What’s in Your Digital Marketing Toolbox?



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Digital marketing expert Rebecca Sterner knows what works and what trends to watch.

What is most important when creating successful marketing initiatives? What digital marketing tools work best? Digital marketing expert Rebecca Sterner has worked with magazine publishers for over two decades and knows plenty about the tried-and-true ideas that work. She also knows about the newest tools out there that are generating revenue successfully for publishers. She shared her tips and tricks for publishers in the digital marketing space.

Here’s what she had to say:

Niche Media HQ: First, when publishers are creating new digital marketing initiatives, what are a few tips for setting up an effective plan? Are there some important measurements to keep in mind?

R. Sterner:

“To me, the most critical part of any digital strategy is having a clear direction and buy-in from the top.  If everyone understands the goal – to sell more subscriptions, increase natural search, deliver ad impressions, whatever – it’s so much easier for the team to reach them.  And since digital strategy requires the breaking down of the old traditional silos of advertising, editorial, circulation, production, it becomes even more critical for management to model and encourage a collaborative, risk-taking atmosphere.”

Niche Media HQ: Can you give us some real-world examples of publishers who have successfully used digital marketing tools to sell subscriptions and other content? [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!

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