How to use print placement to appeal to new readers and advertisers

09 September, 2020


Print media finds itself at a crossroads.

Sales of traditional publications such as newspapers continue to decline at a rate of around 7% annually according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. And this trend has only been accelerated during the Covid-19 crisis, with many traditional titles struggling to stay afloat.

However, this doesn’t mean print is dead. Although many publications have moved online, smart publishers are using print placements to reach new readers and attract advertising revenue. But what is print placement and, more importantly, how do you do it?

What is Print Placement?

Print placement refers to the process of placing free print issues of a magazine or publication in specified locations to reach your targeted readers. Think of the approach as a kind of hyper-targeting. It places your publication in a setting that’s relevant to your content and, as a result, exposes it to the people most likely to enjoy it.

How do you do it?

  • Establish who your audience is

    First, you need to carefully consider who your readers are. If your publication is a corporate travel magazine, your readers are likely jet setting business executives or industry professionals. Similarly, if your publication is fashion-focused, it’s probable that your audience is young and image conscious.

    Although it might sound obvious, getting this step right is crucial for establishing where to place your content. After all, it’s difficult to figure out where your audience are likely to be if you don’t have a clear idea of who they are.
  • Consider where your readers are

    Although the ‘where’ part of print placement is based upon who your audience is, you also need to consider which places they’re likely to have enough time to read it. Based on this profile, touchpoints can be identified. For example, hotels, restaurants, flagship stores and galleries may prove successful for lifestyle magazines. Or, for a luxury branded publication, an executive airport lounge or members club may be more appropriate.

    But it’s not just geographical location that’s important. It’s not unusual to see music publications placed in music venues. Someone watching a live act might not read it right there and then, but they’re likely to take it home with them. Equally, bars, record stores and music shops are locations where people are more likely have the time to read them in situ.

    By choosing the right location, you are allowing yourself to be more exposed to your readers and potential customers.
  • Engage in cost-benefit analysis

    While print placement is a tried-and-tested method of reaching your audience, it isn’t necessarily the right option for every publisher.

    There are clear cost benefits to using your magazine or branded publication as a marketing tool. It allows you to avoid additional fixed costs in having supplementary marketing material printed. It places your publication in front of the people who are most likely to become regular readers or subscribers. And, in most cases, it won’t cost you much more than a normal print run.

    However, this has to be balanced against other considerations such as how many pieces you need, the space at the touchpoints you choose and where the publication needs to go — generally, the further afield the greater the cost. All of these factors impact price and the payoff for placing your content is likely to yield.

For many companies, the benefits of print placements are obvious: greater exposure to potential customers. While for classic publishers, print placement can bring in new readers and improved advertising revenues (through offering larger print volumes and a highly relevant audience for advertisers).

Although print placement is often undertaken by publishers or companies themselves, it’s often far more effective to enlist the help of a third party. At Asendia, we support publishers with print placements through our Touchpoint Marketing service, including strategy, logistics and distribution. So if you’re interested in strengthening your market position both nationally and abroad, talk to us today.

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