Print + Digital = Highest ROI

I often encounter advertisers who think digital advertising is less expensive than print. Then I spend some time explaining how it’s not an “either-or” mindset.  A combination of print and digital works best and drives your highest ROI. I show advertisers that using both traditional print and digital components in an advertising campaign allows them to reach a much broader audience.


Why a combination of print AND digital advertising works best

While a print magazine may have 20,000 readers, their website could be bringing in 40,000 unique visitors. Because of this, a combined advertising strategy of print and digital forms a much larger and more diverse audience – a win, win for your magazine.

Digital advertising drives engagement through clicks and video views and creates a relationship between the reader and the media. Print advertising is a key component to branding. Where print ads have a long shelf life and greater potential to be seen when they appear in or near articles, digital advertising has a brief moment to catch someone’s attention – or perhaps not at all if the user has ad blockers.


Find BIG success using all forms of media

Using all forms of media is the best way to reach the largest market with a variety of messages and experiences. I have a client who uses high-impact print ads (full pages, spreads and inserts) to reinforce their brand and white papers with digital downloads and videos educating the market about the benefits of certain technology.

The results: our year-over-year brand perception study shows this particular company has the highest recall as a brand and is perceived as having the highest quality products. Plus, this company also enjoys the greatest market share among its competitors.


Why “either-or” thinking can actually hurt marketing efforts

Ad sales professionals need to ask a lot of questions up front. What are the client’s goals and expectations? What are their success measurement tools? Those questions should be asked at the beginning of the sales process so the sales rep can customize a program to fit all of their client’s needs.

Sales people need to have plenty of examples of strategies and artwork that has been successful on both platforms. Show them the print ads, whitepapers and video. Coach them what to include in white papers and other content to enhance lead generation. Then talk about ways to measure the combined print and digital performance.

Be prepared with detailed facts and stats, fully-integrated media packaging, and then reinforce by sharing success stories. You can then help your clients decide what combination of advertising in your magazine works best and will deliver them the highest ROI.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated from 2016.


More about Nancy: Nancy works for Aviation International News as Associate Publisher and Ad Sales Guru. She also co-teaches Camp Niche Ad Sales Training. She’s a b-to-b publishing vet and previously worked at Petroleum Engineer, Oil & Gas Journal, and Electric Light & Power.


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