There’s no question about the value of online native advertising and social media in today’s digital age. It’s familiar, it’s personal, and it can help form bonds with your audience.
But it’s easy to overlook the value of a well-made brand publication. A magazine can be a powerful relationship-building tool. Your audience can feel it, they can smell it, and it can become a part of their homes. It’s quintessential brand engagement.
We recently launched a new magazine for the Duquesne Club, the premier social club in Pittsburgh. We dubbed the magazine Avenue 6—named for the street the historic club is nestled on—and filled it with relevant content to the club’s membership.
We’re here to share some of our tips and best practices for crafting a magazine your audience looks forward to – issue after issue.
Know the difference between advertising and content.
Advertising plays its own role in helping a brand reach its goals. But when it comes to a brand magazine, readers want to—and are more likely to respond to—content that looks, feels and reads like real editorial content you’d find in any independent magazine. For Avenue 6, we blended lifestyle features with Club news. Finding this balance between institutional musts and editorial treats is difficult, but will ultimately create a true branding resource.
Know your aesthetic.
An 80-page magazine with heavy paper stock isn’t necessarily going to be the best choice for an organization with a priority to create less waste, while standard magazine paper might not stick out among a readership that already receives many similar publications. Your client’s magazine should look and feel like the client’s brand. We opted for a high-end look for Avenue 6 to match the high-end membership.
Know your audience.
The target market for a magazine is perhaps the most influential driver. Are the magazine’s readers employees? Potential customers? Major donors? Each audience calls for a different editorial approach, from the stories included in the magazine to the aesthetic and tone. Because Avenue 6 was designed to reach the Duquesne Club’s membership, we approached the magazine from a “we” perspective rather than a “they” to underscore camaraderie among the club and its members.
Know your voice.
Are you a fast talker or a smooth crooner? Our client, the Duquesne Club, is known for imparting luxury in everything it does for its members. A high-end magazine made a perfect fit for the club’s brand, and we matched that brand with an indulgently relaxed tone. Matching a brand’s voice can be the difference between establishing a beloved publication and being tossed in the recycling bin.
Know when to say no.
In some cases, a lengthy publication like a magazine might not be the best fit. The audience may already be inundated with several other publications, in which case a magazine might be another to ignore and bury with the others. But if the industry calls for in-depth features and frequently refreshed topical news, a magazine might be the perfect way to reach an audience on an intimate level and become a cherished resource.