As 2010 begins, many companies are putting the final touches on where they will allocate their marketing spend for the entire year. Specifically which magazines they will choose to advertise in to grow their 2009 revenue levels to a higher level. Many Fortune 500 companies have chosen to decrease advertising within the African-American demographic as they choose to focus more on their “core” market. This would be a crucial mistake. With President Obama entering his second year in office, the marketability of African Americans in mainstream media is considerably more permissible within the media world. Despite the troubles of many African American magazines such as Vibe (which relaunched after being shutdown) and Ebony/Jet (ad pages decreased by almost 40 percent), now is the perfect time for the respective magazine’s web properties to “pick up the slack”.
To do this, there are a few action steps the majority of the African American magazines must take to catch up with their mainstream competitors and grow their advertising potential:
- The website of the magazine must be the launching point of all news, video and discussion on any topic relating to the African American community. It is as simple as making the home page as interactive as possible with multiple video widgets, deep photo library and continued discussions throughout every page of the website. Establishing a vibrant community with return visitors is key in attracting the online advertising dollar which will soon outspend traditional advertising dollars. In my opinion, popular sports magazine Sports Illustrated does a tremendous job with this as well as Black Enterprise.
- Establish a partnership with Amazon and their Kindle product. This is a hot new way for people to read books and stay current with their magazine subscriptions. The time is now to develop this partnership in order for the African American magazines to get in on the ground level and grow with this very promising piece of technology. Attractive placement within the Amazon store will translate to additional advertising dollars by all types of companies. A partnership should also be grown with whatever product Apple launches
- Create mobile applications that are mobile versions of the magazine. It is my opinion that mobile apps are the future. The success of both the New York Times mobile app as well as the USA TODAY mobile app are strong indicators of a viable future. As a heavy user of the USA TODAY mobile app, I can confirm there is definite advertising dollars to be made within mobile applications.
Can you think of any other ways African American magazines can use their web properties to grow sagging advertising revenue? Let’s discuss your ideas in the comments.Category: Advertising, Featured | Tags: Advertising, Amazon Kindle, Black Enterprise, ebony magazine, jet magazine, Magazines, mobile applications, New York Times, USA Today, vibe magazine