Content Marketing Gets Inked

sift-spreadWe are drowning in digital content. Small wonder savvy brands are embracing print as a solid channel for their content marketing.

“Everyone is publishing: blog posts, white papers and eBooks, content in email marketing and marketing automation, posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Online, we are drowning in content,” writes Yvonne Lyons in Business2Community.

The amount of content, Lyons notes, is “overwhelming and repetitive.” (We’ll second that.) What’s a smart brand to do? According to Lyons, the answer is clear:

“They’re going back to print magazines. In fact, about 36 percent of B2B marketers use print magazines, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 survey on content marketing efforts,” she writes.

As Lyons notes, print is far from being a new strategy for successful brands. The John Deere Company has been publishing The Furrow for more than 120 years; brands have long called this sort of effort “custom publishing,” she explains. More recent examples include several companies who have positioned themselves as lifestyle enablers through their print magazines, like Airbnb and King Arthur Flour with its gorgeous Sift title.

What’s different now? The industry has wrapped wording around the traditional idea of custom publishing that makes the process more applicable to modern marketing strategy.

“All of these ‘brand publishers’ say that offering quarterly or monthly magazines helps them connect more deeply with customers, establishes thought leadership in a more meaningful way, and distinguishes them from competitors,” explains Lyons.

And with current barriers to publishing collapsing due to increased technological and digital sophistication, plus the rise of outsourced professionals to supplement own in-house staff, just about any brand has the potential use print magazines in their content marketing strategy.

Lyons recommends: “Before adding a magazine to your content marketing efforts, you need to think about the endeavor in the context of your content marketing plan. Evaluate your current content efforts, and then consider your best customers: Do they want or need a magazine, and do they have, or will they take time to read longer-form content?”

If the answer is yes, the solution is obvious. Print magazines engage in ways that digital simply cannot.