How to Defy the Odds and Attract Print Advertisers

garden-and-gun-labcoverPublishers need to understand that it’s ultimately the readers you attract that compels a brand to invest in your print ads.

The success of Garden & Gun has a lot to teach us.  As we reported earlier this month, the title’s tight focus on their niche is proving irresistible to advertisers. Ad revenue is up, and the brand has carved out a foothold as a luxury publication.

The proof? It’s in the growing number of ad pages in each issue (up 6% over 2014), and the increasing circulation, which Jameson Doris in min notes are “not unique objectives, but do require a unique approach.”

Doris recently spoke to G&G CEO and founder Rebecca Darwin and her executive team, who have led the title since its rocky start in 2007, to try to understand how they’ve been able to make the magazine so compelling to its high-end advertisers.

“The real key to our success has been the engagement of the readers and it turns out if you produce a really quality editorial product that people want to spend time with that what  you attract is a very attractive audience of readers that are pretty much an advertiser’s dream,” Darwin explains.

In simple terms, it’s the quality of the content and how relevant it is to the audience. And Darwin et. al. seem to have figured this out.

“…it’s all about putting the reader first,” adds VP and Editor-in-chief David DiBenedetto. “Every word on the page has to be right and that has paid off and certainly the readers responded to that.”

That magic lies in the tight fit between the content, the readership’s interests, and allied advertisers. “The concept that I hear most often from people is that they see themselves in the pages of the magazine,” notes Darwin.

It’s a lesson in editorial integrity, and in the finances of good publishing. “Our Feb/March issue that’s on the cover right now is 30% up in revenue over last year and we’re putting the finishing touches on April/May and we’re going to be upwards of 25% up in revenue over last year. It’s going to be one of our biggest issues ever,” says Publisher Christian Bryant.