Making sense of Facebook’s new magazine

July 12, 2018

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Facebook has just launched its own magazine… What the?

Isn’t print dead (and didn’t Facebook kill it?!)?

Clearly not. This latest move by Facebook demonstrates the unique influence print wields, and what this means for digitally-led businesses in today’s society.

 

Print connects differently

There’s something different about print.

In their own words, Facebook’s justification behind the launch of their ‘Grow’ magazine is to “deliver content in different formats that suits our audience,” stating that “we know business leaders have limited time for long reads at work, so we’ve also created a physical version with journeys in mind.” They go on to explain that part of the distribution strategy for Grow will be positioning it in airport and train business lounges, “where we know they [business leaders] are known to be found.”

What does all of this tell us?

There’s more than one way to reach your audience. Facebook recognise this—sometimes the best way to reach the people they want to, is not by competing in the crowded online space; it’s by taking a completely different route. The research on this is telling: Newspaper ads are read for 2.5 times longer than digital ads, while touching an ad increases its value by 24%.

Print is different, and that’s an advantage. It doesn’t make it better than digital, nor worse—it simply makes it a useful tool for connecting in a new, refreshing way with your audience.

 

Print builds credibility

The Grow magazine is intended to be a quarterly thought leadership magazine for business leaders.

For Facebook, this is a step away from their traditional target market. It’s no surprise then, that Facebook has chosen to make this move through print—a format which has classically represented the pinnacle of credibility.

Perhaps it’s because of volume. Online, the sheer volume of content lowers the overall credibility of any article or blog. It’s easy to just be lumped alongside the millions of other authors on the same topic.

Perhaps it’s more to do with access. Any man and his dog can write an article online and post it—no editing, no filtering, no screening process. But to be published in a print magazine… That means something. Someone, somewhere, decided that your blog, article or ad was worth putting on a page and printing thousands of times.

The credibility shows—81% of people have had their behaviour influenced after reading about it in a magazine. While we love online media as well (obviously, we’re sharing this online now!) it doesn’t always have quite the same level of influence!

 

Thought leadership is more important than ever

Alongside reinforcing the role of print media, Facebook’s new magazine is a timely reminder about the importance of quality thought leadership in today’s business landscape.

The reality is, thought leadership wins (or loses) business. That’s a cold, hard fact, and here are some cold, hard stats to back it up:

  • 47% of decision-makers say that thought leadership material directly influenced them to award business to an organisation (and 39% say it influenced them to include an organisation in an RFP process).
  • 33% of buyers say they removed a business from consideration in the buying process after reading poor quality content (and 49% say their opinion was lowered).
  • 35% of decision makers spend between 1-3 hours reading thought leadership content per week

What does this mean for you? There’s an opportunity to fall on the right side of these statistics—have future customers spend their time reading your content, rather than your competitors, and win new business based on your thought leadership, rather than losing it. We can help there, so get in touch.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even be able to get a regular slot in Facebook’s new magazine…