The Real Superpower of Magazine Media is Engagement

Put a ring on it. That’s what happens when your readers see you in print – they engage with you and your brand in ways that don’t happen online.

Five years ago we shared some data on the engagement power of print magazine ads. A lot has changed since them; we are Zooming, bingeing and TikToking around the clock it seems. So has print’s ability to engage dropped in the face of so much competition?

According to the Magazine Media Factbook 2020, a couple of key factors indicate that our level of trust and engagement with magazines is solid … in fact, even more so than back in 2015. For example, since 2015:

Source: MPA2020 Factbook

I mention trust first because that’s the first key to building long-term audience engagement for any brand. A few other facts from the report that bearing repeating:

  • The number of adults who read magazine media (both print and online) continues to grow, now estimated at 228.7 million;
  • Magazine audiences continue to accumulate over time, long after their publication date; and
  • Magazine ROI on ad dollars is the highest of all media today, as it was five years back.

“At a macro level, magazines are still thriving in a media environment that continues to reinvent itself,” writes Tamara Barber in MRI Simmons.

“On the ‘who’ front, 91% of US adults read a print or digital magazine in the last six months, as did 95% of adults under the age of 25. Furthermore, magazine audiences are diverse, reaching 91% of African-American consumers, 91% of Asian-Americans, 86% of Latinx consumers, and 93% of the LGBT adult population,” Barber continues.

As for engagement, magazine advertising continues to rank tops among media in terms of relevance, as publisher engagement on Facebook declines.

Magazines ads are also found to be the most inspirational.

And, back to the all-important trust factor, they are found to be the most trustworthy and least likely to sensationalize.

“No doubt the media landscape is in a state of flux due to new ways to target audiences and new realities on how consumers spend their time across media,” Barber notes. “In the midst of this change, magazines continue to have a role to play in reaching targeted, engaged audiences.”

Given the trends on trust, it’s fairly easy to understand why magazines are so good at engaging … and will likely continue to be even more trusted as our digital experience grows.