research study done in 2019 showed that physical ads resulted in a 70% higher brand recall in consumers.


Why is this? For one thing, it requires 21% less effort cognitively to process an advertisement when it is physically in front of you than one on a phone or a computer allowing memories to form faster. Memories created using multiple senses, such as sight and touch, are more resilient against time. An example of the power of touch; in a study published in Psychological Science, when participants were blindfolded and asked which of two objects they held for ten seconds a week prior, 85% were able to identify the correct object.


Expands the Reach of Your Brand


The primary goal of advertising is to get your business in front of as many people as possible. Digital advertising can be great, but with most Americans seeing an estimated 4,000 to 10,000 online ads a day, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. This over-saturation of advertisements in the digital world has led to a phenomenon called “banner blindness.” Banner blindness, combined with often self-reported metrics, makes measuring the reach of a digital ad campaign difficult.


One of the benefits of direct mail is that your audience is limited only by the number of households and businesses in America that receive mail. With 160 million of those, that’s no small audience. According to the 2020 Household Diary Study, almost three-quarters of them will look at the estimated 16 ads they receive a week. Compared to the thousands of ads people scroll past a day on social media, it’s easy to see how effective local magazine advertising can be for increasing your reach.


Increasing Your Advertising ROI


Devoting a chunk of your budget to an advertising campaign often feels like rolling the dice. Will people see it? Will it be profitable? Sadly, there are no blanket answers to these questions, but recent statistics give insight into how magazines can help you get the best bang for your advertising buck.


According to the 2020 Household Diary Study, over 10% of households reported they planned to respond to the ad mail they received. This response rate resulted in businesses having, on average, an ROI of $2,095 for every $167 they spent. Besides being trustworthy and memorable, local magazine advertising can be an excellent investment for businesses looking to get the most bang for their buck.


Let Expert Stewardship Guide the Way


While not as old as magazines, The Ward Group has been helping businesses achieve success for over 35 years. Utilizing our many years of experience in numerous media channels — tv, radio, print, digital, OOH — we’ll help you craft a diverse and impactful advertising portfolio. Advertising is an investment. The Ward Group helps ensure you get the best return for it.


If you’re looking for experts who can guide you through the diverse ad landscape, contact The Ward Group today.


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