In this series, we take a deep dive into the world of brand magazines. Why could they be interesting for your business? What makes a brand magazine successful? And what’s the relevance of paper these days? All these questions will be answered in the following articles. If you want to dive even deeper, please download our illustrated and beautifully designed white paper on the topic here.
The Battle for Attention
It’s a war out there. Fighting for the undivided attention of your customers. The battlefields being the chaotic wilderness of social media, the realm of e-mail inboxes, the vast ocean of Google searches, … Tactics ranging from aggressive pop-ups to cunning SEO tactics or bombastic video ads. Many have fought, many have failed. But one truth remains: attention only goes where it wants to go. It’s a beast not to be tamed by empty words or fake promises. It only bows down to one thing, and that is true value. True value can turn a rebellious sceptic into a loyal follower. It can turn an ignorant pagan into a devoted pilgrim.
The True Value of Content Marketing
The basic concept of content marketing has always been about trading true value for the attention of the target group. Hoping that this attention will finally blossom into brand loyalty and push them further on their customer journey. But what is “true value” exactly? It’s a concept that’s been thrown around so much that it’s losing its essence, while it should have so much meaning.
Of course, a prospective customer will be briefly grateful if you offer them the right piece of content at the right time that will entertain them for a moment or teach them something to overcome a challenge they were struggling with. While this might be an interesting approach in the short term, we all want to achieve long-term success, aka customer engagement.
Add Personality to your Brand
We want to create content that adds personality to brands. Content that not only informs or entertains the target audience but actually levels up their persona and makes them feel like they are part of something bigger. This is the fertile ground on which true customer engagement starts to grow. This is where the true value of content lies.
This is where brand magazines come in.
But what exactly makes them so interesting for marketers? Why should they bother pouring all these resources into this medium? Hasn’t it become an outdated concept in this era which is by definition digital? We passionately believe this is not the case and we have identified the four most important reasons why.
- Deep connection with the target group
A successful brand magazine knows its target group to its core. It becomes part of their identity by catering to the dreams and aspirations of their professional or private personality. ‘The Furlow’ for example — see Short History of Brand Magazines — produces all their content with the ideal of the self-sufficient Farmer in mind. Farmers all over the world recognise themselves in this ideal and start connecting with the magazine — and thus the brand — in a powerful and meaningful way. Well-thought-out and recurrent brand magazines are therefore one of the most powerful and unique marketing tools for establishing this deep connection with customers.
- Escape from the digital overlords
Yes, it might seem counterintuitive that brands push their content offline in this flat out digital era. But when you think about it, it’s actually very logical. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go back to sleep, we are bombarded constantly by technology begging for our attention. Dominant notifications, sneaky pop-ups, or screen-filling ads; it’s become very rare to be able to enjoy a piece of content without some digital finger snapping in the corner of your eye. Do you remember the last time you stayed focused for more than an hour reading something interesting without checking your phone? It must’ve been a blissful moment. Magazines promise exactly that. Zone in, enjoy the content, zone out. You’ll feel enriched and relaxed at the same time.
- Thought leadership
Many brands claim to be the best, the smartest, the brightest. But very few manage to prove they are the absolute leaders in their domain. A brand magazine is, therefore, an interesting platform for brands to actually showcase their expertise and establish thought leadership. It becomes less about who shouts the loudest, but all about the brands that take their time to inspire and inform. If a magazine delivers on its promise to inspire or teach the reader something new, it will convincingly push the brand up the industry’s leadership ranks.
- Welcome form of marketing
Of course, we’re not going to lie, even though we offer a magazine, it’s still a marketing tool. The readers are not naive, they are well aware of this and they fully understand the value it offers to brands. But they also understand the value it adds for themselves. As long as they enjoy reading the content that inspires, informs or entertains them, they don’t care whether it’s branded or not. On the other side, the digital era has given birth to a generation of self-conscious, critical thinkers who don’t just buy everyone’s bullshit. So make sure the content you are going to produce has enough quality to convince them.
Curious about how a magazine can take your brand to the next level?
Absolute Agency helps you to get your voice heard by those who matter. Your competitors shout louder? We communicate smarter. Using a content strategy neatly tailored to your needs, we reach your target audience exactly where they are with the content they’re waiting for.
Need something more specific? Our design, digital and video creatives are here to help!
By Louis Liekens