Media pundits have long been mourning the death of print as countless publications and print media powerhouses either close down or shift completely to digital. It’s as if there’s been this collective “abandon ship!” mentality when it comes to print media, to which we say, “Hold on there, mateys.”
In a surprising find from Folio, it would appear that print is having a renaissance of sorts: 2014 turned out to be an awesome year for someone to launch a magazine, with 45 young whipper-snappers opening up shop, compared to 27 in 2013.
On paper (pun intended), this would seem but a small blip in the media stratosphere, but it actually signifies a growing movement for brands and businesses that are looking to expand their reach and engage their audiences in yet another way. In fact, in our digitally-saturated world, print stands out and creates a unique, tactile experience for the user.
As Contently observed:
“Brands are discovering this is true, as well, with companies like Net-a-Porter launching their own high-profile publications. According to a 2013 Custom Content Council study, brands still invest in print magazines due to their effective customer education, retention, and brand loyalty.”
Obviously the digital realm fails to accurately capture the same tactile experience of holding a hard copy in hand. But studies have shown that we as human beings crave those experiences for a reason: reading on paper (compared to an electronic screen) allows us to navigate long texts in a satisfying and intuitive way, which also helps with reading comprehension and actually retaining the information we’ve soaked up. In short, non-digital reading is way better for your brain…and it would appear that people are catching on and returning to a medium that many feared to have gone the way of the dodo.
Maximizing Print for Your Business
We’ll be the first to triumphantly proclaim that print is far from dead…its role has simply shifted a bit. And don’t believe the hokum that print kills trees, because it doesn’t. In fact, one could even make the case that using paper is more sustainable than using non-renewable resources like the precious metals that go into your smart phone or tablet. But that’s beside the point.
Using print materials as part of your ongoing marketing efforts—whether it be sending out a quarterly newsletter to your constituents, passing out a gorgeously designed print piece or, yes, even launching your own magazine—can be a highly effective means of capturing your audience’s attention and keeping it. As with any content strategy, the trick is knowing what exactly is going to be the most effective for your brand at any point in time. Creatively (and strategically) combining both print and digital can give you the winning elements necessary to stand apart from your competitors.
How will you use print in 2015 to put your brand on the map?