Niche Digital Media: Trends to Watch!

As a niche magazine publisher, you often wear many, many hats. Keeping on top of everything at the company can be a constant challenge and probably sucks up most of your time. You know you need more time to continually be checking on the pulse of the ever-evolving media landscape if you want to grow the business.

So we recently tapped into our niche brain trust on which digital media trends to watch and more specifically–what they think digital publishers should be doing now.

picture-688Trends in digital revenue
Jay Acunzo, keynote and VP of Platform at NextView Ventures:

 It’s worth following publishers and media companies like The Information, Gimlet Media, and Mixergy. All three are wildly different in size, scope and topical focus, but all three (and many others) are testing out paid membership — and it really is “membership” and not the more traditional idea of “subscription.”

By getting behind the paywall, you’re not just unlocking content. You’re joining the club. Depending on the business, they offer premium content, ecommerce products, reports, educational courses, early access to things, events, and much more. It’s smart because they don’t have to rip the bandaid entirely from what publishers normally do with advertising + paywalls. They can simply take the best offered by advertisers (products and services related to the publisher’s content) and the best of a paywall (access) and combine and evolve it. I’m curious to see where this leads next!”

Carla Johnson WebTrends in social media branding
Carla Johnson, Chief Experience Officer of Type A Communications: 

“Truly real-time engagement with people on social media is a big trend. Social media is moving fast and if you have any presence on any social platform, you’re expected to keep up. According to Search Engine Watch, 70% of Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to and 53% want a response in less than an hour. If there’s a complaint, that number jumps to 72%. When it comes to channels to watch out for, that depends greatly on your audience. Don’t invest in new channels if your audience isn’t there. But do encourage your audience to connect with you across several social channels.”

w0ilo0awbvakwwrg8jooNew developments in digital user-experience
Brian Lewis, Founder & CEO of Wolfhound Interactive:

“The biggest change and opportunity we’re now experiencing is the use of personalization to create unique visit experiences depending on a host of variables. The ability to serve up specific content that is most relevant to each visitor is a tremendous leap in digital marketing and has proven to not only create a much more enriching visit experience, but also support the site’s business objectives. Most of the personalization is based on a visitor’s current or past visit behavior, but could also tie in exogenous factors such the location the visitor is browsing from and the weather, for example.”

picture-689Trends in digital storytelling:
Brad Fayfield, Founder of Colorado-based Storm Mountain Media :

We’re still in the Wild West of digital storytelling as it pertains to user consumption and advertiser support. While digital provides an unrivaled opportunity for rich storytelling, most consumers are still interested in short snippets rather than robust stories. Fortunately, we’ve been seeing a shift in this consumption habit over the past 12 months, and we’re learning that if we develop quality long-form content, and promote it properly, our users will engage with it on a deep level. We’ve now partnered with some of our top advertisers to help us create these types of custom digital pieces, resulting in premium content that’s native in scope but still receives high user engagement because of its quality.”

Editor’s note: If you want to learn more and hear Jay, Carla, Brian and Brad speak in person, there’s still time to register for the Niche Digital Conference next week in Denver. Join us!



Diana headshot photo

About this blogger: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and 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! Check out theNiche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21!

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