Airbnb, Asos and Facebook. What do they all have in common? Apart from the fact that they are all ‘digital-disruptors’, all have their very own print publications.
While the Facebook publication comes in the shape of a magazine and certainly resembles what you might consider to be a magazine (with the words ‘a quarterly magazine for business leaders’ printed across its magazine-like cover), Grow by Facebook is definitely not a magazine! At least, that’s according to the Facebook PR team.
No matter what you call it, Facebook’s new ‘magazine’ (sorry…'branded thought leadership platform shining a light on people, companies and trends that challenge the status quo') joins an ever-increasing collection of branded publications from businesses that have built their success on denouncing the ‘legacy technology’ that is print.
Trust, authority and credibility
The digital space can be a confusing, cluttered environment of bloggers, influencers, journalists, fake news propagandists, editors, writers and marketeers all screaming into the online vacuum – their messages appearing, or not, depending on a complex sequence of SEO and digital algorithms.
In such a collection of noise, how do you ensure that people trust you and that your brand stands out?
The intimacy is unrivalled. In an increasingly digital world, you simply shouldn’t underestimate just how much people want to feel something real
In contrast, there is a visceral and compelling connection created when readers actually hold print in their hands. The intimacy is unrivalled. In an increasingly digital world, you simply shouldn’t underestimate just how much people want to feel something real, and if you’re the brand, service or business that does that for them, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand why a media format that is so trusted by consumers would be so appealing to Facebook. According to A Matter of Trust, a study by media buyer Mediacom and Magnetic, 70% of magazine readers trust magazines, but only 30% of social media users trust social media.
There’s been a bit of a wake-up call in the last 18 months in terms of people’s disbelief around fake news and their worries that what they’re being sent and sold and reading is not real
“There’s been a bit of a wake-up call in the last 18 months in terms of people’s disbelief around fake news and their worries that what they’re being sent and sold and reading is not real,” says Magnetic Chief Executive, Sue Todd. “People’s response to that is to be a bit more diligent, and that means they’re looking towards the most trusted channels.”
And where audiences go, businesses follow. “The thinking is: if there are challenges around the trust in our content and our brand, then a magazine, a printed magazine, is a good way for us to change that conversation and build more trust,” adds Todd.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Ben Pratchett – Director, The Ocean Agency
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