by Nancy Ceresia
The ultimate in content marketing has gone old school
In today’s social society, the emphasis on content creation, curation and sharing via social platforms has been preached ad nauseum. I’m not sure about you, but I’m kind of tired of social media being heralded the be all and end all marketing tool that everyone should be focusing on. It is great – but it isn’t the only medium out there that builds engagement.
There is something to be said for more traditional media. I’m not a believer that anything old is not worthy of being part of today’s modern marketing arsenal – in fact, quite the opposite. I think we can learn a lot about connecting with our audiences by taking a page from magazine publishing.
Magazines & storytelling: a natural fit
What other medium…
- Can build a loyal, devoted following of which people are proud to be a member? (Ex. Vogue & The New Yorker represent a segment of society, not just the casual reader)
- Has people dreaming of being on the cover? Rolling Stone and Cosmo, anyone?
- Is excitedly anticipated to be received in the mail? Quite the rarity in this day and age of privacy and spam, isn’t it?
- Do people keep and cherish like heirlooms? Think of the ‘special’ keepsake issues of Hello! and People, and you know you still have sentimental issues of Sassy magazine lying around somewhere!
- Shows not only events in history, but illustrates the human side that really weaves the story of the events that shape our lives? Who can forget the images and stories that told the real story of 9/11?
In short, magazines are powerhouses of epic storytelling
I predict the notion of brand storytelling will be picking up steam in the next few months, as businesses and marketers realize just how important authenticity and relevance is if you really want to build an engaged army of loyal and raving fans. This will be the marketing of the future – the powerhouse of building brand equity in your best customers so they can advocate and promote your brand because they want to and it matters to them. It’s the stories that bring life to situations, events, and products; they create relevance and empathy. They build dialogue and characters – they make us want to be part of something. Magazines are really one of the very best ways to do this, and that hasn’t changed in a century.
Technology + magazine publishing = a beautiful marriage
Thanks to ever-evolving technology, you no longer have to be a publishing maven to get your own magazine out there. Heck, you can throw one together in a couple of hours if you really wanted to, and at virtually no cost to boot. I have started doing a review series of these technologies on my own blog in case you want to have a peek.
Technology really is the key for independent businesses: harnessing this medium, and having the ability to create a stunning publication on a dime is not only feasible, it’s realistic! Sure you can spend a ton on custom photography and hiring writers, but you can also put something together that resonates with your audience by gathering up what you already have: take your best social content, elaborate on a blog topic that your readers got into, and publish a few photos from your FB page that got the most comments and… ta-da! An instant foundation on which to build your first issue!
The possibilities are endless: get creative with your storytelling!
Your magazine can be whatever you want. There is no 140-character limit or standard structure like on a blog. Mix it up: have in-depth articles and interviews alongside quick-reads with bullet-point lists, and mix in a couple photo-heavy spreads. You really have free reign to do what YOU want – what tells your story the best.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there, grab technology by the horns and tell your brand story to the world!
Nancy is owner and founder of The Rogue Pea Marketing, and is passionate about magazines, publishing and the written word. A magazine maverick and fixer-upper, she loves helping passionate independent business owners tell their story and build their own communities, while mentoring and supporting them throughout the learning process toward becoming independent self-publishers. Nancy lives just outside of Ottawa, Canada with her husband, two girls and their Chow Chow named Buddha. Follow her on Twitter @TheRoguePea or on her blog.