Don’t Undersell the Importance–and Value–of Your First-Party Data



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Don’t miss out on an opportunity to extract more value from the data coming from your own niche websites!

Audience data has become a valuable commodity in the digital advertising ecosystem. Advertisers continue to gobble up “third-party” data from online publications and other websites, which data management platforms (DMPs) collect and aggregate into audience segments that are sold through automated exchanges. BlueKai, one of the leading DMP vendors, has compiled close to 1 billion customer profiles, according to The Economist.

But many niche publishers are ignoring an opportunity to extract more value from the data coming from their own websites. Your community represents a premium audience for the advertisers in the niche you represent. The “first-party” data you collect as these visitors spend time on your website and share information with you is the real gold for audience targeting and other advanced ad products and services.

[Read more…]

The City and Regional Secret Sauce: Insight from Publisher Cathy Williams



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Publisher Cathy Merrill Williams knows what’s working in the digital space for city/regional magazines.

For city & regional publications, there’s huge potential in developing “hyper-local” online strategies for content and advertising. But what is really working for savvy publishers in the digital space?

We caught up recently with Cathy Merrill Williams, President & Publisher of Washingtonian Media. We asked her about the inside scoop on their efforts to create digital content and grow digital revenue.

Niche Media HQ:  For City/Regional publications, can you give us a couple of examples of digital strategies that have worked for you to grow revenue? [Read more…]

Weird Database Fields for Better Ad Sales (Part 1)



A good customer relationship management (CRM) system is the life blood of an Ad Sales person. You have all the normal fields in place–Name, Company Name, Email Address, Websites, etc.

Here are some weird (aka unique) fields that I have added over the years of selling that have really helped us become more successful….    ID-10013485

  • Advertiser product/service category field:  The more personalization you can do by “category” the better chance prospects are going to be interested.  Most prospects fit under one of about 20 categories. When I ran a home brew beer magazine we had categories like: beer kits, hops, barley, glassware, educational classes, etc. When we would send out broadcast emails, it made it super easy to target emails to all the beer kit people or glassware vendors all at once.
  • A-B-C Accounts:  I have a field that defines prospects by the size of their budgets. “A” accounts have the big budgets and “C” are the small fry. Why in the world would you spend the same amount of time and effort talking to someone that potentially has $50,000 vs. someone that has just $400 to spend? But you would be amazed at how much time reps will spend on the C accounts. This is a great time management tool.
  • Mode of contacting prospects:  One of the questions a lot of prospects enjoy is when I ask them how they would like to be contacted–via phone, email, text, or in person. They appreciate and respond better. I am a little surprised how many people like to be contacted via text and respond well and quickly to it.
  • Best time to call someone:  People are creatures of habit. Clients often respond way better depending on when you contact them. I have some clients that like the early AM call,  some prefer late in the day after their work is just about over. The results can be dramatic when you contact them at the right time. I just note it in my database time field and get better results.

Keep ad sales databases weird!!! Stay tuned for the best weird database field of all time next week.

How weird or unique are YOUR categories and how do they help you? Let us know on  Facebook or Twitter.

 

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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

 

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Research Makes You An Ad Sales Superstar



We interviewed Nancy O’Brien recently, a popular speaker at our Camp Niche Ad Sales Trainings. She knows a simple, straightforward way  to make you a Superstar in Ad Sales. “When talking with your customers about ad sales, it’s important to also provide valuable research that they can use in their business. Think of yourself as not just an ad salesperson but also a marketing consultant with information that will make your customers look good,” Nancy tells us.  The carefully gleaned information you provide to your customers can be about a product, service, industry or about marketing in general–just as long as it’s helpful to them.
Here are some solid reasons for doing your (and their) homework:

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Research should be a key component of your advertising sales plan.

  • Research can prove that the customer made the right decision buying advertising from you in the first place
  • Marketers love research as it helps them understand their customers and their own products better
  • Providing research sets you apart from your competitors by providing a valuable service
  • Very few ad sales reps offer research for their customers – it puts you in the Big League
And don’t wait for your publisher to do it – be proactive and do it yourself. Make it part of your routine to research on an ongoing basis to provide your customers with current market trends. Sure, you do research for feedback when a new ad campaign is launched–but do it again at 12 months and at 18 months. Use a search engine to compile data. The search feature on your own website may be a goldmine of data for you.
And what’s in it for you to do all this “extra” work? Every research project you do MAKES you learn more about your customer and your marketplace. Who knows? If you become consistent at providing great customized data, you could have access to executive level decision makers who want to see what you have to show them. Solid research will also keep your customers coming back for more at contract renewal time too.
Want to learn more? We’ll give you 6 ways next week to conduct research for your clients and prospects. You can also ask us on Facebook or Twitter.

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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

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:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

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.