9 Creative Ways to Spark a Full On Marketing Blitz for Your Print Magazine

It is pretty clear to most of us in the industry that print magazines are back – indeed, for many us they never really left, but that’s not the point here.

What is the point is that consumers still love print magazines, advertisers still love what magazine ads can do, and publishers are making money off print media. For magazine publishers, this is setting up a great scenario for 2018. But there’s still some work to be done to make magic happen for your title.

“Print is back,” writes Cyndee Miller in ImaginePub. “But that doesn’t mean you can just drop that magazine and expect everyone to wait for it at the mailbox. It’s time to pull a Don Draper and treat your magazine to a full-on marketing blitz.”

The good news? You don’t need a Mad Men-sized budget to make these happen. Miller shares nine ways that brands are using digital for promotion, and we’ve summarized them here.

Sneak peeks, cover statements and story spotlights

From Fast Company’s Instagram slideshow to Bon Appetit’s micro videos, publishers are offering a “fast flip” through their issues. “Monocle offers a more thorough take, with slinkster music and pro voiceover (with a posh British accent, no less) walking viewers through a 1-minute-plus tour of the book. (Monocle, you may recall, famously eschews social media marketing – but that doesn’t mean they don’t leverage other digital channels for effective marketing.)

Cover creativity counts too, as the epic Time cover video that shows the White House morphing into a Russian-esque palace complete with onion domes. A truly outstanding cover earns its own viral buzz, something that can be leveraged beautifully with digital.

And beyond the cover, focusing on one killer story in your issue can pay off, as in this example Miller cites: “When Barbie’s boyfriend got a makeover, GQ kept it short and sweet, with a one-sentence push to its story and a killer visual: ‘Meet the new Ken: beefy, cornrowed, and pan-racial. Story at the link in bio.’” Who wouldn’t click on that?

Stats, VIPS and something to talk about

Another way to spark interest is with good old-fashioned numbers. “The internet loves stats, and it’s not all clickbait,” Miller notes. “Done right, stats can signal thought leadership,” she explains, citing this Instagram from Fortune Magazine.

Beyond thought leadership, of course, is influencer marketing, and many titles are taking advantage of their celebrity connections. “Fast Company just sends out a tweet—‘How Kylie Jenner built a makeup empire out of her most famous asset’—with a pic of the famous model, and … done,” Miller explains. It all comes down to giving people something to talk about, whether it’s industry news, celebrity gossip, or an enticing question, a al Vogue Magazine.

Inside access, content cred and #TBT

We all want to know what goes on behind the curtains, and The New Yorker provided just that kind of glimpse into their cover design process. Letting them see how it’s all being made can pique interest and give your title more depth.

Of course, a little credibility boost never hurts either, so look for ways to leverage the content process.  “Raise the profile of your magazine team by showing them in action and doing insider things, like Paste posting about its movie editor interviewing Mark Hamill.”

Finally, take advantage of the throwback trend, Miller suggests. “So much content is based on capturing the very latest, but sometimes it pays to look back. British Vogue has made #TBTs and #FBFs their #BFFs, with fairly frequent looks back at past covers. And Fortune took a lovely a trip down memory lane with a video highlighting Warren Buffett’s many appearances through the years.”

Warren Buffett through the years in Fortune Magazine.

A post shared by Fortune (@fortunemag) on

It’s truly a golden age for magazines. Niche and special interest titles are heating up, printing technology makes things possible we could only wish for 10 years ago, and digital offers ways to engage and expand your reach. These tips from Miller might just spark something big for your title.