Tips for Targeting Millennials with Print Media - dummies

Tips for Targeting Millennials with Print Media

By Corey Padveen

You can use print media to target Millennials. For centuries, print media was the primary way to reach the masses. Most people got their news from newspapers and magazines. The development of new low-cost and readily available technologies means that print media has suffered. Nowhere is this truer than with the Millennial audience.

Now Millennials use real-time mobile apps. In fact, Pew Research has reported that more than 80 percent of Millennials say that they use social media as their primary source for news.

However, you can still use some tactics to leverage print media to attract Millennials.

Reaching Millennials in magazines

Of the various types of print marketing and advertising that exist, leveraging the content in magazines can be the most readily accessible type for Millennials. Surprisingly, the level that Millennials read magazines falls very closely in line with those of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to research for JWT, an advertising company based in New York. This means that there is a real opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of magazines, particularly when you know which magazines your audience is reading.

One benefit of running a Facebook Insights program is that you can identify some of the print publications that your Millennial audience is reading. You can find this information in the section of liked pages in your audience analysis, where print publications populate as distinct pages. Identifying the magazines that are of interest to your Millennial audience will initially help you narrow down the avenues to consider leveraging on print magazines.

After you determine the publications you want to target, you have a few options worth considering:

  • Advertorials: Consider writing an advertorial to showcase your brand through written content. Unlike an ad, an advertorial is a sponsored piece of written content that highlights a product or service, but in the form of an editorial. Of course, advertorials aren’t free, but in some cases, they can be very cost-effective. They offer you more space to truly define your product or service and showcase why it’s better than the competition.

    In some smaller industry or trade publications, an advertorial may only cost a nominal amount, if anything at all. Some trade publications are more concerned with gathering as much content as they can for a given issue and will forgo the cost to place one. If you can find a magazine that will offer you this option, it can provide you with a pseudo-advertorial, which isn’t an explicit sales-focused advertorial but still has a self-promotional subtext. Inquire whether this option is available. It may not run you anything more than the time it takes to draft the article. But don’t approach this tactic with the assumption that it will be free; if it is, think of it more as a pleasant surprise.

  • Inclusion in an article: Reach out to existing publication editors and staff writers in an effort to have your product or service included in an article about the topic. Unlike advertorials, your relationship with specific writers and editors largely influences your success. Reaching a point where a writer will be willing to feature your brand in her next article may take some time. But the fact that this mention is entirely organic, and therefore genuine, means that the audience reading about it will be much more receptive to what the writer is saying.
  • Display ads: Opt for display ads in smaller publications. Large, internationally distributed publications will simply be too expensive. Smaller publications will be more affordable and receptive to your business. In these more local or targeted publications, the audience you reach may be exactly the audience that you’ve defined — rather than a very large audience that also includes your targets.

Connecting with Millennials through the use of newspapers

According to the Newspaper Association of America, 68 percent of Millennials ages 18 to 24 react to advertisements in print newspapers. This is especially true of coupons. So, while newspaper readership among Millennials may be down, engagement and responsiveness to sponsored content is still strong. So how can your brand leverage sponsored content?

Effectively leveraging newspapers in print form can be a little trickier, but one area with potential is in the use of coupons in place of your ads. Advertising in local publications can be much more affordable, and the data surrounding Millennials highlights the fact that they do respond well to coupons in newspapers. While the volume may not be significant, there is potential in small markets. If your coupon also has an online tie-in as opposed to something that people can only redeem in-store, then the potential is even greater.

When working with a coupon that connects to your online store or online offer, make sure to use a specific code that tells you the link is from a newspaper. This will come in handy when measuring the results of your various marketing efforts and will help you determine the return on your newspaper investment.

You need to evaluate whether or not you’re willing to even make an investment in newspapers. Yes, you have ways of measuring return when using the coupon offer strategy, but there is still risk involved. According to research from Retale, a coupon-sharing mobile application, nearly 30 percent of Millennials are simply not reading newspapers at all. With that in mind, you need to carefully consider the decision to invest in newspapers. If you can measure all aspects of the campaign and you can justify the investment based on the potential you identified in your research, then go for it!

The case for investing in print media

Print media still holds an important place in the world of marketing to Millennials. While online media has become a Millennial hotspot, this audience is still active on a variety of print platforms. This means that investing in a presence in print media is a viable option for several reasons:

  • You can increase your exposure on an ongoing basis to a Millennial audience.
  • You can tie your offline efforts to your online efforts.
  • You can reach new prospects that your brand may not have reached online.

The case for abandoning print media

While Millennials are still using a variety of print media, it’s not their preferred set of channels. Millennials have grown up with the technology they use. They have evolved as consumers at the same rate as their technology. With this in mind, you need to ask yourself, “Do I want to invest in a channel that may not be viable for Millennials in a few years’ time?”

For brands and organizations that have larger marketing and advertising budgets, the question is an easier one to answer. When a large budget is readily available, the decision to invest in all viable media options is clear: It has to be done. But for smaller organizations, it may not be as simple a decision.

For small- and medium-sized operations, where budget allocations are made sparingly, cutting print media out of the equation is often all too easy. Print media can be cost prohibitive, difficult to measure, and hard to predict. Those problems don’t exist nearly to the same extent when it comes to social and new media. Essentially, you’ll need to run an analysis on your available budgets and determine whether you have additional budget to allocate to traditional media.

Your priority should be to choose the more cost-effective channels of new media, where you have significantly more control over the specifics of a campaign.