20/20 #20: DC Velocity – Rethink Televison as Streaming Video

Here’s our twentieth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days  sharing their strategies for success):  DC Velocity.

Vital statistics:

DC Velocity MagazinePUBLICATION: B2B,  published monthly/13x, controlled circ of 50,000

TARGET: Blend of corporate-level execs and on-site directors, vice presidents of logistics operations
BIG IDEA: TV shows are not just for TV anymore!

By now we all know how strong visuals resonate with our audiences in a big way. TV too costly? Not necessarily. DC Velocity decided to launch an on-demand, produced-for-web TV show. That means buying neutral TV time for maximum exposure. Viewers have the ability to watch the show via any streaming video device such as smart phones, tablets, computer screens and of course, TV’s– at any time they desire. The magazine promoted the show, “Move it!” with tons of advance and on-going social media, a “world premiere” showing of the pilot and more. How successful has it been? Their episodes showcase the vital role logistics play in our economy in an entertaining way……and who knows, “Move It!” may be destined for cable and the Discovery Channel!

20/20 #19: The Senior News – Give Readers 15 Minutes of Fame!

Here’s our nineteenth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days  sharing their strategies for success):  The Senior News.The Senior News

PUBLICATION: B2C but widely used by healthcare facilities and staff, published monthly, mostly free and some paid, 60,000-75,000 circ
TARGET: Those aged 50 and better
BIG IDEA: “Where do you read us?” Feature

What do the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Iraq, the Red Sea, Antartica, the Pyramids of Egypt and the leaning Tower of Pisa have in common? They have all been shown on the cover of The Senior News, with a passionate reader holding their copy of magazine. What started out as quick solution for a cover shot submitted by a reader has turned into a tidal wave of submissions and massive consumer interest for the magazine every month. After that first success, they decided to seize the opportunity and began a “Where do you read us?” feature for submissions. Years later, it is still the favorite feature of their readers. The magazine can select from loads of submissions every month for a cover shot without having to pay for one, and readers get so excited when they are featured on the cover that they order extra copies for their friends and family. Total win-win!

20/20 #18: Cleaning and Restoration – Focus on Industry VIPs for Great Content

Here’s our eighteenth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days sharing their strategies for success):  Cleaning & Restoration Magazine – Focusing on industry VIPs creates great content.  Cleaning & Restoration‘s vital statistics:Cleaning & Restoration Magazine

PUBLICATION: B2B and Association, monthly with 2 double issues in March/April and Nov/Dec, controlled circ of 11,000
TARGET: Restoration and cleaning professionals, insurance adjusters, property managers, attorneys
BIG IDEA: How to get interviews from industry movers & shakers

Many niche magazines face the challenge of trying to get their industry’s movers & shakers to respond to questionnaires or interviews. These interviews can yield great content, but it is often hard to get busy industry leaders to make time for an interview. How did determined Editor-in-Chief Patti Harman manage to get a foot in the door?

She focused on pursuing the top – and most difficult to access – experts that her readership really wanted to hear from. The magazine added a simple, 5-question column on the last page. For movers & shakers who won’t do a full interview, C&R found they will often take a few minutes to provide some answers on 5 succinct questions. Harman finds having that initial feedback makes it easier to eventually get those highly sought-after full interviews, and industry leaders end up sharing priceless insight with their readers. Since Cleaning & Restoration encompasses everything from the restoration of St. Paul’s Chapel after 9/11 to the clean up in the aftermath of Katrina, there are always ongoing opportunities to share the latest industry information with their readers.

20/20 #17: CityDog Magazine – Take Events Beyond the Booth

Here’s our seventeenth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days  sharing their strategies for success):  CityDog Magazine.  CityDog’s vital statistics:

PUBLICATION: B2C, published 5x/year, paid/free combo to animal shelters that include adoptions, 20,000 circ
TARGET: Dog lovers!
BIG IDEA: Take events beyond the booth & find partners

CityDog MagazineIn recent 20/20 profiles we have featured magazines that create events or host an annual competition to engage their target audiences. Well, when Seattle-based CityDog Magazine decided to create an annual competition for a dog cover model, they decided to take it one step (or maybe one paw) farther to raise big bucks for charities directly connected to the dog-loving world.

Entry fee proceeds for the CityDog Cover Dog Model Search are donated directly to animal welfare organizations. Over the past 7 years, they have donated over $25,000! Every dog has it’s day by walking the stage with its owner at the event, having a photo opp, and gets a photo posted on the magazine’s website during the competition.

Here’s the key–the general public votes on the final dog to be the featured as a cover model for the magazine. According to Brandie Ahlgren, Founder, thousands of dogs (and their eager owners) participate every year. The Cover Dog Model Search brings increased web traffic, increased single copy sales, and increased paid subscriptions every year. Plus, it generates more revenue through sponsorships from their advertisers and expands their brand awareness. A howling good time for all and a tail-wagging success for the magazine!

Follow along on their Facebook and Twitter!

20/20 #16: Linger Magazine – Challenge Your Audience!

Here’s our sixteenth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days sharing their strategies for success):  Linger MagazineLinger‘s vital statistics:

PUBLICATION: Monthly Digital B2C, paid circulation, 10,000

Linger MagazineTARGET: Smart, fashion conscious individuals who are passionate about the fashion in their city and across the globe

BIG IDEA: Annual Themed Challenge to Industry Artists

We love competition, don’t we? Here’s a super-creative idea for a super-creative audience: Linger Magazine holds an Annual Themed-Pictorial Challenge every June that grows in anticipation and scope and continues to surpass the previous year by 50%. They challenge industry artists to create a couture/avant garde theme in a high fashion editorial with a creative team made up of only one photographer, one fashion designer, one fashion stylist, one make up artist, one model. That’s it, only one of each.  As you can imagine, website visits are at all time high during the June-August Challenge period and peak interest expands even more for months. Tiffany Tate, Founder/Editor-in-Chief, says the new revenue stream created from entries allows them to also donate part of the proceeds to a charity for homeless youth. Next year’s Challenge includes a plan to include industry experts as judges. I wonder if Heidi Klum is available?

Connect with Linger:


20/20 #15: Occasions Magazine – Creating Lasting Relationships with Advertisers

Here’s our first 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days sharing their strategies for success): Occasions Magazine – creating lasting relationships with advertisers.  Occasions Magazine’s vital statistics:

Occasions Magazine

Occasions Magazine's gutsy ad sales approach has far-reaching benefits

PUBLICATION: B2C, tri-annual print and also with new content online daily, controlled, bookstore sales, free and subscriptions, 50,000
TARGET: Women aged 18-49 and anyone planning a wedding bar/bat mitzvah, birthday party, or other celebration
BIG IDEA: Selling annual print advertising packages only

Here’s something to add spark to your advertising program: sell only annual advertising packages. Gutsy? Yes. But Occasions Magazine was challenged with a small staff and a tri-annual distribution. In order to serve their advertisers better and run their magazine operations efficiently, it made sense to build on-going relationships with their advertisers and only sell annual print advertising packages. Heather Vreeland (Publisher, Editorial Director, and print ad evangelist) said these marketing partnerships go way beyond an ad in a single insertion. It allows the magazine to really get to know their advertisers’ needs and the year long run helps to give them a better and more accurate view of their ROI. This strategy has helped Occasions continue to grow in Georgia, and the Florida edition is coming out soon.

20/20 #14: The College Store – Boost Reader Engagement with Readers’ Questions

Here’s our fourteenth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days  sharing their strategies for success):  The College Store.    The College Store‘s vital statistics:

The College Store Magazine

The College Store's "Reply to All" feature connects readers and creates discussion

PUBLICATION: Magazine of the National Association of College Stores, bi-monthly, 10,000 dues-paying NACS members
TARGET: College & university stores in U.S. & Canada, Australia & Caribbean; K-12 and prep stores; their managers, buyers and staffs; vendors serving the collegiate market
BIG IDEA: Members’ questions invite larger discussions

Challenged with a very diverse membership, The College Store developed the feature “Reply to All”, where they post member’s salient questions with answers to inform the rest of the association. Of course they have to get permission first from the members to reprint, but RTA has become very popular by inviting expanded, conversation-building discussions on important issues. The magazine assembles a variety of replies so members get a feel for the different challenges/constraints/opportunities other stores and different campuses have faced. As a happy by-product of RTA, the feature reinforces the family culture of the association. Responses have grown, discussions have grown. What’s better than members helping members?

20/20 #13: Covertside: Refocus Content on What Matters to Readers

Here’s our Thirteenth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days sharing their strategies for success): Covertside: the Magazine of Mounted Foxhunting. Covertside‘s vital statistics:

Covertside: The Magazine of Mounted Foxhunting

Covertside refocused content on what readers wanted most

PUBLICATION: Association, subscription, quarterly to 7,000 association members
TARGET: Members of the foxhunting community and those interested in foxhunting
BIG IDEA: Refocus your content on what matters most to your readers

Covertside magazine did something a little counter-intuitive for an association publication: they stopped focusing on the association! The magazine moved their content away from the usual Association chatter and instead focused more on quality content about the sport itself, which is what their membership really wants to read about anyway. Their membership is a diverse group from all over the world with an ardent passion for their sport, and this content strategy has created very loyal subscribers. Emily Esterson points our that refocusing on high quality content with lifestyle issues, such as an art issue or even a hound issue, really makes an impact with their subscribers.

20/20 #12: Building Indiana News – Step Behind the Curtain to Cross-Sell Events

Here’s our twelfth 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days  sharing their strategies for success):  Building Indiana News.

Building Indiana News

Building Indiana News shares the limelight to create bigger, better, and more events.

Vital statistics:

PUBLICATION: B2B, paid circulation, 60,000
TARGET: Executives in Indiana
BIG IDEA: Cross-selling events as the wizard behind the curtain.

We all know that niche magazines are always developing alternate strategies to generate revenue, but Building Indiana News came up with a unique, counter-intuitive strategy: cross-sell and then take a “back seat” to your own events! The mag holds a huge Big Schmooze event that’s a fundraiser for United Way. Andrea Pearman, enthusiastic and creative Publisher, explains that it’s also an event for the magazine to promote it’s power players and the movers and shakers that they profile. They take a step back out of the spotlight, shifting the focus to the associations they work with. It has become the biggest key to their successful events. Building Indiana New salso hosts the Beyond Safety Conference, where attendees learn from Indiana’s best safety experts. The events grow every year, generates revenue for the magazine, and reinforces their brand.

20/20 #11: Embedded Computing Design – Power to the People

Here’s our eleventh 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days sharing their strategies for success): Embedded Computing Design – Power to the People.  Embedded Computing Design’s vital statistics:

Embedded Computer Design

Embedded Computing Design combines their annual Innovation Issue with an award program

PUBLICATION: B2B, free to 42,000 customers worldwide, print and digital
TARGET: Hardware, software, design engineers, engineering managers, decision makers
BIG IDEA: Annual Innovation Issue that keeps on giving

Special topical annual issues can be a great addition to your magazine, but Patrick Hopper of OpenSystems Media tells us that Embedded Computing Design takes it an extra step. Every year they have a “Most Innovative People and Products” contest and issue, then they keep the momentum going by having their editors select the top people and products – the cream of the crop –  to feature and receive awards. It’s very popular with their customer base. Does it increase ROI? You bet. What’s even more unique about their annual Innovation Issue is the two tracks; one features People (no fee for entry), one features Products (with an entry fee). ECD takes it to the next level in an industry that is primarily product-focused and brings humanity to it by paying more attention to the people behind the products.  Customers love it and respond to it. ECD also uses engaging social media to promote the Innovation Issue and to announce the winners.