Pay attention, Grasshoppers. This is the second part of an interview with Jeff Rohrs, VP of Market Research and Education for Exact Target and a Niche Conference Speaker. Jeff told us we should definitely be focusing on the essential building blocks of a strategic marketing plan–one that includes both social media AND email programs. And we learned that niche magazines should stop trying to be one thing to all subscribers and niche out within their niche even more.
We also asked Jeff to tell us what’s coming up next in niche magazine marketing:
Niche Media: What marketing issues are you seeing that niche magazine publishers should pay attention to?
JR: There’s a lot of debate about list rentals. Never give your list to anyone. It opens the door to spamming, plus you are giving away your asset. Is the unsubscribe rate really worth it? If you do rent a list, you should control the message and the creative. Be careful to make sure it is permission-based marketing. Be sure the message is consistent with your publication or it can hurt you.
I also think you need to think about what kind of advertisers you are going to allow in the first place. Curate your advertisers, too. With a new advertiser, maybe do a one-off dedicated campaign first and measure the results.
Niche Media: Almost every niche publisher is using social media in some form now. What would be the one thing you would want them to know as they evolve their social media strategies going forward?
JR: Social Media needs to be about you AND your focus. You don’t want to burn out your audience. Yes, there is this public cloud of interesting content to share. But you have to be giving in order to get.
Engagement is key and you have to put in the sweat equity to have a successful social media program. That means you must be out there commenting and retweeting, etc., on what your fans say about different things—even if it is not directly related to you.
Also, the social media messaging has to be humanized. If you curate good relationships, that will take a little weight off of you.
What do I mean by that? Here’s an example: Your loyal fans will actually defend you on a controversial subject. They will become your crisis management PR for you.
There’s no doubt that niche magazine marketing is evolving very quickly and it’s a continuing challenge for publishers to know the right balance that works for their publication. Stay tuned for next week’s post when Jeff gives us marketing trends to look for in the niche magazine world. Questions? Comments? Give us your two cents (or sense) on Facebook or Twitter.
Jeffrey Rohrs, VP, Marketing Research & Education, ExactTarget
Now: A recovering attorney, bacon-lover & Cleveland sports victim, Jeff Rohrs leads the Marketing Research & Education Group at ExactTarget. In this capacity, Jeff co-authors the award-winning SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS Research Series—an ongoing examination of how today’s online consumers interact with brands through digital channels such as email, Facebook, and Twitter.
Past Life: Jeff also spearheads ExactTarget’s Connections User Conference programming and SUBSCRIBERS RULE! philosophy.
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!