Discounting The Value Of Digital Publications? Get With The Times
Something I still hear from many clients is they’re excited about appearing in the traditional print version of a publication, but they’re not quite as thrilled about articles that appear online.
Perhaps their reaction is only natural. Most of us grew up with traditional print playing a role in our lives. The local newspaper printed a photo of your Little League baseball team or your piano recital, and your mother proudly clipped it out and displayed it on the refrigerator or tucked it into a scrapbook.
Traditional print can seem so much more substantial because you hold it in your hands. It has heft. It has texture.
But it’s long past time to come into the 21st century and understand that, while appearing in the printed version of a newspaper or magazine is wonderful, it’s far more wonderful to appear online.
Why? The majority of publications today reach significantly more people online than they do with the hard copy. For example, USA Today has a weekday circulation of 1.08 million, but online has 24 million unique visitors per month (VPM). New York Daily News has a circulation of 300,000 with 40 million VPM. And, Chicago Tribune’s circulation is 300,000 with 18.7 million VPM.
That’s a lot of eyes that could come across an article, and this wouldn’t have been possible back in the days when traditional print was the only game in town.
Beyond the incredible reach, let me give you just a few other reasons why online print coverage is more valuable than you may realize:
- t’s easier to share. Remember Mom and that Little League picture? She may have gone to the grocery store and picked up a dozen copies of the newspaper, cut out a dozen photos and mailed them to grandparents, aunts and uncles scattered around the country. But online print makes this chore so much easier and efficient. You can send an email to current and prospective customers or clients, family and friends, with a link to the article. You can also put a link on your website for any visitors to see, and you can share links on your social media accounts, too. And if you still want a hard copy for the office wall, you can always print out a version and frame it.
- It’s interactive. Online articles often come with hyperlinks. So if the article includes a link to your website, a reader can click on it right then and immediately learn about you and your brand. But if they’re reading the article the old-fashioned way, they will have to remember to look you up later. And it may slip their mind.
- It’s longer lasting. One concern I hear about online print is the fear that eventually the article will cease to be available online. That’s a bit of a puzzler, because while it’s true that news organizations don’t keep articles online forever, the shelf life of traditional print is even shorter. A monthly magazine is off the retail shelves in one month. A daily newspaper is often tossed into a recycling bin within 24 hours. The life span of the online version is practically eternal in comparison.
None of this is meant to devalue the traditional versions of newspaper and magazines, and the enjoyment many of us experience from reading them over a morning cup of coffee. Personally, I can’t start my morning without both!
Having your name appear in the ink-on-paper version certainly adds to your credibility as a go-to expert in your field, just as it always has.
But online takes that a step further and has become the foundation for marketing in the digital age. If you fail to get with the times and take advantage of digital media, you’re going to lose out on amazing opportunities.