Thinking about magazine advertising? Here’s what you should be asking to make sure you choose the right mag for your marketing goals.
What’s the magazine about?
This is a no brainer. Make sure you know what the magazine is about, the industry it represents, and more importantly, if it complements your business. If you’re a florist, for example, you probably wouldn’t advertise in a wine industry publication (unless you were targeting wineries as clients). Ask the advertising rep for back issues to get an idea of the magazine’s content.
How many copies are printed?
A good gauge of a magazine’s popularity is to find out how many copies are printed. This is the best way to know how many potential customers you’ll reach if your ad is inside. Don’t forget that this number is a minimum, as magazines are often shared among family and friends or left in places that are publicly accessible (eg, cafés). The standard rule is, every copy is read by three people.
How often is it published?
Check to see how often the magazine comes out – is it monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually? If your ad contains retail offers or promotions, knowing the magazine’s frequency allows you to schedule promotional activity or updates as necessary.
Who reads it?
You want the magazine you’re advertising in to be read by the sorts of people you’d like as customers. Asking about the readership lets you know if the magazine will reach those potential customers. For example, if you sell house and land packages to young families in the Barossa Valley, you may wish to advertise in the Barossa regional lifestyle magazine and also in a parenting magazine that is read by South Australian parents.
Where can I pick up a copy?
Depending on whether a magazine is free or sold, distribution can vary dramatically. Priced magazines are mainly found in newsagents and larger supermarket chains. Then of course, there are subscription magazines to consider as well. Be mindful of whether the magazine has adequate distribution to reach your target audience. Newstyle Media’s magazines are free and can be found at Foodland supermarkets in the city and suburbs.
Is there an online version of the magazine?
Online versions give you another avenue for your ad to be seen. Ask if you need to pay extra for ads to appear in both the online and print versions, and if there are packages available. You can also use an online version to link to your ad in the magazine via your social media. Likewise, you should be able to include a live link in your ad to your website.
Are themes for content planned throughout the year?
Sometimes magazines dedicate certain issues throughout the year to specific themes like fashion, homes, summer, Christmas, etc, so there may be a theme that is an extra good fit for your business. If so, consider creating an ad or promotion to match the theme. Don’t worry, the magazine will let you know in plenty of time about the upcoming issue theme so you’ll have time to prepare your ad.
What size adverts are available?
Generally, sizes for most magazines include full page, half page (horizontal and vertical), quarter page (horizontal and vertical) and sometimes third, sixth and even smaller page ads. Ask your magazine rep what’s available and what will work best for your marketing goals.
Can I choose where my ad is positioned?
The short answer is yes. However, you’ll pay a premium for certain positions within a magazine. Obviously, the more up the front of the magazine, the greater the premium. The most expensive ones tend to be the inside front cover, inside back cover and back cover, which are usually full pages. Often, you can request a spot if it’s available without making it a requirement. However, don’t underestimate the value of being in later sections if these contain content readers will spend time with.
How much does a particular size advert cost?
Tricky question, this. There are all sorts of determining factors – not just the size of the ad, but it’s position within the magazine, on the page and whether it has been booked as part of a series/schedule of ads appearing across a number of issues. Other factors might include creative treatments applied to the ad if the magazine supports some level of user interactivity. The best thing to do is discuss your needs with the magazine rep.
Are there opportunities for editorial about my business?
Often, magazines are looking for extra content to fill spaces within the magazine and editors will look for opportunities to support advertisers when they are relevant to an article. You can also pay for promotional editorial, sometimes as part of a package deal to include editorial and advertising. Again, your rep will have all the answers.