Advertising with an online magazine is certainly different from advertising in a print magazine. You're reaching the audience in a slightly different way, and it's likely that the online magazine is geared toward a narrower audience than the print magazine. Online magazines may have different publishing schedules, or more advertising options if the magazine has both an online and a print presence. Even with these obvious differences, some may still perceive advertising in either form as the same thing. Advertising in an online magazine is not the same as advertising in a print magazine. This article in Industry Leaders gets a few things wrong or muddled and those things need to be set straight so other online magazines don't make these mistakes.
First, the article says that what advertisers need to do is "place your advertisement on articles that either mention your brand or at least relate to the industry and category your product/service falls into." There are two things wrong with this advice. First, the way this advice is phrased makes it seem like the advertise has 100% control of where the ad goes in the magazine. This is not necessarily the case, unless you specifically purchase a spot in the magazine, such as the inside covers. Otherwise, you ad will be placed where it fits. This may not be an article that mentions your brand or your industry. And besides, if you only focused on placing your ad next to industry mentions or company mentions, you wouldn't have a whole lot of places to advertise. Second, with more online magazines focusing on niche topics or niche communities, advertisers ought to be targeting magazines that match the industry or service, instead of just the target market or demographic. SolarPro is a solar industry magazine that does a good job of showcasing industry-relevant advertising. This type of online magazine ensure that those who see the ads are the very people that buy the product.
Second, this article say that the effectiveness of an ad in an online magazine is difficult to measure. If the ad is done right, this is simply not true. An ad in an online magazine ought to include a clickable link to a website or landing page, or a QR code, or both, which are easily measurable in clicks, visits, downloads etc. This is one of the unique advantages to an online magazine advertisement. Since it's being accessed online, it can include these additional ways to engage potential customers. That way, an advertiser isn't just relying on brand awareness or page views as a way to measure ad effectiveness, but actually has hard numbers to determine if the ad was a worthwhile investment, and what could be done to make the ad more effective.
Third, the author says that "online business magazines are not like print magazines where the reader flicks through pages leisurely, looking at content, photos and ads." Umm, that's exactly what readers are doing with online business magazines, or online magazines in general. Just because there aren't necessarily pages to flick doesn't mean that they are not browsing leisurely, or only looking at content that interests them or is what they are looking for at that particular time. There's still a minimum amount of time to get the readers attention, while there is much more to compete with when advertising in an online magazine (not just the other articles and ads, but things like email and social media can easily distract a reader from the magazine all together). Don't be fooled that just because the magazine is online, that it's a lot easier to advertise. On the contrary, as an online magazine has much more competition than a print one.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with advertising in an online magazine, but getting it right is much more than placing the ad in the right spot and crossing your fingers potential customers see it and engage with it. You have to makes sure the ad gives them a reason to engage, and pushes through everything else that is clamoring for the readers attention.