Few tools are as valuable to both magazine publishers and advertisers as a title’s media kit. A media kit is a concise presentation of all the information potential advertisers need to know to decide whether a particular magazine is the right vehicle and has the right target audience for promoting their products. For that reason, it’s vitally important for publishers to create strong media kits that show advertisers why their magazines are unique and why they should advertise with them — instead of with competitors.
It’s in the details
Think of the valuable data your media kit provides. It outlines your magazine’s mission statement — what are you about — in a nutshell. It also tells potential advertisers about the kinds of content you include. It describes your average reader in detail, complete with demographics, circulation numbers, website statistics, as well as social media fans and followers. The kit gives ad rates, specifications, formatting, and submission instructions.
Although a media kit is a valuable public relations and ad sales tool, it can also hinder ad sales if you’re not careful. The media kit provides a first impression of your publication, so you only have a few precious seconds to capture a prospective ad buyer’s attention and favor. If you use outdated graphics, lackluster designs and formatting, or ineffective messaging, you may lose them before you start. If your demographic data and circulation numbers are not up-to-date, you may lose credibility. And if you don’t provide the correct ad specifications and other instructions, you can frustrate both your ad sales team and the advertisers’ own designers — leaving valuable ad dollars on the table as a result.
Build a better media kit
If your media kit lacks pizzazz or doesn’t send the right message about your publication, it may be time for a redesign. Here are a few tips to help your media kit pack an added punch.
- Talk up the benefits. Your publication’s features are interesting. Showing the ways in which those features benefit advertisers can spur ad purchases. Explain your readership’s purchasing power and what buying ad space could mean for an advertiser’s return on investment. Use statistics to compare yours with competing magazines. Provide case studies about how vendors have used your publication to increase market share and build brand awareness. Include testimonials about successful ad partnerships and campaigns.
- Uniquely position your title. Explain how and why your magazine is different from similar publications and, therefore, a better venue for spending ad dollars. Are you reaching a segment of the population that other magazines don’t? Are you incorporating an emerging trend or using a hot new technology?
- Get in their faces. Use an up-to-date PDF of your media kit that you can inexpensively email to advertisers, or invite them to instantly download it from your website. For larger advertisers, go all out with a physical folder complete with branded graphics, a prototype of your publication, business cards, spec sheets, rate cards, and an editorial calendar — in a cohesive, professional-looking package.
- Provide opportunities. An editorial calendar is a valuable planning tool for prospective advertising buyers. Knowing about the specific content and stories coming throughout the year helps advertisers target ad campaigns to coincide with relevant stories, adding power to their advertising buys.
- Take advantage of technology. In today’s high-tech world, you have so many options for engaging with readers. If you fail to capitalize on the opportunities, you can bet your competition will. In your media kit, include information about your website, your social media strategy, as well as the online and in-person events you participate in. Offer advertisers ways to take advantage of all these avenues in strategic and synergistic ways to get more bang for their advertising bucks.
- Get interactive. Your media kit doesn’t have to be a static paper or digital product. Consider linking your media kit to an online presentation that explains why your magazine is the best choice for purchasing ad space in a fun yet easy-to-understand way. You can request feedback and provide a platform for questions. It’s a way to show potential advertisers you are keeping up with technology and are truly interested in providing the best experiences both for your audience members as well as your advertisers.
Your media kit is your introduction to your magazine. It can help you increase brand awareness, improve your publication’s credibility and reputation, and ultimately influence your bottom line. Make sure the face it puts on your publication is the face you want to depict for prospective advertisers. If your media kit needs a makeover, take a look at what other successful publishers are doing — and then put a unique spin on yours.
Contact your Sheridan representative or visit our contact page to ask how we can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.