QR Codes for Publishers

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Publishers have been looking to maximize mobile and web for the better part of 3 decades, searching for ways to drive engagement quickly and easily from print readers. Who would have thought that one of the earliest solutions to the problem would still be a leader 25 years later: the QR (quick response) code?

Essentially a variation of a barcode, QR codes are now all over the world, used in everything from manufacture inventory to advertisement. Almost every phone is now automatically programmed to read them too.

So anyone with a smart phone can read a barcode. What does that mean for a publisher creating print content? The answer: you can drive someone from a static page to interactive media, turning a reader into an action-taker online in seconds, and you can even turn a profit from it!

1. Enhance your print content with digital, complementary content

Print publications have a number of limitations, from column inches and content-advertisement balance to page count. This means that a lot of great content gets cut from a story before it reaches the final publication. On top of that, there is a lot of story-related media that cannot go into print, like an interview recording or video footage of an event. With QR codes, a publisher can allow a reader to instantly gain access to all the story that did not make the print publication.

2. Generate results from print Calls-to-Action that are easy to track

Calls-to-action in print are very hard to track. A retailer drops $1000 on a full-page print ad promoting a promo code or exclusive sale, and how many walk into the store and buy? Unless you are doing some very complex technological tracking and collecting a massive amount of data, the answer is probably “I don’t know.” With QR codes, you can drive the reader directly to the called action, and instantly gather a lot of information. The reader gets what they want quickly, and you or the advertiser can know the actual results of the campaign.

3. Increase exposure and the chance of purchase

Due to the ease of scanning QR codes, it is easy to lead a reader from a print story or an ad talking about a product or service to the purchase page. No more hoping the reader follows a multi-step funnel to eventually convert. Just send the reader directly to what they want. The easier the process is for them, the more sales are likely to come.

4. Build “Likes” and “Leads” quickly and easily

Social media is a difficult medium for publishers, mainly because the pace of the user is faster than the content creation of a publisher, and everyone is consuming multiple things at the same time. That said, if a publisher could easily tie their print audience into the social media audience, this issue could be solved. QR codes make that possible by giving readers of a print magazine easy access to like a page, comment on or share a post, fill out a form, or any number of other quick actions that connect the person to the publisher’s digital presence while also driving engagement with the print.

BONUS: Brand QR codes to fit your colors, style, and needs

The original design of the QR code was not meant to be pretty, but instead, functional and easy for a scanner to read. Technology has come a long ways since then. QR codes no longer have to be a square, black and white, unbranded code. With a savvy designer, it is easy to make a QR code into its own branded ad tailored for the publisher, advertiser, or just personalized in general. Also, the options for what happens when you scan a QR code are now vast as there are more customization options. Do some research and figure out what you want to use it for, and make it happen!

If you need help with QR codes, or need someone to help create your branded QR code, feel free to contact us at sales@myppmg.com. We can help!

Further Information

To learn more about QR codes, their history, and how they work, click here. For more information regarding the use of QR codes for magazines and newspapers, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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PPC 2019 Holiday Freight & Office Hours

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Publication Printers Corp., like many companies in the United States, observes certain holidays. Due to this, there are sometimes differences in our freight and office hours on and around the dates of each holiday. Below are the changes and special hours to be observed on the stated holidays:

Memorial Day 2019

Publication Printers offices will be CLOSED in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday, Monday 5/27. We will resume operations on Tuesday, 5/28.

Freight Carriers and Fed Ex will also be closed. NO FREIGHT movement or pick up will occur on Monday, 5/27.

Thank you and have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Holidays with Undetermined Hours

There are some upcoming holidays for which freight and office hours have not yet been determined. As soon as this information is finalized, it will be added. The list of holidays that will have differing hours that have not yet been finalized are:

  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Years
Further Information

For more information on Publication Printers Corp., click here and or call 303-936-0303.

If you want more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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Reasons Pubs Should Consider Mobile Apps

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Almost 30 years ago, the internet reshaped the way people interact and engage with published content. Now, mobile devices ­– likes phones and tablets – are doing it again. Estimates show that 60% of the web traffic related to consuming news and publisher content is coming from mobile devices, meaning mobile is a medium that needs to be leveraged.

This said, this is not an “if you build it, they will come” scenario. Publishers need to be conscientious about their decisions, and take strategic action, and right now, the data says that if you are going to leverage mobile, you do so via a mobile app, and here’s why!

1. Boasts better, targeted engagement

The majority of time spent on mobile devices is dedicated to time in applications, not on the general web browser. This alone makes a mobile app a valuable asset if you are targeting mobile audiences, but add the fact that app users average 300% more page views than mobile web browser users, and the answer is clear.

2. Personalized, branded experience

Websites these days are often dynamic, built to fit whatever device a user is on. However, just because the website conforms to the device does not mean it is ideal for it. The experience someone has from sitting at a computer is very different from that on a phone or tablet. Not to mention, on the internet, everyone is just a click away from leaving your content and going to someone else’s content. An app fully immerses the user in your brand while also making the brand experience 100% mobile optimized.

3. App Ads Are Better Than Mobile Ads

To put an ad on a website, especially one that conforms to the user’s device, requires cookies. Think of them like little trackers that follow someone around as they are on the internet. The problem is that many new security protocols, or the user themselves, can block cookies, making many ads not work. App ads, however, are not in a browser, and usually target by device ID, which is much more secure, more detailed (demographic and behavioral data), and also can track location. It is simply a better, stronger ad opportunity, not to mention the guaranteed exposure to anyone in the app itself.

4. More Revenue More Ways

From more ad options to subscriptions, in-app purchases, e-commerce opportunities, and even sponsored content, mobile apps give publishers several new ways to attract readers and monetize them. Combined with the engagement, branding, and data that an app provides, all of which also provide further revenue growth, and the evidence is clear: if you are going to leverage mobile, do so with an app!

Further Information

Contact us to learn more about how you can take advantage of a mobile app.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers click here.

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2019: Awards and Recognitions for Publication Printers Corp.

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For more than 40 years, Publication Printers has been carving its niche in the publication printing world. During those years of growth and progress, we have earned recognition not only as a printing company, but as an organization in general.

To showcase capabilities, and to also help the publishers we partner with, Publication Printers enters into several annual print competitions. These shows provide us the opportunity to showcase our work, and continue to prove our place in the industry as a world-class printer. Here is a quick rundown of our results in 2019 so far:

Publication Printers Takes Home “Best of Show” and more from WSPA:

The Western States Printing Alliance is one of many regional print association chapters across the United States, and the chapter in which Publication Printers participates. They host an annual award contest for the best works of the year in numerous categories, and also crown one submission as the Best of Show. Publication Printers submitted 6 entries in total, and brought home 5 awards!

  • Best of Show Award (comes with automatic entry for the Benny awards at PIA!)

Category: Heatset Web Magazine (swept the category)

  • Gold Award
  • Silver Award
  • Bronze Award

Category: Catalog

  • Silver Award

Further Information

To see the awards Publication Printers brought home in 2018, click here. If you would like more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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E-Learning Proves Profitable for Publishers

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Print publishers are always looking for new profit opportunities, especially in today’s digital age. E-Learning is a digital avenue that can tie into any publisher’s magazine and compliment print. The e-learning industry is already a $165 billion industry (as of 2015), but estimates are showing it being as large as $275 billion by 2022, and part of that epic growth is likely to come from publishers.

Magazines, particularly niche titles, have very specific topics that they showcase an expertise in. After all, that topic is the crux of the content the publisher produces, and why readers are drawn to that title. It makes complete sense that if they enjoy topical learning, readers would likely also have an interest in deeper learning, which is where e-learning has its potential for publishers.

Think of it as advanced content for the reader. Take a yoga title for example. They cover a large amount of content, but what if a reader is new to yoga, and wants help learning the basics. Why should they go elsewhere to access actual training or exercises when the magazine can work with a pro, record a bunch of tutorial videos, and make them an upsell option? That title could even produce new content consistently and have multiple subscription tiers.

E-learning can be leveraged for any topic, or a spectrum of them. The one thing to note is that, like any other potential revenue stream, there is both a time and monetary investment needed to make e-learning a viable part of a publisher’s business. It needs to be thought out, investigation on the topic and competition in that e-learning realm need to take place, and most of all, the publisher needs to know if they have the bandwidth to create the content consistently.

Further Information

For examples and further detail on how publishers are leveraging e-learning, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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New Magazines from Unlikely Sources

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The print industry has had some strange movement over the past decade, especially in the magazine landscape. That said, print has never “died,” nor will it do so a very long time, if ever. The proof is that, while the dynamic of how to make magazines profitable has altered drastically, there are more magazines today than there were 10 years ago. A lot more, in fact!

One of the biggest sources for this boost in new magazines is from the least likely of places: digital and online service organizations. In their industry, print is an uncommon form of distribution, and a way to exercise a unique marketing opportunity. It also allows them to venture into the world of content distribution that, on their digital and online platforms, may not fit their model. Here are two perfect examples.

Case Study: Dating app “Bumble”

Bumble is a popular social and dating app that has been around for almost 5 years. It is a mobile-only application designed to shake up the gender norms re: woman and dating rules, allowing women a place to connect for dating, networking or meeting online. Just recently though, Bumble decided to broaden its focus beyond just connecting people and facilitating communication, by developing a print lifestyle magazine.

The magazine focuses on content related to what brings users to Bumble: dating, careers, friendships, and partnership. They even went so far as to create 4 sections in the entire magazine into 4 sections, labeled “You First,” You + BFFs,” “You + Dating,” and “You + Bizz.”  The print publication is exclusive to Bumble’s 50+ million users at the moment, with free copies able to be requested on the app, but the potential for it to scale into the general reading market is likely based on the contributors.

Case Study: Travel site Airbnb

Airbnb took the world by storm by offering an in-house solution to hotels and motels; connect people willing to lend their homes out with people needing short-term vacation rentals, business trip housing, or other travel accommodations. The company focused on helping travelers have creature comforts and feel at home while on the go,  and they expanded that in 2017 with a print publication.

The content leverages anonymous user activity on the Airbnb website to determine locations, events, trips, and travel ideas that are popular, and then crafts custom content for the publication on those topics. It not only provided new revenue options for the already thriving company, but answered a lot of questions that current Airbnb users were asking, and could not find answers to elsewhere.

Further Information

For more detail on about Bumble’s print magazine, click here. You can also check out this article about Airbnb Magazine.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Print is ALIVE & WELL

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10 Facts to Support Your Sales Efforts

  • Print publications are considered the most trusted news and content sources in the USA, with a 72% approval rate, higher than TV news, websites, and social media coverage. (Mediashift)
  • 95% of people under the age of 25 are reading magazines, with an average of an hour spent with each new issue, better than the average of 15 seconds a user spends on a website. (Magazine Media Factbook)
  • Print provides a tactile experience that is proven to increase engagement, memory of content, and sense of quality. (Sappi Paper)
  • 70% of Americans enjoy reading printed magazines even though they know they could find most of the same information online. (State of the Media Democracy from Deloitte Research)
  • Despite the vast amount of electronic and digital technology, print is still the favored medium across all age groups for reading and safekeeping of documents. (IPSOS; Two Sides; and Print Power)
  • In the U.S., more than 65% of paper was recycled, making it the most recycled commodity. (American Forest & Paper Association)
  • Private tree farmers average planting 4 million trees a day, 3-4x what is harvested a day for all uses, not just paper. (International Paper, Go Paper, Grow Trees website)
  • There are 20% more trees in the U.S. today than there were on the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. (American Forest & Paper Association)
  • Over 30% of digital transactions have an origin point that can be traced to print media. (PWC)
  • 66% of paper comes from sawmill scraps, wood chips, and recycled paper. Only 1/3 requires cutting down trees, and PPC only chooses paper that was responsibly farmed. (U.S. EPA/Choose Print)

Further Information

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Publishers and Subscription Video-On-Demand

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As the publishing industry continues to evolve, publishers are beginning to investigate and try new forms of content distribution to add to their mix. Currently, one of the most unique options is subscription video-on-demand.

What is Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVOD):

Cable and satellite are directly delivered program video, requiring the viewer to watch based on the pre-set schedule; if you want to watch 60 Minutes, you have to be on your couch at the right time on the right day. This is what is commonly known as traditional video, and while publishers can leverage it, it is not an ideal medium in most cases.

Youtube is the most common example of video on-demand (VOD), the opposite of traditional video. VOD is a service that provides internet-based video that can be watched anywhere at any time, hence the “cutting the cord” terminology that gets thrown around a lot. Most VOD content is user-generated and would not include content that is normally accessible through cable or satellite.

That is where options like Hulu and Netflix come in. These are subscription video on-demand, or SVOD services. The “anywhere, any time” concept is maintained, and content that would normally be found on cable or satellite is also included. It comes with a small subscription fee, but it is more affordable than traditional video options, and more and more video content producers are starting to include SVOD in their content distribution strategies, if not shifting to this form of distribution only.

How Can Publishers Use SVOD:

Publications are the owners of the subscription market. Sure, not every publication uses a subscription model, but the system was built for and by publications. It is about time it took authority in that realm once again. Subscription video-on-demand is a great place to start!

Video in general is a highly-consumed form of content, which means professional content producers like publishers should be leveraging it. It can provide a unique angle that complements editorial, or can cover content that might be hard to express in editorial. Using video just makes sense for publishers, especially when you consider that with SVOD, your content itself can be monetized.

Second, video does not have to be a massive, terribly expensive undertaking. The attention span for video is much shorter than that for written content, so you only need each video to be a few minutes to generate results. Also, with smart phones that wield incredibly high-tech cameras and numerous, affordable editing softwares, it is easy to shoot and produce quality video content on a budget. Considering that SVOD generates revenue, developing a strategy that balances video content costs can ensure profits from SVOD.

Third, subscription video is easy content to distribute. Publications today already have a social media presence and websites, and both those options have numerous ways to set up subscription-based video content distribution. A publisher can also sell their video content to larger subscription video services, like Amazon Prime, who already have a massive audience and subscription setup, and distribute the content on the publisher’s behalf for a fee.

The SVOD Decisions Publishers Face:

The most important thing for publishers to know is that VIDEO IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! While publishers as a whole benefit from SVOD and video in general, each case is unique; there are audiences who are not a right fit for video content, and visa versa. Publishers should investigate their audience and test before jumping on the video bandwagon.

If video is right for the audience and publication, the next hurdle is picking the content. It is not simply a question of what content the audience prefers, because some topics or content cannot be made into video format easily or in a short-form fashion. The publisher will need to develop a strategy to determine when editorial content can be expanded with video, or when topics can be made into standalone video.

SVOD also brings up the lifetime value issue. Many publications make their money with time-sensitive or time-contextual content. For video, this is a great option, but from a subscription standpoint, the content should be developed to provide value long-term. Of course, if a publisher develops enough video content consistently, this becomes mute, but for the publishers that prefer to do only a few videos a month, long-term value is how you ensure subscribers stick around, and new subscribers buy in.

The biggest challenge for publishers looking to leverage SVOD relates to distribution. SVOD may be easy to deliver, but it does take skill and setup if a publisher wants to rely on their own channels, and not a service like Amazon Prime. The system to accept payments and manage the subscriptions needs to be built or integrated into the existing subscription system. The means to host all of the video content needs to be dealt with. Most importantly, a strategy to drive traffic and sell those subscriptions needs to be made (bundle with print subscription, offer exclusive content to increase the value, etc.).

In general, video and SVOD provide value when executed well and for the right reasons. These decisions all help determine the worth to invest in SVOD, as well as how to ensure it has positive ROI if implemented.

Further Information

To read more on how publishers can leverage subscription video on-demand, click here. For information on how publishers can make use of video in general, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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2018: Awards and Recognitions for PPC

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Publication Printers has grown a great deal from its humble beginnings in 1979. With that growth has come recognition not only as a printing company, but as an organization in general.

One of the most important things we can do as a company is to see how our brand has changed and how the industry sees us as a whole. There is no better way to do that than to look back at the awards, accolades, and recognition we received. Here is a quick rundown of 2018:

Colorado Biz names PPC 26th top Colorado private business:

The Colorado Business Magazine, more commonly known as Colorado Biz, puts out an annual list of the top 250 private businesses in Colorado. We have consistently been in the top 50 for years, but we made a 9 spot jump from 2017 to 2018, which shows how much progress we are making as a company.

Publication Printers was also nominated runner-up by the Colorado Biz readers for the “Best Printer” in the Colorado Biz Best of Colorado Business Choice awards.

PPC Takes Home the 2018 “Benny” for Heatset Web Magazines:

There are a number of annual publication printing award shows that span different types of print, different types of publications, art design, staff, and a gamut of other realms. For 2018, the most notable award we received was the Benny Award, one of the nation’s most recognized awards for print quality. Publication Printers also received several other awards in various categories from award shows:

Printing Industries of America: Premiere Print Awards

  • The “Benny” Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)

WSPA: Print Excellence Awards

  • Gold Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)
  • Silver  Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)
  • Bronze Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)

Printing Impressions: Gold Ink Awards

  • Gold Award (Specialty Magazine, Web)
  • Bronze Award (Trade Magazine, Web)
  • Bronze Award (Business Catalog, Web)
  • Pewter Award (Consumer Magazine)
  • Pewter Award (Magazine Cover)

Further Information

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Magazines Still Need Print: The Facts

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Print is alive and well, despite the abundance of whispers still asking the question. Over the past decade, the magazine industry has seen huge shifts in business, due to innovations in online and digital media. However, no matter how big the shift has been, print remains vital to the industry, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Here are the reasons why!

Revenue matters, and print is still the breadwinner:

Advertisements from print were responsible for over $16 billion in revenue in 2016 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, commonly PwC). Around 87% of revenue related to circulation that year was also coming from print products.

Digital publishing has allowed for lower start-up costs for new publications, but the stream of revenue is not there for most. Only a select few, with the right niche topics and an abundance of alternative revenue streams (subscription video, social media advertising, tiered content strategies, other products, etc.) have found themselves extremely profitable with an all-digital publication. Most end up closing shop or integrating print just to balance the scale.

That said, to quote the president of Meredith’s National Media Group: “… print and digital; not print or digital. In today’s industry, balancing both is the key to success.

Data for print ROI has come a long way:

One of the biggest appeals of digital marketing and advertising is the ability to track information on a very precise level, or it used to be. With so many fake accounts and bots and other mechanisms, digital analytics related to sales or chain-of-purchase, or even just page views, is now incredibly hard to make accurate.

This does not change the fact that realistic data can be a huge asset. That is why so many publishers have worked to develop data algorithms that help prove ROI, track actual chain of purchase, and other vital details specific to print publications … and it is now a reality.

Bauer Media is one of the leaders pioneering print data analytics. Their software provides research data about advertisement and readership as a whole to help show advertisers how ads can help them meet their goals. The result is that Bauer makes ¾ of its revenue from print, and is thriving in today’s market.

Frequency and newsstand dates make a difference:

Digital publications, and online content producers in general suffer from online audiences expecting constant, consistent new stuff. As publishers strain to pump out content, they shift their focus from quality to quantity.

Print publications have a much lighter expectation for content, with weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual releases being perfectly normal. Not to mention, the slight variations in how often, and when it goes to actually producing the publication, can make a huge difference in dollars.

Vanity Fair is a great example of this. They combined December and January issues into a “holiday” issue, and also fused July and August to make a “summer” issue. This adjusted their schedule in the newsstands by just a few days, but meant saving a lot of money in printing costs. It also allowed them to have a flexible issue that they release in February related to the award show. It is not part of the normal print schedule, so it can fit in wherever is most affordable for their printer.

For digital publications, adjusting distribution makes little to no monetary change outside of the cost to produce content within a certain timeframe, and the staff needed to do it.

Further Information

For more detail on these facts about print and more, click here. You can also check out this article about 4 major reasons print is still around in a digital age.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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