Successful Service Models & Native Advertising: An interview with Andrew Hanelly



Media expert Andrew Hanelly shares insights into successful service models and more!

The ultimate media disruption: “Service” models and native ads have replaced the traditional advertising.

So how can niche publishers compete for those ever-increasing content marketing budgets through the new channels of creative services and native advertising?

We interviewed digital expert Andrew Hanelly about services publishers can offer and also about how to create native advertising that rocks: [Read more…]

Use Evergreen Content to Drive Revenue



Increase traffic and revenue with evergreen content!

How much of your content is related to current events? How much is timeless?

The most successful content strategy includes a mixture of timely news and “evergreen” informational articles with a long shelf life.

Evergreen content stays relevant over time and accumulates traffic for your site. Evergreen content can be produced once, and monetized multiple different ways. Archives of evergreen content provide an excellent basis for paid content products, such as digital memberships.

Three Ways Evergreen Content Drives Traffic [Read more…]

It’s Time To Embrace The ‘Brand As Publisher’ Trend



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Hop on the Brandwagon! Rob O’Regan shares some solid reasons why the “brand as publisher” trend shows no sign of fizzling. 

While big-name brands, from American Express and LinkedIn to Red Bull and Tesco, are aggressively building their own media engines, most small and even midsized companies lack the skills and other resources needed to consistently create and distribute quality content. The top content marketing challenges that B2B marketers at small businesses face, according to the Content Marketing Institute, are producing a variety of engaging content and producing it consistently. But they press on: 74% of those marketers said they are producing more content than they were a year ago. [Read more…]

Check Out These Learning Opportunities for Niche Publishers!



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Take advantage of these learning opportunities and go to the head of the class!

Okay, niche publishers, you are done with the budget process and rolling full-steam ahead into your 2015 strategic plan. Here are some super cool learning opportunities coming up this quarter that will power-boost your game throughout the rest of the year. Brush up your skills in audience monetization, content marketing, and multi-platform publishing! [Read more…]

Sponsored Content Can Be a Good Thing!



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Media consultant Rob O’Regan shares some of his guidelines on sponsored advertising.

Usually the very first question that comes up in any discussion about sponsored content is how we define it—what it means to the publisher, the editorial department, the advertiser, the audience. Are we all clear or still mucking around in the swamp of ambiguity?

Now let’s throw into the mix the fact that sponsored content is on the rise and now being created for a plethora of media distribution channels out there, including print, digital, event material, webinars, etc.

So how DO we define it? We think the American Press Institute is on the right track:

It is better to define sponsored content by what it does than by what it looks like.”

Here are some quick guidelines from a presentation by Rob O’Regan, a media consultant and senior digital content strategist at IDG, on how to present sponsored content to your readers and how to talk about it with your advertisers: [Read more…]

Maximize the Impact of Your B2B Magazine’s Native Advertising Campaigns!



Implementing even one new idea can have a HUGE return! Have fun with 50!

Native advertising is a hot new revenue stream for niche magazine publishers, but you’ve got to do it right!

What is Native Advertising, really? What does it mean for B2B niche magazines?

Native Advertising, by its very nature, is supposed to be transparent. No blatant sales pitch allowed. And it shouldn’t “feel” like an ad. What is it then?

We don’t know the answer yet. But we DO know that the way we market and sell is changing dramatically. [Read more…]

Content Marketing Round-Up for Niche Magazine Publishers!



We can’t wait for everything we’ll learn at Content Marketing World 2013!

Team Niche is at Content Marketing World in Cleveland this week to brush up on our skills. Even though our own Niche Digital Conference is almost here, we have to take our own advice – make time to get out of your office, away from deadlines, and learn!

We know we’ll learn tons, and we’ll share our best take-aways in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of great content marketing-related ideas, strategies, and advice:

Go Beyond Ad Sales Rep – Become an Expert Marketing Consultant!

Your Personal Online Branding Can Create Value For Your Advertisers!

Total Audience Marketing = Increased Revenue for Niche Magazine Publishers

 3 MORE Things You’re Not Doing with Social Media 

 Total Audience Marketing: Niche Publishers Need to Bundle Up to Increase Ad Revenue [Read more…]

The Essential Building Blocks of Marketing for Niche Magazines



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Build your niche media company’s strategic marketing program!

Are you overwhelmed with the dizzying array of new marketing tools and social medias?  Then you have come to the right place.  It’s baby steps, people.  Or just knowing the right steps to take.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Jeff Rohrs, VP of Market Research and Education for Exact Target and all-around Social Media and marketing expert. He knows how niche magazines can best use targeted marketing programs to get the results they want. We will be posting some of Jeff’s wisdoms over the next few weeks.

NMHQ:  What areas are important for niche magazine publishers to focus on right now?

JR:  It’s all about building your audience. Niche magazines must think beyond growing only paid subscriptions. There is a BIG difference between your paid subscribers and your marketing audience.  Social Media will expand your marketing audience. Take a look at your social media program and figure out which media work best for your niche. Think of attracting fans vs customers. 

It’s also important to determine how you will manage your social media, given your resources.  Often niche magazines are run by a few people wearing many hats.  Who within your organization is going to manage and stay focused on the social media program? 

NMHQ: Is email still an important part of marketing strategic plan?

JR:  An email program is still very important.  A few years ago, a publisher of a small travel magazine was leaving a session of mine and said he wished he had attended it two years ago. Why?  Because he thought everyone was supposed to focus on developing a social media program and that is what he’d been doing for the last two years.  Yet an email program is still very much foundational.  There is a direct ROI to be tracked with emails.   And if you have the funds to blast, just be careful you don’t get too monotonous in the long term or people will tune you out.

NMHQ:  What should niche publishers stop doing in terms of their marketing strategy?

JR:  They should stop any marketing designed to get the sale.  Now that sounds odd, but niche publishers need to design to get the sale AND get the audience build-up.  Niche publishers need to always serve those two masters.

 For the longer term, stop being one thing to all people. Niche publishers have a great advantage over more general subject magazines like Newsweek because they can use their own subscription information and leverage that data.  Niche magazines have that depth and the expertise about their niche and they need to use it.

NMHQ: Can you give us an example of how publishers can leverage their subscriber data?

JR:   It’s possible for niche magazines to “sculpt” their email program to really target their audience.  You have a passionate audience already there; it’s about finding the niches within your niche.  Also, email service providers have become much more sophisticated and can help you with that targeting.

Think of the different types of messaging you can send to different types of audiences within your niche.  It is also important HOW niche publishers apply that curated, sculpted content to future email campaigns. Keep your content dynamic and always, always curate.  Publishers have to learn to prioritize emails and make sure they resonate with their audience and are responsive to their audience. 

We may know these things intuitively but the stats prove it out.  A dual-focused marketing strategy on social media AND email programs is critical. Drill down into the subscriber data you already have to create NEW niches within your niche. Comments or questions? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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jeff_rohrs-packshot-1Jeffrey 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.

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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 Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Learning More About Your Audience



When you are creating content for your niche publication, you most likely have many different elements coming into play. One of the most important factors you need to consider when creating content is your audience due to that fact that they should be a heavy driving force behind your content creation. Whether you are a new niche magazine or an old pro looking to generate more readers, learning about your audience is crucial. Check out a few ways you can learn more about your readers:

Niche Media

Take a peek at some ways to learn more about your readers.

  • Design a contest: One of the best ways to get a better grasp on your audience and their preferences is to hold a contest. Design a giveaway that features an item in demand such as an iPad and ask your readers to fill out a survey as the entry form. Be sure to make winning look like the ultimate prize in order to get the most feedback from the contest.
  • Put together an online scavenger hunt: Hosting an online scavenger hunt is a great way to learn more about your audience due to the fact that it involves your readers communicating with you in order to participate. Send your readers on a hunt that involves them having to answer questions about your business to get to the next phase. This will provide you with valuable information as well as generate audience activity.
  • Offer a coupon: Providing a coupon is also a great way to learn more about your audience. Simply ask your readers to fill out a form in order to access the coupon. Be sure to include questions of value on the form that will give you the information you are seeking.
Learning more about your audience is important in order to ensure your content marketing efforts are going in the direction that you want them to.

 

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk-up Your Next E-Newsletter



 

 

 

(Part 1 of 2)

You’re frantically searching the web for ideas for your next e-Newsletter and you have no trouble finding a plethora of tips and advice—run a case study, take a survey, offer actionable tips, respond to readers’ questions—the only problem is, you’ve heard it, seen it, and done it all before. Your e-Newsletter looks exactly like last month’s issue and your readers are bored. What’s an e-Marketing Director to do? Before you tear your hair out and chuck your computer out the window, consider trying one of these alternative content ideas:

1. Round-Robin Interview: Yes, interviews are a great way to liven up your e-Newsletter and break through the doldrums of article-after-article in your field—but instead of focusing on just one industry expert’s responses to your questions, why not pose an interesting question to five industry leaders in the same field. This brings together multiple perspectives for your readers. You can take it a step further and have the same interviewees comment on their peers’ responses—or your e-Newsletter staff can play that role by pointing out the interesting differences in the responses and analyzing them to conclude the piece.  This technique also has the added benefit of minimal time commitment from your interviewees, which makes it much more likely for you to get a “yes” when attempting to gather responses from busy industry leaders.

2. Reader-Generated Content Contest: Why not take two fairly standard e-Newsletter content areas and combine them for an interesting twist. Reader-generated content (whether questions, anecdotes, tips, or case studies) is a way to keep fresh ideas flowing into your e-Newsletter, while staying reader-focused. Normally, you might run into the obstacle of not receiving enough reader-generated material—or at least not enough quality reader-generated material. Successful, clever people are usually busy people—probably too busy to take the time to respond to your e-Newsletter request for questions or topics, unless there’s a contest involved. Offer a prize or freebee related to your industry. The contest aspect will increase both the number and quality of your entries. Choose a specific area or question which you think will be of interest to your readers; is there a particularly tricky problem in your industry that readers might have creative solutions to? Then you can run the “top ten” submitted responses and ask readers to vote for their favorite entry. It’s no coincidence that some of the most popular shows on television have viewers voting; people love to put their two-cents in. This content-contest can generate a multi-issue piece and up reader involvement in your e-Newsletter.

3. Mission Impossible: Most case studies we see highlight the success stories. Corporations, vendors, and their clients rarely want to tell you about their failures—but this is a great area to exploit for learning what not to do and figuring out how to do it right. Have you seen the Food Network’s highly successful Restaurant Impossible? Who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches turn-around story? If you can focus on someone in your industry who is struggling, profile their struggle, and put them in touch with people who can help turn things around for their business or problem area, this makes for compelling content.

4. Event Reviews: Most industries have a variety of events competing for your readers’ time and money. Events are often publicized in e-Newsletters, but how are reader’s really going to know what goes on at these events and which ones are really worth their time? If someone on your staff is not personally attending all of the major events in your industry, draw on your network of colleagues to get the inside scoop on the event scene in your industry. Try to avoid turning this into a mere sales pitch for the event or a scathing critique—rather, focus on what each event has to offer and what makes each event unique while incorporating both pros and cons in your review. Direct quotations from former attendees will add authenticity to this type of piece. This works best when tying together comments from last year’s events with previews of up-coming events.

5. Step-by-Step How-to Videos: Advice and tips can only go so far, but in this age where your 7-year-old can easily produce quality video clips why not offer your readers some guided video how-to’s? Is there a great Facebook app they could be utilizing or other free software you’ve come across, or an exciting and easy DIY idea that would interest your readers? You don’t need to get fancy for an e-Newsletter video. These days, even with a basic built-in camera and mic on your computer you can make a decent video clip, upload it to You Tube, and embed it in your e-Newsletter.

Read ideas 6-10 in Part Two in next month’s issue…

 

Check out these other articles that ran in the February 2012 Vitamin e! Newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips and Myths (Part 1 of 2)

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=392

 

e-Spot: Is Your Facebook Page Configured to Capture e-Newsletter Opt-in Forms?

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=426

 

Carl’s Capsules:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=420

 

e-Newsletter of the Month: Get Your Thrills at Thrillist.com

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=431

 

(R)e-run of the Month: Top 6 Email Conversion Mistakes

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?=414

 

e-toons:

http://blog.nichemediahq.com/?p=443