We asked the 2013 Niche Magazine Conference attendees to share the best revenue strategies for niche magazine publishers that they learned at the event. Here are 50 of the best! Do you have a great idea that isn’t on this list? Tell us about it in the comments!
1. The world of media has changed – embrace new technology by doing everything. Try out every new social media outlet to see what works for your business and be an educating source for marketers.
2. Create new content for your website, not just regurgitated material from your print magazine. This gives people a reason to constantly return to your website, thus creating more traffic for online advertisements.
3. Create spec ads for potential advertisers to boost close rates. Ask reps to submit one per month.
4. Not all magazines are created equal in terms of advertising rates. A family magazine won’t be able to charge as much per thousand as a B2B or doctor’s magazine. Take that into account in your overall advertising strategy.
5. Make a content calendar for your website (editorial calendar on steroids) that contains everything from blogs to video. Strategically plan your online content while taking into account what has been successful in the past.
6. The “List” is the key asset in event marketing, so you need to keep it updated and fresh. The BIG LIST project: Go through all email address of people that have not opened any effort in 6 months. Drop that person from the list and try to find a replacement person in that company that may be more interested.
7. Be like George Costanza – do the opposite. Set yourself apart from the large publishing companies by doing things differently. Think outside the box. This is an advantage that niche publishers should take more advantage of.
8. Hire young interns – Pair old-school work ethic with a new-age way of thinking. Publishing veterans can get insight into new technology and the on-the-go way of thinking from young professionals.
9. Use PPC (pay per click) online ads to give marketers their money’s worth in ROI. Charging a flat rate for each lead will give marketers peace of mind when deciding to advertise.
10. Your ad sales team should always be conducting and using research to help sell – readership, brand perception, and benchmarking studies; circulation research; focus groups; and market research are all essential.
11. Try adding events to your media mix – the profit margin is high and they are a lot of fun!
12. Find out what device your audience is using and target them directly. iPad? Blackberry? Make content design-friendly with the device your audience is predominantly using.
13. Put your rates on your website! Don’t shy away from addressing the cost of advertising. Make sure the rates are very easy to find on your site. If they can’t afford to buy an ad, then it just isn’t a good fit…
14. …But also create other advertising avenues to capture these dollars and create a relationship. Can’t afford an ad in your publication for their new product or they missed the deadline? Offer to run their press release in your e-newsletter for a fee.
15. What’s the magic number for measuring the financial health of your magazine? Revenue per employee. If it is $250,000 + you are in a great position. If it is $150,000 or less, it’s time to take a hard look at ways to drive revenue and cut costs.
16. Ask your printer to do a co-mailing study for you – If the study looks good you can cut between 5% and 10% from your costs and still mail on your target dates.
17. Differentiate yourself and your events – use colors or themes to develop a buzz about your event. Create a personality for your event for people to get excited about. Example: What will that crazy Grand Poobah do this year?
18. Don’t be afraid of your competition. It isn’t a secret that there is competition and they might actually have a good product. Be honest and upfront with your customers about your competition and they will appreciate you as more than just a salesperson. If they aren’t a good fit for your audience, let them know.
19. Engage your online audience with interactive content. Contests, polls, forums and video can create a dialogue with your audience. This gives you a deeper understanding of your audience and gives your audience the feeling that they are part of a community.
20. Sales has always been about connection, but that’s even more critical with social media tools. Connect with each and every one of your prospects through as many channels and possible. Work those channels each and every day.
21. Be the face of your business. The public identifies and connects more with a face, so make sure your magazine has one.
22. This goes for ad reps, too! Have sales reps add photos of themselves and a marketing tip to monthly email reminders.
23. Think online at events – post photos to your website and social media feeds and use event hashtags to join the online discussion of the event. Bring the event to your audience.
24. Hire a sales assistant – every hour your sales people spend on administration is an hour they are not selling and bringing in new revenue!
25. Use blog/content titles that will get social shares. Even though you can think of a great, edgy title for your article, it may not help drive traffic to your site. Create your headlines specifically to drive more traffic to your website and social media feed.
26. Podcasts! They are easy to make and don’t take special equipment and give you one more touch point with your audience and advertisers.
27. The P.S. is the most-read part of an email. Make sure you always have one in your e-marketing efforts, and make sure it has a call to action!
28. Grow your list by offering something in return for email addresses: premium content, e-newsletter subscriptions, user accounts for contents & polls, products or discounts, etc.
29. Use pop-ups for e-newsletter sign ups. Everyone can agree that pop-up ads can be annoying, but they are also effective. Your goal is to get more traffic and e-newsletter subscriptions. Don’t be afraid that you might offend your audience with one pop-up.
30. You need to capture your event content on video. You can sell it and repurpose it many great ways.
31. He who controls the content will control readership. Web or print – it doesn’t matter how readers get your content. Content is more important than delivery method.
32. Have a daily e-newsletter rather than a weekly one. Putting together a daily is a little more time consuming, but the fact is you will get more clicks. Get in front of your audience every day with one article compared to once a week with five articles.
33. Set a goal of at least three e-newsletters. Your sales reps should also have e-newsletters for advertisers. There are so many revenue opportunities in your e-newsletters!
34. Put together an affordable creative services packages for your advertisers by utilizing the of contract photographer to help create ads for your prospects that really “pop”. Develop the ad and give your client 25 “outtake” photos for distribution via social media.
35. Use a consultant-selling approach: become an information resource for your advertisers and have the market knowledge and tech savvy to answer their questions, offer advertising strategy solutions, and help them get the most bang with you for their advertising buck.
36. Share other people’s content on social media (even competitors). Your goal is to increase your audience, so use every outlet to do so. Sharing other people’s content will in turn get those people to share your content
37. If you have events, never forget that event producers are in the entertainment industry!
38. Create a hit list of 50 or so influencers and put them in content to maximize social media shares. People like to be mentioned in content and will no doubt be proud when they are. If the influencer shares to their audience you automatically increase the number of people you reach.
39. Make sure your blog has a point of view – don’t be afraid to have opinions! Make it exciting so people will want to read it.
40. Always evaluate your social media posts to see what works. Constantly try to improve your posts for more shares and a deeper dialogue with your audience.
41. Use a powerful, high-quality customer/prospect database. This is the most basic tool that your sales reps need to bring in money – make sure it does everything they need it to!
42. Have a field on your customer database for an advertiser’s product/service “category.” You probably will have 20 or 30 categories. This makes it easy to send out a segmented email to all people within one category. The more personalization and segmentation you can use in email the better results.
43. Capture the experience of your audience for events – put yourself in their shoes and see what they will see. Example: what will the attendees see when they get out of the cab at the event venue? Be detail oriented to maximize the quality of your event.
44. Marry well (seriously – it’s easier than retirement planning)
45. If you have not re-bid your print contract for several years (3+) then you are leaving money on the table. Since 2009/2010 prices have dropped dramatically. For example, 5-year contracts recently re-bid have yielded savings of 15% – 20%!
46. Use the full capabilities of your digital editions: add outtakes or additional content, press advertisers for videos or other digital content, and make your digital edition different from your print to capture more of BOTH audiences.
47. Tradeshows are a great place to capture video clips from advertisers. Use these in an area of your website for expert advice or new product demos (and sell it!)
48. When you think about your audience, think about ALL of your audiences: print, apps, social, website, email, and digital edition. While they do overlap, each of these audiences are different.
49. Reward your event speakers and sponsors for everything they do for you with a VIP party just for them! Getting sponsorship renewals and working with speakers for next year is much easier when everyone had fun and feels valued.
50. Keep your ear to the ground – take a different staff member out to lunch each month. This is a great way to keep connected, boost morale, and encourage people to share new ideas and strategies!
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!
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