If print is dead, and online information has killed it, why do I find myself continuing to buy and subscribe to newspapers and magazines, including those which duplicate their content for free online? Because print is still nicer to read, that’s why. And I’m wondering whether, curiously, printed customer magazines might have a bit of a renaissance over the next few years. There are two reasons why.
The first is that in the past, it was better to devote your effort to getting your articles published in independent trade magazines. There, they would have an air of independent endorsement, and the magazine probably had a much better list of readers anyway. That may not be the case in your market now. Some terrific trade magazines soldier on, but in many sectors, there’s no longer a dedicated title, or all that’s left are publications where everything’s perceived to be advertising (and may well be). Quite frankly, although it’s a far greater expense, producing your own customer magazine might get you a better return on investment now than paying some PR company to throw press releases into the void.
The second reason is that the content demands of online marketing are insatiable. If you’re going to do an effective job online, you should be churning out copy at a rate of knots. I cannot stress enough how content is the key to success here. But what else can you do with all this material? Put it in print, of course. Writing blogs and customer emails has taught many companies – perhaps including yours – how to write content which is genuinely interesting to customers and prospects. Maybe that effort could benefit from wider exposure.
You might only be able to justify a printed customer magazine once or twice a year, but it could be a very effective exercise. It’s a funny old world.