Ad Sales Roundup: The Best of Bonnie



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Gear up for 2014 with these real world ad sales tips from an ad sales pro.

As we wind down 2013, we’d like to thank our guest bloggers. When the ad sales pros in our niche magazine world share their nuggets of wisdom, it helps everyone.

This post features the 2013 contributions of Bonnie Dodson, long-time ad sales pro and niche media enthusiast. (Thank you for being so prompt and easy to work with.) With Bonnie’s advice you will be on track to sell more integrated print and online magazine advertising in the coming year, and have more fun doing it, too.

Here’s some of Bonnie’s ad sales advice so yo can jump start the new year: [Read more…]

Top Tips for Marketers in 2014



Kimberly Whitler of Forbes recently consulted with top CMOs, authors, CEOs, and a Dean to ask them to provide their top marketing tips for 2014. The experts’ answers ranged from career to management to marketing advice. With the fast-paced evolution of marketing, media channels and mobile devices today, niche magazine publishers large and small are focusing even more on where best to focus their “marketing” energies.

Here’s a snapshot of the top tips from the marketing experts:

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Here’s some great advice from
marketing experts.

1)   Is your head in the cloud(s)? Marketers need to think cloud first—as in all the channels, systems, media and networks. Look at them in a holistic way first before focusing on just one area.

2)   Take Action: Don’t force a marketing campaign to completion if it’s not working. Make some changes!

3)   Keep up: You have to get out of the office and learn new things. And network. So sign up for conferences, webinars and other educational opportunities. Learn from your peers.

4)   Seize the opportunity: All marketers need to use Google Analytics. Take full advantage of this valuable tool so you can become more knowledgeable about your niche and your readers.

5)   Grow upward: Believe it or not, you don’t have to sacrifice profit for growth. Figure out a way to do both at the same time.

The bonus tip below could have been written by Joe Pulizzi, the godfather of content marketing and recent author of Epic Content Marketing. Joe understood the power of content back when everyone else was still focused on whether social media was even a viable marketing channel.

Bonus tip from the experts: Drive revenue from (great) content: The power of superior content lies in the rich data you get from your readers. Plain and simple. Ensure you have the right systems in place to capture that data and the right “Insight Directors” in place to leverage the data and create deeper connections to your readers.

Here’s Whitler’s post if you want to read more: 5 Tips for Marketers in 2014

Want to learn from expert speakers and even your peers in 2014? Check out the Niche Media Conference in Charleston in February. Niche Media Conference 2014

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Diana Landau, Niche Content WranglerAbout this blogger: Diana Landau is Content Wrangler of 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

Niche Magazines As Influencers: Study on Shoppers’ Buying Habits



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What’s the perfect gift for everyone this holiday season?
A niche magazine, of course!

As you hurriedly finish up the frantic, last-minute bonanza that is all that holiday shopping, here’s an interesting FYI about what influences shoppers.

Niche publisher Peggy Malecki of Natural Awakenings in Chicago recently shared with us an interesting study and handy infographic on buyers’ shopping habits shared from Shopzilla.  6,900 shoppers were polled about their buying habits and what influences them to purchase.

The GREAT news is 28% of all shoppers are influenced by—you guessed it—magazines.

Here are some interesting study stats:

* Social shopping really only exists with Gen Y: Far more influenced by their friends (and inclined to shop with them), than other generations.

* Men loved to shop with their wives: Women, not so much. (34% vs. 14%)

* Those with the HHI of 150K+ are most influenced by magazines (36% vs. 28% of general n); Gen Y population most influenced by Blogs (12% vs. 5% of general population).

* When it comes to shopping, social primarily influences Women and Gen Y, though falls far behind other sources. (Pinterest & Facebook peak at about 20% with Gen Y.)

* Men much more likely to look for pre-purchase approval (29% vs. 19% of women).

* Baby Boomers most likely to cite children as a favored shopping companion; Gen Y most likely to cite “mother.” Survey says: Nobody likes to shop with their mother-in-law.

Link to study & infographic here: http://bit.ly/1jEzTIK

Of course, studies can lead to broad conclusions. Especially since we actually like our mother-in-law and think shopping with her is super-fun.

Editor’s note: There will be no post on Dec.25th-26th.

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Diana Landau, Niche Content WranglerAbout this blogger: Diana Landau is Content Wrangler of 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.

 

***************

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

Use an Integrated Media Plan to Help Your Advertisers Expand Their Reach



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No more selling ads. It’s about selling an integrated media plan customized to your advertiser.

When I started out in advertising sales, I sold ads.

I sold ads very simply—my advertisers wanted to reach the audience who picks up my print magazine, and I sold them that ad. I spent hours talking about the demographics of the print reader. Once the prospect bought an ad, we talked about their creative, and wham, they were published in my publication.

I don’t sell ads anymore. You shouldn’t either.

Media sales is no longer about a “one-off ad.” The main difference in selling in today’s climate is that you never know how readers will access your magazine. Today’s consumers are more mobile than ever. They are reading magazines, but they could be accessing them in print, online, through a blog, or fan page—and on multiple devices.

The key is to help your advertisers understand why an integrated marketing plan is vital to their business success. How do you do that? You tell them you can customize highly-integrated media packages to ensure your advertisers are everywhere their readers are. [Read more…]

Niche Notes – A Bright Future for Niche Magazines!



Niche Media's Grand Poobah Carl landau

Niche magazines have a bright future! We’ve got two new events to help niche publishers find new revenue streams!

It’s been a pretty damn good year for niche media companies overall. Remember it was only 5 years ago that we were all experiencing the financial meltdown and the sky was falling. In 2013, many of our publishers are reporting all time record revenues and profits. Publishers are actually creating new properties left and right now – mostly online and live events.

The percent of revenue driving from online properties continues to grow. Print is holding its own and still thriving in many of the niche markets. Readers and advertisers want more and more niche segmentation. The more specific a market the better these days!

We’ve had by far our best year at Niche Media: Record attendance and sponsorship at our Niche Media Conference and Niche Digital Conference and we added the Niche CEO Summit in Dana Point, CA. It was a huge success, so  we’re going to make an annual event! We will be moving it to the the Midwest this May. Details to come very soon. Plus we’re announcing at the end of this week a brand new “event-about-events” called Niche EventFest. It will take place in New Orleans in November 2014.

Thanks so much to the niche staffers that make my job so much fun everyday–Holly, Scott, Steph, Bekah, Nancy, Ryan, Diana, Matt and my right hand person Robyn that has made me look good for 8 years!!!

I just want to thank all the wonderful niche publishers and sponsors for all the support and encouragement we get from you every day. Have a great holiday season. Can’t wait to to see you somewhere in 2014!

Happy Niche Holidays to All!

Cheers,

Carl Landau
Grand Poobah
Niche Media [Read more…]

Want to Master Your Financials? Here’s How to Start



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Financial expert Jim Zielinski tells us how to get on the right track toward success.

Is careful examining and monitoring a magazine’s financial operation the FUN part of publishing? Probably not—at least for most of us.

Financial expert Jim Zielinski consults with niche media companies, large and small, about the best way to understand their financials.

Once you see what effective reporting of your numbers can do for your media company, you’ll see your business in a whole new light. On a product-by-product basis or overall, taking a deep dive into the numbers can tell you where to invest, where to cut, and where to allocate resources.

We asked Jim to give us some pointers on steering your media business in the right direction:

Niche Media HQ: Why do you think some niche magazine publishers find it hard to know exactly what their financials say? What are 3 steps they can take today to understand their financials better? [Read more…]

Publishing and Ad Sales Tips for the End of the Year!



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Ad sales slow down a bit this time of year. Use these 5 tips from Carl to be ready for 2014.

I can’t believe we’re down to just a hand full of days left in 2013! This time of the year is slooowww in the ad sales and publishing games. You’re hard pressed to find clients that are around to chat up. And no one really is in the mood to hear the latest ad sales ideas, about your new event, or whatever new ideas you have. But don’t let this slow time of the year get away without getting ready for a bright 2014. A little prep now will lay the groundwork for an amazing year!

1. Write a super short email to every client thanking your clients for their business. Just one “standard biz” sentence along with one sentence that is personalized, for each account. A little heartfelt thank you can go a long way with building your relationship with clients.

2. Clean up your ad sales database. You’re so busy every week. Why not take a day and really get rid of the “dead” accounts and add some of those new prospects you’ve been meaning to include for the past few months.

3. Clean house. It’s been a crazy year – take some time for cleaning up your computer desktop AND your actual physical desk that I’m sure are both a total mess at this point. An organized desk helps create an organized mind. [Read more…]

Naughty or Nice? A Publisher’s Guide to Breaking the Rules



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CEO and Publisher Rebecca Wesson Darwin shares her insights with us on breaking the rules.

With such a wonderfully provocative title, how could Garden & Gun not be a rule breaker? Rebecca Wesson Darwin, CEO and Publisher of Garden and Gun, is also rule-breaker in her own right who was the first female publisher of the New Yorker.  After holding senior roles at GQ, Fortune and Mirabella, Darwin found herself living in Charleston, SC, outside the bustling fray of the New York media world – mother of two and the wife of a preacher.

Instead of sipping tea on the porch, she filled a void in the marketplace by launching a lifestyle magazine like no other! Darwin launched a national magazine focused on Southern lifestyle, Garden & Gun has built its success on an alternative circulation strategy and an unapologetic love of lush paper, good writing, and world-class photography.  We asked her to share with us some of her secrets for publishing success: how to think big when you are starting small, how to use (or not use) research when launching, and tips on growing a successful niche.

Niche Media HQ: What 3 things niche publishers could do today to start growing their business? [Read more…]

Stop Blowing Up Your Ad Sales Calls



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Here are some tips from Ad Sales Guru Ryan Dohrn on how to stop blowing up your ad sales calls.

I was watching my 11 year-old son the other day. He was slowly blowing up a red balloon. I could see what was going to happen. There was an explosion looming, I just knew it. As the balloon neared the verge of total expansion, I cringed. POP!

Now picture this: You have a meeting with a prospect and chit chat about the weather. Then you take a deep breath and present all you have to offer. The advertiser starts out on the edge of their chair and then as the presentation builds, they sit back further and further as you ramble on and on about the great marketing options they have to grow the advertiser’s business. Blah, blah blah…..and the expression on the advertiser’s face looks like it will…..POP!

Here is the problem: Sales reps go through some type of ad sales training and start making sales calls. Armed with their new pitch, they show up……and then blow up.

How much hot air can you bluster on a sales call before the advertiser’s attention floats away? Instead, try these tips from my ad sales training: [Read more…]

Optimize Market Perceptions to Maximize your Media Company’s Valuation



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Thinking about selling your media business? Here’s some sound advice from Media Investment Banker
Michael Alcamo.

Considering a sale of your niche media business, but not sure how to get your highest and best price – while also keeping your team focused on growth?  We recently consulted Michael Alcamo, President of media investment bank M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc. and a popular speaker at our Niche Media conferences. In this post, Michael will address Key #5, Maximizing Market Perceptions.

When thinking ahead to a sale in twelve to eighteen months, it’s critical to condition the market of potentially interested purchasers.

Here are five important steps you can take to optimize the perception of your business among the M&A staffs of the most relevant buyers.

1.  Labeling is Key.  

The public profile of your business should reflect your operations and your ambitions. Consider the way the world perceives you – starting with your name.

If, for example, your business owns a series of education and conference products that have grown larger than your legacy print platform, then make sure this is reflected in your business trade style.  The same holds true if your ambitions lie in developing conferences and meetings. [Read more…]