A publication approached me via Instagram to advertise in their magazine. I have always been curious about the payoff of promoting one’s work in print. Since the marketing landscape is continually evolving, I wondered if print advertising is still effective in today’s market. Here’s what I discovered:
Do your research
Before you commit to running an advertorial, check out the section of the magazine where they plan to place your work. In my case, the magazine had a specific section that included a roster of artists from around the globe also promoting their work.
Know your audience
The magazine’s audience demographics aligned with my previous collectors so I decided it was a good fit; however, I eventually discovered that most readers of the magazine were not even looking at this section. The spreads had too much information, a contrast to the magazine’s clean layouts.
Location, location, location
The location of the spreads was towards the back of the magazine which also was not ideal if you are flipping through a magazine. When purchasing ad space, the location of your advertorial will greatly affect the visibility.
Budget your marketing
For this marketing experiment, I chose the most cost effective package: a 2 inch x 2 inch photo of my work combined with a 40 word bio and a call to action. The approximate cost for this three month run was 975 dollars. My call to action was an invitation to visit my Instagram page. I get a good amount of my leads from Instagram, so this approach made sense.
Monitor your traffic
I closely monitored my follower count over the course of the three months and saw little or no increase (from international users), I reviewed my analytics, and realized that my primary audience was still mostly located in the U.S and not in Europe, where the magazine is based.
Organic vs. paid.
In my experience, organic content always surpasses paid content. That’s not to say that paid content isn’t effective. I believe it can work in the right scenario, i.e. a full page ad for 6 months or longer but this may be out of reach for many.
How does one get a publication to write something about you? This depends solely on you. When OutSmart wrote a piece about my work they featured me as a result of my community involvement.
In retrospect, I would have reached out to other artists who have previously advertised in the magazine and asked them if they received additional traffic and or leads. I also would have taken the same amount of budgeted funds and redirected it to digital advertisement and run an A/B test.
This was just my personal experience with advertorials. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out!