Summer of Niche: Timing is Everything for Compelling Content!



Annual Contracts and Compensation Issue-PracticeLink Magazine

Timing is everything…especially with your themed issues. Make the most of it!

Of course your magazine has tons of great niche content, but does your audience engagement seem a little flat? Is your team pondering ways to reach your readership in more meaningful ways?

Many publications have themed issues, but here’s a niche magazine with a great idea: PracticeLink Magazine, a career advancement resource for new and job-seeking physicians, took all the myriad content ideas they had and focused them into four themes: Contracts and Compensation; Quality of Life; Job Search and Interview.  These four themes were right-timed as special issues to meet the needs of their readers’ job search.

Niche Media HQ: What inspired your magazine to create four themed issues? Why do you think it works?

We had a lot of great content, but the timing was happenstance. How could we make it easier for physicians to digest the information? How could we make it easier to sell? How could we make each issue one that advertisers didn’t want to miss?

For PracticeLink Magazine, the answer was themed issues. We organized our quarterly issues so that the content arrives right as physicians in training are about to undertake that step in their job search. This increased our relevance to readers, which in turn increased the desire of advertisers to participate. It also helped us organize our marketing efforts around those same themes.

Niche Media HQ: Can you share with us a few details about the results, such as readership increases, more advertising sold, increased revenue, etc?

Our first complete year of themed issues just resulted in being named the American Society of Healthcare Editors’ Publication of the Year! We’re a controlled circ publication, so our readership is constant—but we’ve seen our reader involvement increase. We hear more than ever from the physicians we reach and there is much more engagement. Enough feedback, actually, that we’ve started showcasing user testimonials in our magazine each quarter. 

So yes, maybe your magazine has themed issues throughout the year already. But take PracticeLink’s example and take a look at how those themed issues can be organized and timed to meet your readership’s needs. Are you putting the audience first vs your magazine’s priorities? Give it a try, we bet you will be happy with the results!

More about Laura & PracticeLink: Laura Jeanne Hammond is editor of the quarterly PracticeLink Magazine, which is read by 85,000 residents, fellows and practicing physicians each quarter. The magazine is the companion publication to PracticeLink.com, the most widely used online physician job bank.

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Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

About this blogger: Diana Landau is the 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 Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

A Re-branding Success Story from The Daily Tea



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Rob O’ Regan profile’s “The Daily Tea’s” robust transformation.

Do you have a super-strong print audience but your growth stats have been remaining flat? It’s all about transformation, folks.  Niche media companies (and most media companies for that matter) are going through a holistic change of their product line-up. It’s about the evolution of the brand.      

For many niche publishers, taking the bold step to re-brand just makes sense.

Rob O’Regan, Editorial Director at eMedia Vitals, gives us a great example of a successful niche media company re-branding and re-positioning themselves to expand the reach to newer audiences and deepen the connection to their existing strong audience base. Plus there were strong stats that compelled them to experiment further and find new ways to develop the next generation of their passionate audience.

Rob profiles The Daily Tea, formerly Tea Magazine. The magazine replaced the existing print-focused business model with a digital strategy based on native advertising and sponsored content.

There were 3 important elements in making that transformation happen:

1. Educating existing advertisers about why native ads were a better way forward than traditional banner advertising.

2. Re-thinking paid content formats to spark connection vs the same dry, boring stuff.

3. Providing marketing services to advertisers for native ad creative development.

Here’s Rob’s insightful post, which gives you some of the real nuts and bolts about how Chief Media Officer Graham Kilshaw and The Daily Tea are re-strategizing for success:

Small publisher makes big bet native advertising

 

Editor’s Note: There will be no blog post due on Monday, May 26th due to the holiday.  

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Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

About this blogger: Diana Landau is the 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 Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Andy Clurman on Going Mobile & the Value of Quality Print



Niche digital success is all about finding the secret, unmet interests of your target audience. And the great news is that publishers have more ways than ever before to serve our readers — from print, multi-media, live events, education, and services… the opportunities are limitless.

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Media superstar Andy Clurman will be one of the keynote speakers at the NDC this fall.

With that in mind, we are very pleased to announce that one of our keynotes at the Niche Digital Conference in Minneapolis Sept. 29-Oct. 1st is Andy Clurman, President and COO of Active Interest Media.

We are able to get him to pause for a moment to share some of his insights with us:

Niche Media HQ: Can you share with our niche publishers what strategies you have used to successfully kickstart digital subscription growth? Can you give us a couple of examples of lessons learned?

Andy Clurman: Launching in to digital magazine apps brought all of the questions and quandaries of any new product introduction.  All this was further complicated by the array of platforms and partners eager to work with us in bringing our magazines to the digital market. Complexity + Confusion ultimately = Inertia and we couldn’t seem to get anything better than a digital replica out the door.  

Finally we decided to resort to our go-to option of last resort and throw money at the problem. Rather than throw it to consultants or vendors however, we put up a sizable five-figure prize for our own staff to imagine and execute their best idea for a multi-media enhanced digital edition APP.  All five of our groups came up with amazing products using different platforms and approaches.  

We learned more collectively from this experience than we could have in months of single experimentation and underwrote a hell of a good party for the winning team. Lesson learned? Give your own team the option and motivation to innovate.

Niche Media HQ: You are going to be speaking at the NDC about how “niche print is the new vinyl.” What exactly do you mean by that? 

Andy:   Simply put, we’re finding readers showing a growing appreciation for beautifully produced print products as a counter to an increasingly digital world; not unlike the recent resurgence in the interest in vinyl records from music aficionados.

Niche Media HQ: What do you see trending in the digital realm that niche publishers should check out?

Andy:  Video, mobile, programmatic ad buying and selling….

It’s easy to see from Andy’s insights that the digital realm is constantly evolving. Niche publishers are pioneering new media strategies, often with successful results. Sharing lessons learned strengthens our niche media community!

Editor’s note: Want to learn more? Check out the Niche Digital Conference this fall in Minneapolis.

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More about Andy:  Andy Clurman, President and COO of Active Interest Media, is the poster child for niche media success, leading digital strategy for 50 special interest magazines and related consumer shows, internet sites and books.

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Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

About this blogger: Diana Landau is the 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.

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

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 Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

 

 

The Editor/Salesperson Conundrum – Say Hello to the Visioneer



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What?? An editor with you on a sales call? Tim Hermes tells us why it can help you and your brand be successful.

It’s a famous challenge. Editors and staff writers can be a huge asset to a salesperson, particularly if they have good “face” in the market. After all, as far as representing your brand, they often feel they walk the earth as giants. And often they do.

Editors are notoriously prickly about going on sales calls with reps. The whole church-and-state thing, you know. But there is a way that you can solicit help from an editor – heck maybe even get them to join a sales call – by appealing to their vision.

So make your editor your visioneer.  Yeah, it’s a made-up word, but I like to think of a “visioneer” as a visionary who actually implements that vision of their brand.

Engineering the vision

Everyone likes an ego stroke. And most editors like the opportunity to express their market vision and plan for their brand. So why not use this to your advantage? One approach is to ask an editor to join a call to share their vision for the brand, why they are taking a specific approach (like tackling regulation, as opposed to business issues) and how they expect readers to respond to the approach.

This strategy will often produce 4 results:

  1. Active participation in the entire meeting.
  2. Adds a layer of gravitas to the call.
  3. Explains the brand’s mission in a highly effective – and hopefully captivating – way.
  4. Elicits questions from the prospect that can be easily handled and explained by the editor.

Next thing you know, your editor is part of the whole meeting. Many editors will take this approach. The chance to have a stage can be irresistible. And after one meeting, or two, the willingness to participate in your “share the vision,” meetings with clients and prospects will increase.

OK…it doesn’t work every time, but editors do enjoy talking about their brands. Using an editor to kick off a meeting with a “vision” discussion is a great tool and asset. Also, having an editor kick off a meeting gives them a chance to excuse themselves before the nuts-and-bolts, us-vs.-them, rates-and-dates conversation starts—which is when I find that most editors would rather be “anywhere but there.”

Do you have a great editor? Give it a shot! Maybe you have a visioneer on your team who can be a huge asset to your sales effort. If so, chances are they can play a key part in increasing your ad and sponsorship sales….even if they don’t realize it.

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More about Tim: Tim Hermes is a publishing consultant with over 20 years in the b2b space. As an Account Executive, Regional Sales Manager, Associate Publisher, VP/Publisher, Owner and CEO, he has seen an industry change and embrace the excitement that multimedia content delivery presents – first-hand – from different positions.

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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!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Summer of Niche 2014: Habitat Magazine iPad Innovation Creates New Revenue!



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This special interest consumer & B2B hybrid shares their newest iPad strategy for success.

Editor’s Note: This is the first feature of Niche Media HQ’s 2014 Summer of Niche Magazines. We’ll be featuring niche magazines and their great ideas all summer long! Drum roll, please………..              

Who: Carol Ott, Publisher and Editor-n-Chief, HABITAT Magazine

Great Idea: Dwell on this iPad strategy: Instead of just doing the typical print and digital versions, Habitat Magazine turned their iPad version into shorter, weekly bites and now offers additional sponsorship opportunities to go along with the new format.

Carol shares with us:

“We are tweaking our iPad version, breaking it down into weekly bites, and selling sponsorships. To promote this, and to give the sponsor additional play, we produce weekly videos that appear on our website (and brand the sponsor) and in the app. Sponsors also get play in print.” [Read more…]

Are you making B.A.D. decisions?



In the hectic fast-paced world of niche publishing, we are often jumping from deadline to deadline and decision to decision without stopping to ask one basic, fundamental question. Am I using all of the information that is available to me to make the right decisions for the growth of my business?Meister Media Logo

One important value proposition message that media firms have consistently brought to their target markets is the importance of having the richest, highest-value and most desirable content available. Here at Meister Media Worldwide, we have a similar objective to provide research, content and industry insight to the markets we serve.

Our commitment to the highest level of quality to the markets we serve (specialized agricultural crops, ornamentals and crop inputs) has elevated us to a leadership position that we work hard to cultivate and maintain. Today, the development, curation and distribution of great content alone are no longer enough to sustain our status as a destination source in our vertical markets.

To succeed in publishing today, you not only need exceptional content, but you also must leverage the abundant data and insight from your audience interactions to constantly be providing greater value to your target market(s).

At Meister Media we have implemented the use of what is called the Unified Audience Database (UAD) provided by our partner, Knowledge Marketing. The database contains all of our readers’ demographic data (name, address, job titles, etc.), behavioral data (subscriptions, downloads, registrations, open and click rates, etc.) and interests (articles read, topics of interest, etc.) on a single platform.

The UAD, which we like to refer to as the Big Audience Database (B.A.D.), allows us to make informed decisions based on factors such as our readers’ areas of interest, the type of products and content that are performing best and the overall effectiveness of the marketing campaigns we create and execute.

At our fingertips, we can target very specific audience segments that have a precise profile, patterns of behavior and areas of interest to make sure we are giving readers exactly what they want. We use our data to brainstorm new products and services for both our audience and our clients. By using this information, we are approaching our advertisers with a significant amount of insight about our markets that expands far beyond the obvious data dimensions included in collecting demographic information.

Imagine the power and influence you can wield in your own niche market when you combine the unique and wonderful content only you can create with incredible insight and intelligence about reader interest, audience behavior and campaign performance.

Media firms have spent a great many years guessing what our readers want and the overall effectiveness of the campaigns we execute for our clients. We predominantly have made strategic and product decisions based on our gut instincts. Many of these decisions have turned out great while others haven’t been quite as successful.

When it involves knowledge, Meister Media Worldwide is proud of the “B.A.D. decisions” we now make. We are more integrated in our approach to serving our customers, and we are excited about the future these decisions will create for our company in the years to come.

Download this Today's Publishing Executive infographic from Knowledge Marketing, proud sponsors of this month's publisher success story.

Download this Today’s Publishing Executive infographic from Knowledge Marketing, proud sponsors of this month’s publisher success story.

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By Jim Cowart, Director of Audience Development, Meister Media Worldwide. This publisher success story is sponsored by Knowledge Marketing.

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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 Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

The 7 Signs of a Good Ad Sales Prospect



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Ryan Dohrn shares the 7 signs of a good prospect. Now go do your homework.

Ad Sales expert and trainer Ryan Dohrn has been a frequent guest-blogger for us about the wonderful, wild world of ad sales. He is coming out with a new book soon and he gave us a sneak peek recently.

In one of the first chapters, Ryan goes into detail about how important the prospecting phase of selling is to the whole sales process. Often sales reps will start selling to the customer right off the bat, instead of going through each critical step. Ryan gives ad sales reps a road map on how to expertly navigate the prospecting phase. [Read more…]

Selling Beyond Price: Ad Sales Wisdom from Dave Friedman



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Here’s some sage sales advice from Associate Publisher and Ad Sales veteran Dave Friedman.

You have the appointment with a hot ad sales prospect…now what? How do you land that big new advertising account?

I love to read about new pitch styles and closing techniques from various self-proclaimed sales gurus hoping it will make me a better salesman. Over the years I’ve tried most of the suggested techniques at one time or another. I may prefer to deny this fact, but I’ve earned my stripes in this business now and I’ve come to learn that the more we think sales techniques need to change, the more I realize it’s just the toys that change – the basics remain the same.

As Associate Publisher and Sales Manager of Randall Publications LLC I’ve been around the ad sales block a few times.  I’ve become a self-proclaimed sales pundit; after all, I must have learned something doing this for the past 33 years! In my experience, successful ad sales is all about selling beyond price. [Read more…]

Take Your Marketing & Advertising Partnerships to the Next Level!



So how valuable can marketing to your brand’s audience really be? Here’s a great answer to that question—an innovation that’s turning the traditional ad sales model on it’s head.

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Expand the traditional scope of your brand’s partnerships.

From TechCrunch: San Francisco fashion start-up Cuyana is partnering with Real Simple magazine to create lines of clothing geared specifically for the magazine’s readers. It’s a new twist on sales and a win-win for both the publisher and the online-only clothing company.

Karla Gallardo, founder of Cuyana, put it this way: “On the production side, we innovated on the supply chain and we went direct to source. On the sales side, we’ve gone direct to consumer. And what we’re doing now is going direct to publisher. We’re reducing friction and reducing players in these industries,” she said. [Read more…]

How to Motivate Yourself for Amazing Ad Sales….When Your Boss Won’t!



Lucky for us salespeople, most of us have a great boss who knows what we need to keep us motivated to sell and bring in the dough. But what about the times when we are working with a sales manager who just does not get it?

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Does your boss seem to be oblivious to your your ad sales success? Here’s how to keep motivated.

You prospected, proposed and made all the proper follow up. Finally the advertiser bought. The contract is signed.  Time for high fives and celebration! Woo-hoo!

The contract goes to the sales manager and you just know you will get all sorts of thanks and kudos. Time goes by and nothing. Nada. Not even an acknowledgement. Woo-hoo-not-so-much.

But seriously, come on—what did you expect?  You are one of the top salespeople in the company so all the bosses know you regularly bring in the contracts. So closing a deal is really nothing to get super-excited about.

But where does that leave YOU?  How do you pick yourself up and go after the next sale?  You have to have a strong sense of self-motivation and give yourself celebration. You could call your spouse, good friend or peers who are happy for you and will celebrate your successes with you. Having someone to celebrate with is essential for the short term. But you also need to have a strategy that will keep you motivated for the long haul. [Read more…]