Marketing through a magazine is similar to advertising through a newspaper; trying to make an eye catching but effective advert geared towards a specific target audience. The main difference here lies in just how specific you can be with magazine advertising, as opposed to the blanket appeal method of newspapers. Magazines generally have much more space for adverts than newspapers, but the quality expected is much higher throughout.
There are thousands of different magazines available to advertise in, as opposed to the few dozen available papers’. The great part about this is that there is always a best magazine to advertise in, rather than a few possible ones for papers. People buy a magazine to know more about a certain topic, rather than get an updated general knowledge from news. The exception to this is placing an advert within a magazine which comes as an insert to a paper, such as the Mail on Sunday or Sunday Times.
As with all forms of advertising, the most important first step is market analysis. Let’s use some examples; a hair care product and a motorcycle garage. Now these two may share certain target markets, but that niche would be very small; bikers’ who need specific haircare. Because these do not share much of an audience, it would be best to advertise them in different places; seems simple, right? Now the motorcycle garage may have a few key target demographics to be considered; locals, people who would travel for their niche service, and obviously bike enthusiasts. To advertise for this, they would likely run a full or half page advertisement within local papers, and in specialist bike magazines. Even classic car magazines could be a target for this. But by far and away one of the best things that could be done would be to run an articular advertisement; a page or few with an interview or overview of their services, and a contact or address. By making themselves into a reputable and interesting source of information within the community, they are becoming a recognised brand, and people are likely to visit or use them.
Haircare products would be marketed differently to this, but with some of the same key features. This type of product is best shown visually, with a before and after picture, photo of the product, or endorsement. The key here is that you need this advert to stand out, rather than entice people into reading. The market is saturated with this type of product, seen in womens health, glamour, and social magazines constantly throughout the year. Placing this advert in a magazine such as Vogue or Cosmo would still be preferable to in a Harley Davidson magazine, but it will still be ineffective if it’s not eye-catching.
The placement of an advert within a magazine is also a major consideration, which is not as important within a newspaper. Many magazines today are crammed with full-page adverts, and it can be difficult to decide where yours would be most effective. In general, advertising within the middle of a magazine is most effective, as people will have to skim over those sections multiple times to view the content of the magazine. Adverts at the front used to be one of the best options, but with oversaturation in the market many of these are simply ignored. Magazines such as Cosmo typically have 10-20 pages of adverts before the first page of content, or even the contents. Similarly, the back pages are often overlooked as simply having too many adverts. In an ideal world, your advert would be placed between relevant content; 4 pages on haircare treatments with an advert for straighteners would be perfect.
With some magazines, it simply may not be economical to advertise your product there, and your advert needs something to stand out. Offers, free samples, or information repositories are the best bet, but they all come at a cost. Take mens aftershave for example, having a full page advert for the product with a classic picture and product outline may seem good, but it does not convey your product. The best way of advertising for this would be a small sample, as you cannot convey smell through words, but this adds alot to the costs. As always, a risk:reward analysis is needed.