The category is still fairly new, so you might be forgiven for not recognizing the term. But “customer magazines” represent a huge – and growing – portion of our industry.
As this article in Print Power notes, customer or brand magazines are a cornerstone of the content marketing industry, as brands reach out in magazine format to their best customers. In fact, content marketers prefer print over digital when it comes to brand magazines.
What’s the payback for investing in this medium? For brands, there are seven key reasons for using customer magazines, as the article notes:
- Building relationships and loyalty. A customer magazine gets past the barriers to entry more easily. It’s a known and welcome entity, and as such serves as a reliable and trusted source of information.
- Substance and tangibility. Let’s face it; consumers still love to hold a quality print magazine in their hands. Accordingly, brands are taking care to choose the right paper, textures and finishes to round out the tangible experience we all love.
- Trust. According to a Nielsen study (Global Trust in Advertising, 2011), customer magazines are the more trusted form of all paid media. As ad blocking continues to surge, customer magazines get through the blockade.
- Targeting power. According to the article, e-commerce companies are increasingly turning to print customer magazines due to their ability to tightly target their audience. “By creating specific content for specific groups, brands can get closer to their customers, offering more personalized content and increasing engagement.”
- Effectiveness. Because these magazines are an “owned” channel, there is no interference from other brands or negative interactions with customers.
- Content marketing chops. With 20% of marcoms budgets now allocated to content marketing, this type of owned media is increasingly important. So it’s no surprise that print magazines are a content marketer favorite.
- Complexity. In a world that’s been parsed down to a handful of hashtags and 140 characters, the real estate offered by a print magazine is gold. “This is why an increasing number of customer magazines are being used as an educational tool in the media mix, giving the reader a clear explanation of subjects such as financial products or energy solutions,” the article notes.”