What Every Business Can Learn from the Emerging Niche Magazine Market
In recent months, readers of Strictly Business have seen our use of the hashtag #PrintProudDigitalSmart to summarize our perspective on the continuing importance of print media in the digital age. It is better to look at print and digital publishing as two allies with different strengths, but similar goals: informing well-read consumers who want quality reporting and important information. Of course, at Strictly Business, this means being the premier publication keeping readers up to date with the world of business in Lincoln, but it’s also wise to keep a finger on the pulse of digital and print magazine publishing. There is encouraging news of a continuing market for quality print publications which tightly target niche consumer markets. Not only have new publications emerged, ranging from magazines for coffee enthusiasts to “slow journalism” news publications, well-established magazines have evolved with the times to provide current, original coverage which outcompetes click-bait stories with quality information.
The common element of these magazines is their uncommon ability to connect to small groups of passionate consumers. Here are just three examples of independent magazines which have found success with a niche audience:
Scott Bentley, publisher of Caffeine magazine, began by distributing free copies in London coffee shops and now prints 40,000 copies which are distributed worldwide.
US-based lifestyle magazine Kinfolk, originally launched in 2011, has reached 80,000 paid subscribers this year, uses a relaxing, decompressed design style in both print and digital formats.
Delayed Gratification Magazine, which bills itself as “The Slow Journalism Magazine,” focuses on covering important news and events weeks after the cable news cycle has moved on. This allows them to focus on the topics in greater depth than the “scandal of the week” model allows.
Futhermore, on November 1, Pilcher published a post for the FreeportPress highlighting examples of what he described as “smaller, leaner and adaptive niche magazines” which found success targeting musical sub-cultures. What the independent magazine market tells us is that there is a demand for quality content and carefully-researched information over click-bait, and they appeal to consumers who prefer a quiet, relaxing reading experience over digital input overload. There are solid general lessons that can be learned from the evolution of magazine publishing, not just to print and digital media publishers, but any growing business:
- Paying attention to consumers’ habits and what they want is vital to continue providing them with a service they want and will pay for.
- The feeling a consumer has when interacting with a product, how it is presented visually, can be as important as the quality of the product itself.
- As readers discover that there is an excess of free but shallow content online, the competitive edge print magazines offer is the promise of quality, in-depth information with a much longer shelf life.
Another writer paying attention to the thriving world of print magazine publishing is Cathy Buckmaster of Alhaus magazine. In a blog post published on October 29 for the Alhaus blog, Buckmaster, explored what she describes as print’s staying power. Here are three key takeaways on the creative opportunities of print publishing:
- Because print advertisements tend to be read in quieter spaces, while waiting for a haircut or at a bus stop, they receive more of the viewer’s attention than a pop-up ad which hinders the reader from seeing something they are more interested in.
- Creating advertising for a variety of print markets can prompt well-established companies to extend their brand and think creatively. Creating 1,000 nearly identical pop-up ads neither challenges a marketing team nor engages consumers. The challenges of creating print advertisements are opportunities to creatively build awareness of a brand.
- Contrary to popular opinion, print magazines still offer conveniences to regular readers which digital content can’t. Buckmaster notes print’s portability, and its ability to be read without battery power or an internet connection. Readers still have times during their day where they can’t read digital content, and print conveniently serves those times.
If we return to Strictly Business’ goal to be #PrintProudDigitalSmart, we see examples of how these ideas have specific insights for our readers and clients. There is a continued high demand for original, quality journalism on important topics, and by embracing the opportunities of digital publishing, we plan to build on the trust readers have for Strictly Business magazine in print and online.
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.