We all know that digital magazines in some form are here to stay. Readers are moving away from paper for a variety of reasons and outlets like supermarkets and drug stores have shrunk their newsstands by over 50% in the last five years. But how are digital magazines different than print or banner ads?
We at Pregnancy like to say that a digital magazine ad is a hybrid of the best of print and best of clickable web ads for advertising to pregnant moms. The problem so far in the evolution of digital magazines is that few marketers are really taking advantage of this new medium. Here then are a few ideas and best practices to help you as you develop any campaign where “digital print” is a significant element, or a free bonus to your print buy.
A 2011 study by Texterity and the BPA found that 65% of readers clicked on ads and 40% made purchases in digital magazine ads. If your ad is the kind of generic brand advertising some ad agency creatives love, you may be missing out on those clicks. DIgital magazines are not static; they demand interaction. IPad users are used to reading with their fingers and clicking as they go. Some advocates even suggest that your ad could be a replica of your homepage, with many many options to click to see more in an in-app browser (if the magazines on your media plan have one). So far, very few of our advertisers have taken advantage of this option.
Many magazines will allow you to include video, which can be a huge advantage if you need to more fully demonstrate your product, or if you have some video that you feel could go viral. You often choose to link to a YouTube or other video service, or embed the video in the specific page of the magazine. The advantage of using YouTube or other service, is that it might be easier to share the video. On the other hand, the advantage of the embed is that the user doesn’t have to be online to see your ad. As a side note, there may be an extra charge for video embedding so you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it to you. Pregnancy does not charge extra for either linking or embedding.
The very nature of digital print makes it relatively easy to switch our creative executions. While I do not know of any digital magazines that allow A/B testing (yet) for digital ads, it is relatively easy to switch out creative to see what works. A good advertising partner will include one creative swap as part of full page ad buy.
All of our clients are big followers or social media and clearly spend a lot of money trying to get LIKEs and re tweets. However, most miss the opportunity to include social sharing in their ads. Why not string a line of social media buttons across the bottom of an ad? One of our favorite advertisers, Baby K’tan, created an ad that was a Twitter conversation filled with product endorsements. All the tweets were clickable and retweetable themselves from inside the ad page. Great idea!
Your ad sales person knows more about what the magazine can and can’t do. Don’t be shy about stating your objectives and what you’re trying to do instead of just focusing on CPM or trying to get the best deal off rate card. Most magazines have sponsorship positions or add-on merchandising available that can take a relatively small budget to higher levels, but you’ll never know unless you open up that dialogue. And that’s even true on smaller budgets (up to a point!). Sure, we’re motivated to sell ads to make money, but we also want to make sure you’re happy beyond this season’s sale.
Integrate these ideas with our basic tips for advertising to pregnant moms and you’re on your way to a successful campaign. And if you want some more of our advice from our crackerjack digital magazine pros, click the button.