When you think about adding new channels to engage with your customers, starting a custom magazine is probably not high on the list. It may never have crossed your mind. But it might be something you want to consider. The use of custom magazines as a customer engagement tool is growing.
“Hold up!” you might say. “Aren’t magazine subscriptions on the decline?” Traditional magazines, yes, but not custom magazines. Custom publishing is on the rise, and these publications often become the glue around which other marketing elements—personalized direct mail and email, social media, mobile marketing—are built.
Here are three companies that have been successful using custom magazines to enhance their brands:
Lowe’s: This DIY giant offers both an e-zine and a print version of its “Creative Ideas” magazine, which provides solutions for everything from hidden bedroom storage to painting a faux brick wall. This content drives readers back to Lowe’s stores for supplies. The magazine’s design style mimics DIY pinboards and online communities, creating a sense of being an integral part of the larger DIY family.
Airbnb: There is certain kitsch to being part of the Airbnb community and hosting travelers from all over the globe. To reinforce this identity, Airbnb’s magazine, “Pineapple,” features stories from San Francisco to London told by Airbnb hosts. Since travelers often return to the same hosts over and over again, the goal is to keep hosts engaged so that travelers can build long-term relationships with them and with the Airbnb brand.
Uber: Being an Uber driver is like being part of your own world. To keep drivers connected, Uber created a magazine, “Momentum,” just for its drivers. Topics range from stories from the field to tips on how to keep your back from hurting when constantly on the go. The goal is to build a broad base of connected, brand-engaged drivers that drives the mission forward.
So why invest in a custom magazine? It is not to make money through advertising or subscriptions. It is to enhance customer engagement and enhance and solidify your brand in a way that creates long-term profitability.