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Specialty magazine proves loyal audience can drive print revenue growth

The Inside Golf team together at Sanctuary Cove celebrating their 14th birthday.

The “demise of the print magazine industry” is “far from reality”, according to Australian special interest publisher Outdoor Sports Publishing, who claims that its Inside Golf magazine is bucking the downward trend and continues to secure a diverse mix of new clients while retaining long-term partners.  

Publisher Sam Arthur told the Niche Publishing Network “Our growth is pretty much the same year-on-year now. We’ve peaked after 10 years of solid growth, which means that the challenge now is to continue to grow and find new areas to sell in to. That’s the part I love the most…always finding ways to grow and develop.”

The publication currently averages 90 to 110 advertisers per edition across a range of print advert sizes priced between $450 to $2,950, in addition to directory-style adverts priced at $245 an edition. Minimum bookings of three months are encouraged.

Arthur says that recent advertising partnerships include retirement associations, golf supply companies, golf courses and clubs, and international tourism offices – joining the publication’s existing advertiser base of Australian golfing companies and businesses, which range from equipment manufacturers to golf touring companies and retailers.

“While online marketing and advertising has been all the rage over the last decade, savvy businesses and marketers are making a prominent, measured shift back towards traditional forms of advertising, notably print.”  

Sam Arthur, Publisher, Inside Golf

Success factors: engaged subscribers with high disposable income

A CAB audited publication, Inside Golf’s average circulation is 42,117 copies per month, with a 100 per cent verified bulk distribution. Subscriptions to the publication are available for individual purchase on iSubscribe, while bulk subscription packages are available to golf clubs and courses around Australia. The publication is also distributed within the Qantas lounges of all Australian major airports.

The brand also includes a weekly e-newsletter sent to a database of over 34,600 readers, and boasts a Facebook community of over 21,000 followers, which Arthur says has grown over “two years of strong investment – in both time and money”.

Arthur says “Most importantly, however, is that these are organically-grown, genuine, active, engaged Australian golfers who love the game of golf, who generally have a high disposable income. They are a loyal and energetic community that, I believe, are second to none in terms of engagement, loyalty and value to advertisers.”

The results of recent Facebook promotions reaching in excess of 150,000 people each, e-newsletter open rates of 45 per cent and click rates of 15 per cent, support Arthur’s claim to an engaged readership.

“Engaged audiences take time to grow and need to be treated with a lot of respect. Our content is good and we don’t over do it like others do. Because our engagement is high, we don’t pay for Facebook promoted posts or advertising anymore. And we’ve never bought likes or followers like some other magazine publishers have.”

Success factors: tailored packages across print and online

Arthur says that a key factor in Inside Golf’s success has been its integration of multi-platform content and channels, and a commitment to tailoring packages specific to advertisers’ needs.

“We always keep a close watch on what potential clients are up to, which gives us an excuse to call them,” he says. “All of our campaigns include print and online exposure. We know we have a strong print offering with the Inside Golf magazine, so everything else we do is a bonus for our clients. We can include print and online competitions, Facebook promos, EDMs, editorials etc…it’s not just taking an ad and sitting back anymore. We really have to work for our money so having a complete offering is imperative today.”  

“It’s about working together to determine the correct timing for a campaign, creating a plan throughout the year, and then going above and beyond to provide high-quality deliverables that achieve results.”

Sam Arthur, Publisher, Inside Golf

Although Arthur notes that Inside Golf is seeing a swing back to print: “While online marketing and advertising has been all the rage over the last decade, savvy businesses and marketers are making a prominent, measured shift back towards traditional forms of advertising, notably print.”  

A good example, Arthur says, is long-term advertiser Drummond Golf, who is successfully promoting their products to a targeted, loyal audience via inserts and advertising within the print publication.

Arthur highlights other long-term supporters of the magazine: “Callaway Golf, for example, is about to hit their ninth year of continued support with the magazine. Links Hope Island has just ticked over 8 years, and Above Par Golf Tours have chalked up almost 14 years of continued support. Businesses like these have seen real results through our long-term partnerships—and in today’s economy, measurable results are paramount.

“One particular Queensland travel client has been with us for every issue from the second edition we published. It’s wonderful to see that they get the results they need from the magazine,” says Arthur.

“This long-time support isn’t just about us selling an ad. We find out how we can help each and every partner (both large and small), and create an ongoing working relationship to help them grow their business. It’s about working together to determine the correct timing for a campaign, creating a plan throughout the year, and then going above and beyond to provide high-quality deliverables that achieve results.”

For more information on Inside Golf, visit www.insidegolf.com.au

Written by Lyndsie Clark

Niche Publishing Network Founder and Editor Lyndsie Clark has over 10 years of niche publishing experience, working in a variety of roles spanning B2B editorial, sales, operations, events, BD, and management.

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