Mobile App Content Strategies on the Rise



The rise in popularity among smart phones and the applications that go along with them are very important to the niche magazine industry. Niche publications must always be adapting and changing with technology in order to work with it and ensure ad sales and audiences continue to grow. A recent survey showed that many publications are already integrating mobile app content strategies into overall content marketing plans.

Niche Media

Mobile apps are changing the way readers receive content.

Mobile applications are a great way to interact with readers and provide new and interesting ways to keep them engaged. In order to ensure your mobile app content strategy is working well, it is important to have an optimized mobile site. This will make accessing your material much easier and preferable for readers. It is also important to remember that tablets and smart phones are not the same. The mobile site for your niche publication should cater to both devices, instead of just one.

The ways in which readers receive content are constantly changing, and it is crucial to stay up-to-date as to keep and grow audiences.  Eli Goodman, a spokesman for comScore, the company that conducted the survey, noted just how crucial these new strategies are:

“In the United States at this time, more than 40 percent of all existing mobile phones in use are smartphones, and over 50 percent of all recently acquired mobile phones are smartphones, moving towards the eventual majority. Mobile internet usage is directly correlated to smartphone adoption, so a mobile specific strategy is a must as a function of your broader marketing mix.”

Adopting mobile application strategies into your content marketing plan is important for all publications, especially niche magazines.

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Niched Out Magazines: The 2012 Nichee Award Winners!



This year an absolutely outstanding group of niche magazines entered the Nichee Awards. Our winners are great examples of finding a niche market and serving it well.

Best Niche B2B Magazine went to Multi-Unit Franchisee, a magazine dedicated to delivering vital information and business solutions to multi-unit franchisees. This magazine is loaded with owner profiles, financial tips, management ideas, technology solutions, and more to give their readers tools and information they need to succeed.

Runner Up LP (LossPrevention) reaches ½ of the U.S. loss prevention community. They are digital integration superstars with an active website, digital magazine, webinars, a virtual tradeshow, weekly e-newsletter, and strong social media presence.

We had a tie for Best Niche Consumer Magazine.  The Iowa Sportsman, serving the hunting and fishing men and women of Iowa, wants readers to believe that their contributions to the magazine are just as important as the ownership’s. This niche mag is passionate about its audience, and it shows!  Momentum has brought the bicycle experience to a whole new market by covering urban transportation without heavy focus on the predominantly male demographic.

Runner Up TulsaPeople is celebrating its 26th year of capturing the spirit of living, working, and playing in Tulsa. It combines beautiful design and compelling journalism to showcase the people, places, and events that make life in Tulsa interesting and fun.

Best Design went to Process for breaking the rules of design in all the right ways to reach their market of communications, marketing, creative services, and print-buying organizations and individuals.

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This post is part of the March issue of Niched Out News.

How to Become a Media Buyer’s Best (Ad Sales) Friend

Think Niche – Think Video!

Success Story: Renaissance Publishing Thrives in the Big Easy with The Magazine Manager

Magazine of the Month: The 2012 Nichee Award Winners!

Niche Notes

Email Deliverability Tips and Myths

Think Niche – Think Video!



 

 

 

By Atul Patel, CEO of OneScreen

The battle for audiences in the niche space is heating up.  As large general content destination sites continue to expand their content offerings, niche publishers are in a pitched battle for recognition, additional page views, and advertising revenue.  The answer for how to maintain audience levels and increase dwell time on your sites is staring them straight in the face: video.

The concept of the “niche” is the cornerstone of today’s content and publishing markets.  Audiences are always engaged with their niche, whether it is by interest, opinion, language, locale, occupation, or life-stage.  Separately, audiences have more control than ever before over when, how and where they watch content.  These two things together create a new challenge and opportunity for you, the niche publisher.   The challenge is that there isn’t enough content, yet the opportunity is that there isn’t enough content!

There is a common misconception among publishers that having a niche focus makes a publisher too inconsequential for a digital video strategy, but the reality is just the opposite.  To be fair, it is not easy for niche publishers to foresee just how much impact digital video would have on their audiences, advertising customers and business partners, and most importantly, the bottom line.  It takes people, money, and time, none of which publishers have lying around.  With an understandably short-term mindset, it is hard for publishers to take the plunge.  However, with a long-term strategy in place, you can benefit your audience and your bottom-line.

To build a successful digital video strategy, there are a few key themes for publishers to take into account.

  • Know the numbers and trends, and take action:
    • The number of views and the growth curve of video consumption are astounding.  According to comScore, in February of 2012, 179 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 38 billion videos online. By failing to act on these new trends, your audience will no longer consider you a go-to source for the form of media they want.
    • Advertisers are following this audience to video.  According to eMarketer, the share of online advertising spending attributed to video will be 15.0% in 2016, up from 7.9% in 2012, growing faster than all other formats aside from social.  Furthermore, spending growth in online video is set to grow over 40% each year for the next three years. This means advertisers need new video content from publishers, so that they have more opportunities to place their media and reach their audience.
  • Think niche, not small:
    • By design, a niche publisher appeals to a well-defined audience, something advertisers struggle to find.  While you might only reach 10,000 people, your publication and properties might be covering 100% of those interested in a particular topic.  That is an advantage often overlooked.  It enables niche publishers to command a higher price for their advertising space.   Niche targeting yields greater return, making advertisers willing to pay more for that value.  Google is a prime example through their search business model, which targets users for higher-priced click advertising.  By giving advertisers the option to incorporate video in their advertising campaigns, publishers are offering them a way to deliver their message with sight, sound and motion.  Most advertisers are either experimenting with video ads already or are anxious to begin.
  • Implement a video strategy
    • Being a publisher of some form of media in your niche, even text and image content, already puts you at an advantage.  Niche publishers know the subject matter and are a trusted source for their audience.  With that in mind, adding video content to your business model will only better your user experience and monetization, but keep your video content true to your niche.
    • Ask your audience!  Survey them at least twice a year.  Your audience is frequenting YouTube, Facebook, and other portals for a variety of reasons.  Find out if video is one of those reasons, and identify what content they are interested in.  Based on your their feedback, you may find that they are interested in videos directly related to the stories you publish, or something entirely different.
    • You do not have to go at it alone.  There is an explosion of people and companies able to provide video services to you.  There are companies that provide a piece of the solution or even end-to-end solutions for digital video, including content, players, ad serving and more.

With these points in mind, publishers should immediately embrace the growing demand by taking even basic steps towards offering more video.  Your audience is waiting, and the advertisers will follow.

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This post is part of the March issue of Niched Out News.

How to Become a Media Buyer’s Best (Ad Sales) Friend

Think Niche – Think Video!

Success Story: Renaissance Publishing Thrives in the Big Easy with The Magazine Manager

Magazine of the Month: The 2012 Nichee Award Winners!

Niche Notes

Email Deliverability Tips and Myths

Success Story: Renaissance Publishing Thrives in the Big Easy with The Magazine Manager



New Orleans is back and more vibrant than ever. The city is growing again and tourism is booming. More restaurants are opening than ever before, the city is the third most popular place to film movies, and in just 18 months it will have hosted the SuperBowl, both the men’s and women’s Final Four, and many more national sporting and cultural events.

Award-winning local publisher Renaissance Publishing is uniquely positioned to grow with the region and cover all the action. With six local publications, including New Orleans Magazine, they can cover all the region’s action. Exploding restaurant scene? They are the only local publisher with three food writers. Major sporting and cultural events returning that need coverage? They are custom-publishing pros covering the arts, sports, ports, and more. More digital-age readers? They have apps, digital editions, and social media pages.

To better position Renaissance Publishing to flourish with the city’s recovery and growth, CEO Todd Matherne turned to The Magazine Manager in 2007 to integrate and streamline his publishing properties. The Magazine Manager’s web-based system combined customer relationship management, ad order entry, and billing management into one system. This integration allows Renaissance Publishing to easily add new custom publications and cross-promote products to customers.

Plus, the new system made information accessible from anywhere, updated it in real time, and offered plenty of server space for the future. Now sales people in the field can create proposals on the spot and Renaissance Publishing’s 27 employees can easily work from satellite offices.  The Magazine Manager’s credit card integration allows Renaissance Publishing to easily promote and sell magazine subscriptions via customized web forms without a lot of extra time and effort. More streamlined systems and integrated products lets the Renaissance Publishing team spend more time selling ads, creating great content, and reaching out to readers.

Todd and his team are very excited about what the future holds, both for the city of New Orleans and Renaissance Publishing.

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This post is part of the March issue of Niched Out News.

How to Become a Media Buyer’s Best (Ad Sales) Friend

Think Niche – Think Video!

Success Story: Renaissance Publishing Thrives in the Big Easy with The Magazine Manager

Magazine of the Month: The 2012 Nichee Award Winners!

Niche Notes

Email Deliverability Tips and Myths

How to Become a Media Buyer’s Best (Ad Sales) Friend



By Nancy O’Brien, MoreAdSales.com  

At the Niche Magazine Conference in Nashville last month I got to learn first hand from three local media buyers at the Media Buyer Steel Cage Match session how to become a media buyer’s favorite ad sales person. Media buyers are busy and have a lot of sales people vying for their attention. Here’s three things you can do to stand out from the crowd and make your sale.

1. Be Prepared: Use email as your primary mode of communication with them – at least initially.  When you contact them you need to have a compelling reason for them to consider your magazine or website, not just a general fluff piece on why you are the Bible of the industry. Come armed with solid numbers and your unique value statement. (Don’t know how to create a UVS? Learn here!) Be concise – don’t go in to a long, drawn-out sales pitch.  If they have to scroll down to read the whole thing they will simply delete it. Be concise to be read.

2. Be Informed: Know everything you can about their client before you contact them.  Media buyers are often overloaded and don’t have time to bring you up to speed on who their clients are and what they do.  Respect their time and you have a better chance of making a sale. When you do meet with them, either on the phone or in person, have a list of questions to ask pertinent to how they fit with your media offerings.  Respect a media buyer’s time if you want to be heard!

3. Become a Resource: Providing the media buyer with valuable research and market data will almost always get you a meeting.  Research is key to opening the doors of communication, so use it often. Media buyers will then come to rely on you for the information they need to do their job.  Feel free to contact the advertiser directly with any information you have, but always copy the agency (if there is one) with all communication.

Remember, there are thousands of ad sales reps out there! Be one of the best by being prepared, informed and a marketing consultant and partner to the media buyers. You will stand out from the crowd!

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This post is part of the March issue of Niched Out News.

How to Become a Media Buyer’s Best (Ad Sales) Friend

Think Niche – Think Video!

Success Story: Renaissance Publishing Thrives in the Big Easy with The Magazine Manager

Magazine of the Month: The 2012 Nichee Award Winners!

Niche Notes

Email Deliverability Tips and Myths

20 Great Revenue-Generating Ideas



At the 2011 Niche Digital Conference, attendees shared their ideas to boost online revenue for target-interest magazines. Do your own ideas to share? Tell us in the comments!

#1 Exclusive advertisers: Allow one advertiser on a certain day of the month to occupy all the ad spots on each page of your entire website.

#2 Balance editorial calendar against SEO research. Use key word research tools to determine what web users are “really” searching for… then write content about those topics.

#3 Provide an RSS feed of news to advertisers with static websites. Most advertisers have dead, static sites and your content can liven them up and help them look more relevant. Use Feedburner to help.

#4 Get on board with Google+. What is your plan? Don’t play catch-up. Get ahead of the kids and figure out what Google + has to offer through their various “circles”.

#5 Create a unique incentive plan for your sales team that provides a bonus for selling online. Your margins are better in web, so pay a better commission. Or, structure a better plan for banners sold. Out of cash?  Give days off or free lunch. Get creative.

#6 Create special holiday or seasonal digital editions. From holiday gift guides to summer camp guides, take ideas and turn them into digital-only special publications. Be sure to tell advertisers how you are going to tell the public about the special digital edition.

#7 Stop giving away digital space! Just stop it!

#8 Create an e-newsletter from your sales team to your current advertisers. Create a list of your current clients and start sending out an e-newsletter. This should contain helpful hints, links to great articles, and deadline information. You can find great information about this on marketingsherpa.com, adage.com, techcrunch.com and ryandohrn.com.

#9 Use short videos to answer advertisers’ common questions. Is there a question that you are often asked by advertisers? Record an answer and create an answer archive. Keep it simple. Jing is a great tool for this type of sales tool.

#10 Spread out your content! Don’t publish all of your magazine’s content online at the beginning of the month. Use the date stamping tools of your content management system to load your content all at one, but publish it piece by piece over a period of time.

#11 Create strategic alliances to offer expanded digital services to your advertisers. Find local web designers, videographers, photographers, and other service providers. Form a creative network where you all get rewarded for referrals.

#12 Register the .tv and .mobi for your main domain. Expand your offerings!

#13 Flip it – “Buy an ad in our digital edition and get the print as added value.” This is a unique twist that may not work for everyone, but give it a try to shake things up for your sales team.

#14 Make sure you charge for social media. You should charge $75 – $125/thousand for your social media updates on your Facebook page and Twitter feed.

#15 Create e-books from magazine content. You have years of content, so put it to good use. Create e-books around a specific topic.

#16 Use a daily video tip to drive B2B sales. Advertisers like the exposure, and they are also your best experts. Have them pay to be the expert in a section on your site and record their answers to submitted questions.

#17 Create an interactive media kit. A PDF just isn’t enough. Advertisers require more stimuli than ever before to make a decision. Also, they want information NOW! http://mediakit.fastcompany.com is a great example of an online media kit.

#18 Monitor your SEO ranking and search volume monthly for key search terms. Each month you want a report that shows you where your site ranks for all the key terms that you have researched as important. Also, you want to re-run your key word research often. Raven is a good tool for this.

#19 Create a social media interaction plan.  Each day a member of your team should be assigned to monitor and reply to social media comments. Assign days and make it mandatory.

#20 Create a simple website sign-in with Facebook Connect. Make it as easy as possible for users to sign in to your web site. This is critical if you want to survey behavior or demo targeted advertising.

Read All About It: Improving Your Relationship with Media Buyers



Having a good relationship with media buyers is crucial to the success of your niche publication. If you have a good relationship with media buyers, you could use them as resources and connections. It’s okay if you are unsure of how to go about improving your relationship with media buyers, we are and we have pulled some tricks from Niched Out, take a look:

Niche Media

Check out some tips for improving your relationship with media buyers.

  • Know your readers and have proper data: Technology has a large influence on media buyers and their ability to access data about your publication and who reads it. In order to work on your relationship with media buyers, it is best to thoroughly survey your audience in order to get valuable data about them. Getting the hard numbers that media buyers need is crucial in the process.
  • Make value stand out: Instead of selling your product at the lowest price offered, rethink your strategy in order to showcase the maximum amount of value. Media buyers understand that a product with a higher amount of value will be priced a bit higher. Show them how your product can benefit them by providing other opportunities your product will offer.
  • Improve your pitch: While it can get frustrating dealing with first time buyers, you should treat them as a resource. Use each phone call as an opportunity to improve your selling angle by asking them questions about what they need or how you can help them. Instead of being an obstacle, try being a resource.
A good relationship with media buyers is crucial to the progress of your niche publication. Try working on them with a few tips and tricks.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Read All About It: Redesign Considerations



Sometimes you may find that your niche publication needs a small face lift, something to re-energize it and get your readers excited about it again. While deciding to redesign is a large decision that includes many factors, it could be just the answer you have been searching for. However, before diving headfirst into a full-on redesign, it is important to ask yourself a few questions to ensure it is the right decision. Take a peek at some questions to consider when planning a redesign:

Niche Media

Redesigning your niche publication could be the answer you have been looking for.

  • Can I predict the redesign’s return on investment? While pinpointing the exact return on investment you could see from a redesign is difficult, if you take the correct steps, chances are you will be able to expect a positive return on investment from the redesign. A redesign is a chance to refine your editorial strategy, mission and and brand identity. If you do the proper research on your audience and tailor your new content and strategies to meet their needs, you are most likely to see a good return on investment.
  • Will my ads be positively affected from the redesign? If you want to see positive results in your ads from the redesign, it is often best to create differentiation between editorial content and ads. If you have good design techniques that make ads stand out, chances are you will get positive feedback from both advertisers and readers as the advertisers know the ads are being seen and readers are able to tell editorial content and advertising apart.
Deciding to redesign your niche publication is a big decision. However, if you feel as though your magazine has recently lost its luster, perhaps a redesign is the answer you have been searching for.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

A Page Out of the Yearbook: Supercharge Your Survey Strategies



Surveys are a great tools for niche magazine publishers to use to boost readership as well as sales. However, often times survey efforts are often done in the wrong manner, which can leave readers unhappy and your sales unchanged. Mixing up your survey strategies could be just the trick you need to further your audience development and increase sales. We have pulled a few tips for supercharging your survey strategies from the Niche Yearbook, take a look:

Niche Media

Take a peek at some tips for improving your surveys.

  • Narrow your target: It can become a bad habit to send out numerous surveys and target a very general audience. Chances are, you will see better results if you narrow the people you decide to send surveys too. Sending a mass number of surveys can also make readers feel unimportant and just another number on a mailing list. Take a deeper look into demographic and behavioral data to get a better feel for who you should be targeting and who is more likely to respond to the survey.
  • Keep it simple: It’s no secret that we move fast when it comes to the internet. Items on the web have only a few second to capture our attention and work to keep it. This applies to your surveys as well. In order to keep the reader engaged, your best bet is to keep it simple. Don’t try to accomplish too much in one survey. Instead, break it up into smaller surveys in order to keep the reader from becoming bored or distracted.
  • Turn your surveys into dollars: The completed surveys that you will get back are extremely valuable. They reveal important information about your publication and what readers want out of it. You can use these surveys to your advantage by offering them to advertisers.
Surveys are an important tool to any niche publication and should be paid proper attention. If you have found your survey results are turning up less than impressive, try tweaking with a few of these tips.

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Use Your e-Newsletter to Improve SEO!



 

Check out these tips from Web Guru Ryan Dohrn on how to use your e-newsletter to improve SEO!

 

This post is part of our monthly Vitamin E(newsletter) – a newsletter all about e-newsletters. To read more from this month’s e-newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips & Myths (Part 2)

AntioxiDesign: What Pintarest Can Teach Us About e-Newsletter Design

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk Up Your e-Newsletter (Part 2)

Carl’s Capsules: Have You Filled Out Your Own Contact/Subscribe Form Lately?

e-News of the Month: Pregnancy Weekly

(r)e-Run of the Month: e-Newsletter Revenue Generation

eToon: Free Doughnuts

eTube: Use Your e-Newsletter to Boost SEO!