Sponsored Webinars Done Right can be Profit Powerhouses for Publishers!


Mike Agron tells us how sponsored webinars done right can be a source of lead generation and a new, valuable revenue stream.

Webinars are a super-powerful demand generation tool for niche publishers.

Offering sponsored webinars is a no-brainer: they extend your advertiser’s brand cost-effectively while creating a new revenue stream.

But there’s a catchyou’ve got to do a webinar right in order for it to be effective – from targeting and attracting the right audience to keeping them engaged and continuing the conversation after it’s all over.

Webinar expert Mike Agron is leading a session on webinars at the upcoming Niche Digital Conference in Nashville this fall and is leading Niche Media’s first-ever webinar July 11 on how publishers can use webinars to make money and build audience (and why they don’t have to suck). We checked in with Mike to get his take on what’s happening with sponsored webinars and why niche publishers should take advantage of this add-on revenue stream.

Niche Media HQ: What are the three most important things for publishers to remember when setting up sponsored demand generation webinars?

Mike Agron: First, as trusted advisers to their readers, they should recognize that they have an incredible opportunity to monetize the sales of sponsored webinars by adding high value for the sponsor AND high impact for their audience. It’s bringing people together across multiple geographies and time zones to discuss and share insights, innovations and best practices.  What’s important to recognize is that much of this information is probably timely content from industry experts and thought leaders that they are publishing or going to publish. A webinar is a great vehicle to “breathe life” into ordinary content such as research reports, case studies, and white papers, etc.

Second, publishers are aware of changes in industry standards and compliance and can use webinars to inform their readers. Think educational tool vs sales pitch to be successful.

Third, there is a big difference between reading a white paper on a website and participating in an interactive webinar with Q&A. Webinars engage people in the learning process and create conversations, making them feel they are part of the experience in real-time. [Read more…]

The Ad Sales Prospecting Love-Hate Relationship with LinkedIn

Good idea, Bad idea

Good idea: using LinkedIn for ad sales prospecting. Bad idea: letting it eat valuable time that could be used selling!

I remember in early 2003 starting to get these requests from colleagues about joining LinkedIn

I had no idea what it was. But in general, I was kinda annoyed by the messages and had no idea why I’d like to be part of it.

icon_linkedin30x30LinkedIn has evolved. I guess I have now, too. For the most part, I LOVE LinkedIn. I LOVE the ways it can provide an edge when I’m selling and promoting, but I HATE how it becomes a time sink and distraction if it isn’t used right.

I routinely use this social media in many ways. For now, let’s focus on what sales people should be doing with it and what they should not be doing with it. [Read more…]

Creative Event and Add-On Strategies Launch A New Magazine

Small Business Digest

Small Business Digest teamed up with a trade show and got creative with add-ons to open new doors for the magazine

Editors Note: This is the 2nd feature of Niche Media HQ’s Summer of Niche Magazines. We’ll be featuring niche magazines and their great ideas all summer long!

Who: Donald Mazzella,COO and Editorial Director of Information Strategies, Inc.
Publication: Small Business Digest
Great Idea: The show really does go on—This B2B publisher launched a new niche magazine through an existing successful trade event and opened up even more add-on advertising opportunities.

 In Donald’s own words:

 “So how did Small Business Monthly launch a new niche magazine? We teamed with an established Expo whose visitors were our targeted niche and became the official program for the show by inserting the agenda in the regular issue.”

“We also teamed up with the sales group to offer a combo deal on booth and advertising in the edition.  The show gains visibility with our magazine, Small Business Digest and its 30+K readers; the magazine is put in the hands of 6,000 attendees and exhibitors who see the magazine. These event attendees can also be potential future advertisers.[Read more…]

How to Recruit and Retain an Ad Sales Rock Star


Pump it up by recruiting and retaining ad sales rock stars.

Every magazine publisher wants to find and retain great salespeople.

Sales Rock Stars are high-energy, self-starting, persistent, creative, engaging, hungry and competitive. And they must be able to quickly build rapport with others. But how do you find them, and then how do you keep them?

Fred Parry, President and Publisher of Inside Columbia, gave niche magazine publishers a road map to finding and keeping the ad sales rock star earlier at the Niche Magazine conference earlier this year. We thought it’s worth sharing again.

Think of it as a recruitment refresh.

Good places to recruit ad sales rock stars:

  1.  Ask your own customers: Often your best customers deal with many ad sales people and they hear who’s out there and who’s good. Don’t underestimate word-of-mouth.
  2.  LinkedIn: Don’t just look for profiles. See who is participating in professional industry groups and what they have to say. [Read more…]

Tablets and Smartphones and Websites, Oh My! Bird Watcher’s Digest’s Journey to Multi-Device-Friendly Content


Publisher Bill Thompson III dove into the digital realm with great success and shares his insights with us.

Many niche publishers are running around in crazy circles trying to figure out a strategy to get their publication onto tablets and other mobile devices. Many of them make hasty decisions and sign up with the first service provider they find. Or they sit immobile, overwhelmed by creating a multi-device-friendly program. Can tablet subscription models drive revenue? Or is true tablet value in cross-platform advertising? In what formats do our readers really want our content? And will HTML 5 be the holy grail?

Only one thing is certain: NOBODY has this stuff totally figured out. But some niche publishers are blazing trails and inviting others to follow. In a highly interactive roundtable session at the upcoming Niche Digital Conference, Bill Thompson III, Editor and Co-Publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest, will co-lead Tablet Truths: Headless Chicken Freakout Time.

Bill is an unapologetic futurist who dove into the digital realm and in this interview he shares with us what’s working, what’s not, and where their programs are headed next.

Niche Media HQ: As a publisher who has created successful multi-device-friendly platforms, what advice can you give other  niche publishers out there about getting started? Anything you would have done differently?

BT3: You can do a lot yourself now. When we first started, no one was really doing it. We came into a mobile strategy earlier in the game—we would call digital publishing solutions providers and no one would call us back. (That non-response actually added to my paranoia that we had somehow missed the train.) [Read more…]

How Do Ad Sales Reps Win Love from Media Buyers?


Here’s some great tips from Sue Partyke/Owner of Partyke Communications on how to get some media buyer love.

As an ad sales person, how do you connect with media buyers? What can you do to get through, and what should you NEVER do? Well, I can tell you – I’ve been in B2B, niche and association magazines for 25 years. My sister owned her own media buying firm for 25 years, so you can imagine the conversations we’ve had over the years! Remember Point/Counterpoint?

Here’s how you win love from media buyers and sell more advertising!

Tip 1 – Camp Niche Ad Sales trainer Ryan Dohrn is right about being nice to the “baby media buyers” who usually screen calls. Unless you sell for Sports Illustrated or Vogue, odds are you’ll get a trainee when you call. As a sales person, I do everything I can to help them. For example, when I represent an industry publication that uses lots of technical terms, I put together a glossary of terms/acronyms and include it with any media kit that’s going to an agency. I’ve actually gotten flowers… [Read more…]

There Are No Flops – Only Chances to Revitalize Your Magazine!

IndustrialWeighandMeasureEditors Note: This is the first feature of Niche Media HQ’s Summer of Niche Magazines. We’ll be featuring niche magazines and their great ideas all summer long!

Who: Dave Mathieu, Industrial Weigh & Measure
Great Idea: When life gives you lemons…don’t be afraid to create a new recipe for lemonade. Dave took a struggling B2B magazine and an industry event that flopped and turned it into an opportunity to experiment with size, page count, ad sizes, and audience and ended up with a revitalized  and re-branded magazine!

In Dave’s own words:

“I’m the publisher of a small magazine formerly called Weighing & Measurement that has been representing the Scale Industry since 1914.  After hosting a trade show for Scale Industry Dealers in Oct. 2011, it was a complete flop. I sold 23 booth spaces and had only 25 attendees.”

“I was ready to shutter the magazine.  I figured, what the heck–it’s dead now for sure–NONE of these vendors are going to advertise after this.” [Read more…]

Maximize the Potential of Your Magazine’s Online Advertising by Transforming Your Relationship with Media Buyers


Nancy O’Brien, Ad Sales Guru and Niche Digital Conference Speaker, gives us the skinny on how to maximize the potential of online advertising.

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Nancy O’Brien, Ad Sales Superstar for Aviation International News, about how to maximize the potential of your magazine’s online advertising. She’s also a B2B publishing vet and Niche Digital Conference Speaker for the Media Buyers Speak Out about Buying Online Advertising session this fall in Nashville.

Niche Media: So the relationship between publishers and media buyers is getting more complicated. Media Buyers are asking for much more online data. Can you give us a real-world example of how online data is better now? How can Ad Sales Reps use this detailed data best to get their foot in the door with a media buyer?

Nancy O: Well, two things to keep in mind are that the metrics are SO much better now. You can drill down into all kinds of information. Plus, your number of online visitors is usually much bigger than anything in print now. In my magazine, for example, the website has 4x the readership vs. print. That’s powerful stuff. [Read more…]

Use Customer Workflow Integration to Make Your Magazine Indispensable to Readers! (Ed Coburn Interview)

Interview with Niche Digital Conference keynote speaker Ed Coburn on Customer Workflow Integration for niche magazines

Interview with Niche Digital Conference keynote speaker Ed Coburn on Customer Workflow Integration for niche magazines

As a niche magazine publisher, is there a way you can become absolutely indispensable to your readers? A way to become an automatic and permanent part of their lives? Ed Coburn, Publishing Director of Harvard Health Publications, thinks he has the answer: customer workflow integration. It’s an idea that can transform your relationship with your readers. So what the heck is it?

Have your content available to readers where and when it is relevant to what they are doing. It is content in context information when people need it where they need it. Dont’ let “workflow” fool you – this isn’t just for B2B publications. Across the board people are less willing to take time our of what they are doing in their work day or recreation time to research something on a particular topic. [Read more…]

Collaborate with a Media Partner to Expand Your Magazine’s Market


The right partnerships can make you more successful.

Andrew Davis is the author of Brandscaping and a popular Niche Digital Conference speaker. He thinks niche publishers should think more like TV execs to brand their content differently for different markets (like how all shows on Animal Planet share a theme, but aren’t all aimed at the same audience) and “…unleash the power of partnerships.” How does this work? Here’s an example of how niche magazine Our Health used partnerships to increase revenue, visibility, and reach:

When Our Health identified opportunities to increase coverage for Our Health advertisers, they decided to engage another media organization as a partner. [Read more…]