Magazine or Marketing Program: Is There a Difference?

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Magazine or Marketing Program: Is There a Difference?

Anyone who has ever read a magazine, or even briefly flipped through the pages of one, is well aware that advertising is a key component, and in doing so, they are exposed to targeted marketing.

Today, with more businesses than ever, across all industries, getting into the business of producing and distributing their own publications, it would appear the motive that factors into that decision has a promotional angle. I don’t blame them for throwing their hats in the ring – magazines, as an established media outlet with a captive audience specific to the content provided, whether it’s businesspeople or bicycle enthusiasts, are proven to be a highly effective marketing tool. Well played, indeed.

Apparently, the recent introduction of Facebook’s print magazine has sparked a quite the debate of semantics in my industry. You heard that right, social media giant and the recently controversy-embattled Facebook now has a magazine gracing coffee tables in highly-strategic locations. Hardly seems like print publications are on the decline as many are being led to believe, eh? Anyhow, more to the point, consider the following thought-provoking article courtesy of author David Pilcher with Freeport Press:

“Just last week we shared the news that Facebook has launched a print magazine.

It’s true. Facebook – the behemoth of all things digital – announced the premier issue of Grow, according to Piet van Niekerk in FIPP. The magazine – a lifestyle magazine for the cool, rich business leader set – started cropping up recently in business class lounges at Heathrow and London hot spots, among other places.

So, welcome, Mr. Z, to the ranks of magazine publisher.

But hold on a minute before you go calling Facebook a publisher, according to this cheeky post in The Guardian. In response to people calling Grow a “magazine,” the post notes that Facebook’s Leah Woodington denies it’s a magazine, rather calling it a “business marketing programme.”

“This is purely intended for marketing communications purposes,” Woodington has said.

Why the distinction? As The Guardian reminds us, “Facebook aren’t publishers, or else they’d be responsible for the things that are published on their website.”

Facebook, we see you. You’ve installed yourself as the gatekeeper of news, the arbiter of media trust, and even recently hired former CNN host and NBC News reporter Campbell Brown as your head of global news partnerships.

But okay, you’re not a publisher. Call it print marketing – we’re totally okay with that. Print is a fantastic way to engage with your readers in a highly trusted medium. It’s a good call for any brand looking to build trust and credibility.

Meanwhile, back where all media channels matter…we like your magazine, Zuck. Cheers.”

Precisely, call it what you want to call it, po-tay-to / po-tah-to. Magazines, while quite the diverse bunch, all share one thing in common–they have always been about suggestively selling things to the readers. This is done in a number of ways, from a direct advertisement to selling an aspirational lifestyle in the imagery or providing recommendations in the articles.

Using Strictly Business as an example, we are connecting businesses to businesses and businesses to consumers in our marketplace. Our clients advertise in the magazine to promote their products and services, establish familiarity, brand their businesses, drive new leads and sales, maintain top-of-mind awareness, educate, etc., thus it’s an incredible marketing tool. However, we are in the ranks of magazine in delivering news, columns, spotlights, and feature stories on a monthly basis that are informative and engaging, so our clients are also able capitalize on the content marketing aspect too. All potentially in the same issue, no less! Not to mention in modern times it’s common for all magazine content, ours included, to be posted online, backlinked to the client’s websites, and shared on social media channels. This crossover is just the opposite, proving that it’s a two-way street and utilizing both traditional and digital media to market your business is most likely to be in your best interest.

So at the end of the day, why would Facebook, the social media kingpin that has the oft-undivided attention of billions around the world, enter into the world of print? Because they know it has value, especially in building brand and company credibility, and we do too – now, do you?

Let Strictly Business Magazine help you lock in your status as THE EXPERT in your industry, utilizing print, the internet and social media. Find out how by contacting Paige at (402) 466-3330.