It’s no surprise that ad revenues are down for publications. A Publishers Information Bureau report finds that the total number of ad pages is down 28% for the first half of 2009 — which accounts for an overall decrease in ad dollars of 21%. But, that loss varies greatly. For Country Home magazine, their ad dollars are down over 73%. For W magazine, 41%. Us Weekly, a mere 4%.
But, it’s not all bad news. In fact some publications ad pages (and dollars) are up — way up. A recent NewsWeek article showcased twelve well-known magazines, and what they’re doing to attract advertisers. Here are the two that we think did it best:
Fitness Magazine redesigned the magazine creating a look more appealing to a younger audience. Included in the redesign is the addition of editorial on food and an increase in editorial on beauty. This new editorial opened the door for advertisers who previously did not fit in with Fitness magazine’s audience and content. Additionally, Fitness added one additional issue — in January — when resolutions and fitness are top of mind for New Year resolution makers. Combined, these changes resulted in an 18.4% increase in ad pages.
When looking for ad space, the cover is often the last place publishers look. Not in the case of Scholastic Parent & Child. They added a subtle, yet profitable, ad block at the bottom of the cover. The cover ad is sold out for the entire year. Additionally, they created integrated packages for their advertisers — print advertisers can easily bundle web based ads into their ad buy.
A complete redesign may not be in your future (or budget), but adding new editorial and thinking creatively about available ad space are both great ways to make an immediate impact on ad sales.