Branding is all about establishing an identity and making that identity visible to the right people. But with so many of today’s marketing “best practices” being overused, it’s hard to stand out. As a marketing professional, you need to implement creative marketing branding techniques to beat out your competition. Could zines be the opportunity you’ve been looking for?
What Is A Zine?
The word zine is a truncation of the word magazine. And though it’s impossible to produce a definition that everyone agrees upon, it’s ultimately a small batch circulation of self-published content via a simple print booklet.
“If you are just learning about zines, they are small-circulation publications with a list of themes,” Printing Center USA explains. Zines were especially popular in the 80s and 90s and were generally produced via photocopiers. But as rudimentary as they were in form, they were equally as influential and appealing. Think of zines as the first blogs – albeit in an offline format. They were collections of thoughts, images, and raw content that could be quickly published and disseminated for niche audiences to consume. And while they may no longer be as popular as they once were, zines have enormous marketing potential for modern brands that want to engage audiences in a powerful, organic way.
“We’re seeing a flowering of print. There’s definitely been a renaissance in the last 10 years,” says Karen Gisonny, a librarian at the New York Public Library. In an age of mass media and virtual reality, there’s still enormous value in the tangible. As Gisonny postulates, “People are drawn to the experiences of creating and collecting these physical objects.”
4 Tips For Effective Zine Marketing
The idea of a zine should do more than stoke a sense of nostalgia for your brand. It should be viewed as something you can leverage in your marketing strategy. With zine, you can transform your current event marketing strategies into better, less expensive ones easily. Below, you will find some helpful tips and ideas.
Stick With A Low Budget
If you want to ruin your zine marketing strategy from the start, just allocate a large budget for it. Seriously – the worst thing you can do is spend a bunch of money on the design, printing, and publishing. After all, it’s the rudimentary nature of zines that makes them so appealing.
The emphasis on a small budget forces you to be creative in ways that simply aren’t required in conventional marketing. This emphasis on budgeting has a certain degree of appeal to those who desire simplicity.
Avoid A Hard Sell
A zine isn’t designed to sell or convert. Instead, its purpose is to nurture, engage, and inspire. As you develop zines, be sure to focus on the engagement and not the sales copy. Having said that, it is important for your zines to be on-brand.
Develop A Distribution Plan
Zines are designed for limited circulation. The key is to develop a plan for how and where you’ll distribute yours. For local businesses, this is fairly easy. Zines can be handed out, placed in a storefront, or even hand delivered to readers. For online businesses, it’s slightly more challenging. You may have to mail zines or give your audience the ability to download and print. However, you’ll have to be careful with the latter option, as it takes away from the experience.
Share Via Social Media
Want to raise awareness about your zines? Try sharing some details on social media. In doing so, you will continuously build your online presence on various social media platforms. Whether it’s a snapshot of the cover or a sample of the content, teasing your zine will generate some excitement.
Rise Above The Noise
In today’s marketing environment, it’s incredibly challenging to be heard. While you have resources like social media, YouTube, and PPC advertising, the competition within each of these mediums is aggressive (to put it lightly). Sometimes the only way to rise above the noise is to adopt a unique and contrarian marketing style that goes against the grain.
Though your marketing strategy won’t survive on zines alone, they can provide you with a nice supplement to social media, blogging, and other forms of modern marketing. Moving forward, consider the role they could play for your business.