The 10 Advantages of Advertising Books in Print Media
Successful book publishers market their books using an assorted mix of promotional media. A powerful communication mix includes publicity, advertising, sales promotion, content marketing, and personal selling. Many publishers focus on publicity and avoid advertising -- print advertising in particular. In part that is a cost decision, since it has become easier and more affordable than ever to market online, but some publishers also discount print magazines and newspapers as mediums of the past. In reality, a strategic use of print and digital can most effectively and efficiently increase sales.
Technology has made it easier and cheaper than ever for small book publishers to reach their prospective buyers through advertising. Websites, social media sites, and email campaigns offer immediacy and interactivity. But traditional print advertising retains many of the advantages that made it the lifeblood of marketing communications for decades. For book publishers seeking credibility, repetition, and a closer connection with their target buyers, the benefits of print ads may outweigh even the most-used digital media. Here are 10 benefits of print advertising to consider as you plot your promotional strategies.
1. Targeted Marketing
Magazines, targeted newspapers, association newsletters all have content that is read by an audience of people who are interested in that topic. Your advertisement in that medium can reach people who are already invested in learning more about your subject. This is a key difference from programmatic ads, which follow targeted audiences as they move across different, often unrelated websites.
With print advertising you can target readers based on their common interests, profession, region, or a variety of other factors. Your content about fishing could be advertised in a magazine read by fly fishers in the south, and communicated differently in the same magazine to ice fishers in the north. A message about your content about how to find a job would be told differently in a college newspaper than it would in the newspaper Boomers read by 50+ people looking for a second career.
2. Cost Effectiveness
Targeted print advertising can make your promotional budget more efficient and effective as you match your message with the interests of a niche print medium’s subscribers (nutrition, for example, versus nutrition for long-distance runners). Instead of a strategy of “spray and pray” in which you try to reach the largest number of people, use targeted print adverting to reach an interested audience less expensively.
Also, the demand for print advertising has been declining and publications are willing to work with you to get and keep your business. You may be able to negotiate a lower price than quoted in their media kits especially when they are close to their deadline. They may accept a lower price so they can fill any open (remnant) advertising space.
People surfing the Internet actually spend less than 15 seconds scanning a website. But the person who subscribed to a magazine or newspaper made a conscious decision to read it. And they are more focused on your message because, unlike when surfing the web, they are not multi-tasking.
4. High Ad Recall
People who are engaged are more likely to remember an eye-catching message. Magazine ads have the second highest receptivity of any media.
5. Pass-along Exposure
When people are finished reading a magazine they may give it to someone else to read. Or they may donate it to their local coffee shop, beauty salon, barbershop, or other place where people read while waiting for service. Your ad goes with it for additional exposure.
Unlike Internet ads, your print ad will be around long after the online ads have disappeared. Magazines and other print publications may be on display in the waiting rooms of doctors' offices and other venues for months. Other digital media, such as email campaigns, may get lost in your prospects’ inbox and deleted before they even read it.
You can buy a regional or local ad in national print media. When your prospects see your book featured in a national publication, they view it with more respect than if it was only featured online.
In 2015, online marketers “were confronted with anti-advertising sentiment that seemed to skyrocket… In October, 2015 13.2 million people in the U.S. used ad-blocking software tool AdBlock Plus, up about 23% from the same period in 2014. The assault on the $183 billion U.S. ad business has forced marketers, media companies, and publishers to find new ways to make sure ads are seen.” (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 28, 2015, Page B1) With print media, your prospects view your ads on their terms and as part of their chosen reading material.
Because print advertising has been declining, there are less ads vying for a reader’s attention. This means your ad will have more impact since it may not have to compete with many other ads.
The proliferation of viruses and spam online makes many people wary of clicking on a banner ad, no matter how enticing it may sound.
While many of today’s advertisers are moving to the web to reach their target markets, print advertising still holds many benefits, can play an important role in marketing strategy, and should not be overlooked. A powerful, persuasive, multi-media marketing-communication campaign should use assorted forms of media to draw on the strengths of each. This can most successfully increase your sales, revenue, and profits.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."