A Thankgiving Story: Niche Your Niche!



Anyone who reads our blog knows by now that we shout “Niche Your Niche!” from the hilltops all the time.      ID-100119091

Imagine this: If you had a niche magazine called Thanksgiving and you only offered mashed potato content to all your readers, you would have missed the Mayflower boat.

If the publisher of Thanksgiving magazine wants to be successful, he/she needs to understand that they probably have stuffing readers and pie readers and well, some crunchy green bean readers too. Time to carve out new niches within your niche!

Still not sure? Here’s our proof-in-the-bread-pudding:

We polled the Niche Media HQ Team: What’s Your Favorite Dish at Thanksgiving? [Read more…]

Turn Audience Research and Analytics Into Magazine Revenue Gold!



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Bryan Welch, CEO of Ogden Publications, Inc is a keynote speaker for us at the Niche Media Conference in February. He shares some insights with us.

Check out these impressive stats: Over the past decade, Mother Earth News has attracted the most engaged audience in North America, consistently recording the fastest growth rates; the most time spent reading; and the highest popularity figures of all North America’s major magazines. Over the past five years the magazine has tripled the size of its audience!

What kind of magic are they working over there?

Bryan Welch is Publisher and Editorial Director for Ogden Publications, which includes Mother Earth News and Utne Reader (among others.) And lucky for us–he is a Niche Media Conference Keynote Speaker for us in Charleston in February.

He will show us how his team uses reader data to constantly refine the stories, vocabulary and graphics of their magazines to appeal to more readers and to establish deeper bonds with their audiences.

We checked in with Bryan last week and asked him to share with our niche publishers how to apply this approach to their own niche, deepen their connection to their readers, and grow revenues.

Niche Media HQ: How have analytics helped to drive your huge jump in newsstand sales, etc? Can you give us a couple of examples?

BW: About 10 years ago we began surveying our audiences regularly to ask their opinions of just about every facet of our products: topics, terminology, headlines, sell lines, photos, cover design and others. When we used the survey results to direct our own decision-making, we saw immediate results at the bottom line in the form of improved newsstand sales and engagement metrics. [Read more…]

Stop “Selling” to Sell More Magazine Advertising!



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Stop the slick sales pitching and start listening to your prospects if you want sales results.

That’s right—ad salespeople need to stop selling and start building customer relationships instead. If you have been reading our blog, you know by now we say this quite frequently. Ryan Dohrn just wrote about it again in Ditch the Sales Pitch. And we all encounter salespeople in our daily life that we wish possessed the skills to help customers.

The Grand Poobah and I went car shopping recently. We had a terrible experience with the car salesman. We couldn’t help thinking that this poor guy was doing everything wrong, that he didn’t even understand the basic fundamentals of sales. We cringed for him. And he definitely didn’t sell us a car that day. That bad experience inspired us to share what sales people can do to keep customers happier and sell more in the bargain!

These 7 fundamentals apply to any salesperson in any business:

1. DON’T Info Dump! The moment we meet you, pleeaassse don’t tell us in detail about every single product you offer, especially the features that don’t make sense for us.

2. DO ask qualifying questions first: Start by learning more about your prospect. Ask us why we are interested, what are we looking for, why? What isn’t working now for us? Use that to tailor the products and services to your prospect.

3. DON’T keep trying to sell us: Don’t keep telling us about the super-duper-special-deal-of -the-month that your employer is pushing if we say we don’t want it. Think about building a long-term relationship, not just about the next issue deadline.

4. DON’T assume: Don’t automatically think your deadline fits with our timeline. Ask what works best for us! This goes back to sales fundamentals: probing questions and research!

5. DO know your pricing: Any time you hesitate, your prospect knows the price is going to go down from what you eventually state. You need to earn your prospect’s trust by being confident in your pricing and your product.

6. DO listen to the prospect’s questions: Sometimes salespeople are so on auto-pilot with their responses that they don’t even answer the question correctly. Huh?

7. DO end the meeting graciously: Even if the prospect doesn’t buy today, shake their hands, let them know you will follow up soon.

If you follow these basics, you can begin to build a relationship with your prospects. By helping them achieve their goals, your prospects will trust you—and that leads to repeat, happy customers and long-term success.

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Diana Landau, Niche Content WranglerAbout this blogger: Diana Landau is Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast who sometimes gets carried away.

 

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Charleston’s Calling! Your Guide to Fun, Food, and Famous Southern Hospitality



Ooooh boy, Charleston has some really fun stuff!  Foodie? Check. Outdoor recreation nut? Check. History Buff? Check. And everything in between, too! Here’s some inspiration to take in the sights, smells and sounds of “The Holy City” when you come to Charleston for the Niche Media Conference in February.

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The Swamp Fox paid a little visit to Niche Media HQ! He’ll show you around to all the best places in Charleston!

First, there is darn tasty shrimp and grits right downstairs in the Frances Marion Hotel (Conference HQ) at the Swamp Fox. We loved it so much we ordered two helpings.

Fab dining: FIG and HUSK. Creativity and local love in every bite, you won’t be disappointed.

There are so many bars and fun restaurants to choose from in downtown Charleston, it’ll make your head spin. We happen to love Closed For Business, a funky, eclectic bar just about a 10 min walk from the hotel. [Read more…]

Turbocharge Your Media Company’s Product Mix to Achieve a Maximum Valuation



We often discuss with an owner the Six Keys to achieving the highest and best valuation.  These comprise: 1) employee talent, 2) operations, 3) financials, 4) products, 5) all-important market perceptions, and 6) the components of valuation.

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Turbocharge your product mix–Michael Alcamo tells us how.

Today we’ll explore Key 4: 

Optimizing Your Mix of Products and Revenue

A successful and valuable media business is one that is an important partner to its clients and their industry.   If you are thinking ahead to a business sale in twelve to eighteen months, here are four priorities that can optimize your product mix, and help you achieve a highest and best sale value:

(Editor’s Note: Even if you aren’t planning on selling your media company, you should be using these four strategies to increase revenue and build up your business!)

1.  Niche out your key digital properties.

If you own one or two central media properties, try to niche-out those properties into multiple, profitable properties.  By querying and segmenting samples of your list, you can create interesting and useful content in new, niche categories.   Ensure that all new readers identify their interests, so you can understand and serve niche audiences.

Increasing your digital revenue will make a big difference in company valuation, because digital businesses receive a higher valuation multiple on exit.  And, because of its low capital costs, low cost-of-goods-sold, and its typically high growth rate, digital revenue is generally accorded a revenue multiple, rather than an EBITDA multiple.  In fact, in a growing, well-capitalized category, digital revenue can see a valuation multiple of at least 3x, if not more.  (Recall that LinkedIn went public at 35 x revenue.) [Read more…]

Ask the Magazine Ad Sales Guru #1: Great Prospects!



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Have a question? Ask these Ad Sales Pros for their insights.

We asked three Ad Sales Gurus to chat with us about ad sales. What golden nuggets of ad sales wisdom can they share with our readers?

Lucky for us, this content wrangler roped ‘em in.  Here’s the first question:

Niche Media HQ: What is your favorite type of ad sales prospect to deal with and why?

Ryan:I like an ad prospect that has many products and services to market.  Companies that are all about branding seem, at first glance, to be easier clients.  But I find that not to be true all the time. Companies with various products and services tend to change their ads often and you can really see some nice ROI over the long haul advertising campaign.” [Read more…]

Thinking Digital? REALTOR® Magazine to Offer “Digital Only” Subscription Option



Thinking about offering your magazine’s readers a digital-only option, but not sure if you should? REALTOR® Magazine is taking the leap – here’s how and why they chose to do it now: Realtor COVER Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 2.55.56 PM copy

REALTOR® Magazine, published by the National Association of REALTORS®, serves as “the business tool for real estate professionals.” This month the magazine will launch a “Digital Only” option for readers who don’t want print.

“Our goal is to find the sweet spot where we save money on printing and postage without eroding our advertising revenue,” says Stacey Moncrieff, vice president, Business-to-Business Communications.

REALTOR® Magazine didn’t rush to go digital. The magazine’s editors already produce a robust website. Even zoomable, linkable text and the ability to embed videos didn’t convince them that digital editions were user-friendly enough, Moncrieff says. It wasn’t until fall 2012 that REALTOR® Magazine added a digital edition. [Read more…]

Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Vintage Camper Trailers News



Each month we highlight a fantastic magazine that really knows its niche. This month’s pick: Vintage Camper Trailers News! Issue 6 cover

Paul and Caroline Lacitinola had no idea that the purchase of a 1962 DeVille trailer seven years ago would lead them to publishing the Vintage Camper Trailers News. When they bought their first trailer they were simply looking for a hobby they could enjoy with their children. As classic car enthusiasts it didn’t take long to realize that the old trailer also received tons of attention and positive comments.

Paul thought the vintage trailers were an obvious addition to the classic car scene and started submitting articles about vintage camper trailers to the “The Cruzin News”. He has not missed an issue deadline in six years.

It didn’t take long for other trailer collectors to contact Paul after reading the articles. Many of these hobbyists had been collecting for several years and they welcomed the Lacitinolas into their loosely organized group. [Read more…]

Hot Ad Sales Revenue Trends for Magazine Media



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Check out these positive trends in ad sales rom MPA’s Q3 report.

Sure, the economy is showing signs of improvement and advertising in general is up. But we think the real driver of niche magazine success is that the rapidly changing media landscape is demanding more and more targeted content–and that is exactly what niche magazines provide!

The market of today is perfect for niche media companies.

Need proof? According to the MPA Association of Magazine Media, their recent 3rd quarter PIB release shows that marketers continue to increase their commitment to magazine media across platforms.  In addition, PIB-member consumer magazine titles show print improving and tablet ad units with significant gains in Q3.

Here’s are 5 snapshot stats worth noting: [Read more…]

Networking & Strategy for Niche Media CEOs at the Niche CEO Summit!



If you are a CEO of a successful niche media business, where can you meet with your peers, hear from industry thought-leaders and NOT attend a big conference?

We have created the first ever Niche CEO Summit, a 1 ½-day roundtable for 50 successful niche publishers. The Deadline is today!

This will NOT be a traditional conference format:CEO-logo-hi_web

  • Our Fab Four speakers will lead their sessions informally with plenty of time for discussion.
  • The “board room” sessions will be limited to 12 CEOs each and a group leader. They will broken out by type of media company (B2B, Consumer, and Association) and by topic groups. This will be a terrific environment for sharing ideas and generating new ones.

When? Wed-Thurs, December 4th-5th

Where? The beautiful Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa in southern California

You can sign up here. [Read more…]