As a Niche Publisher, you know you need a solid digital revenue plan that can adapt to changes in technology and market opportunities, plus will ensure company growth, drive revenue, and put you in proactive mode.
So how do you sort it all out?
Eric Shanfelt’s (Founding Partner, eMedia Strategist) 25 years in the digital media trenches have given him unique insights into what works, what doesn’t, and how to map a strategic digital revenue path. Here he shares his insights on digital platform strategies, audience development, and revenue growth. (Note: these strategies are applicable to B2B or Consumer facing Niche Publishers!)
What’s one key digital platform strategy niche publishers should consider adopting right now?
ERIC – “I would encourage B2B publishers to try launching an online event / summit. These online summits are NOT like the old “virtual events” that tried to replicate the look and feel of a trade show. Those were horrible.
Instead, I’m talking about a one or two-day online event with several pre-recorded webinars. These are not difficult to implement for B2B publishers, can generate significant revenue, and allow publishers to solidify or enter market niches with authority. Speakers, attendees and sponsors love them and they can rapidly build your email list as well. I’ll be showing a couple examples of these during the Niche B2B CEO Summit along with tips on how to launch one in just about any market.”
Tell us more about “intentional audience development” and why it works.
ERIC – “It really just means what it says … being intentional about developing out your email list and magazine subscriber base using your digital assets. I challenge everyone reading this to take a look at their own website.
Is there a clear call-to-action on every page of your website to sign up for your email newsletter? Do you give them a reason why they should sign up? Is it clear on every page of your site that there is a magazine that people can subscribe to? Are the subscribe links and calls-to-action prominent and clear? Does your subscribe page actually SELL people as to why they should get your magazine or is it just an order form? Are you using automated conditional content blocks within your email newsletter and on your website to re-qualify subscribers?
“Intentional audience development” means that you recognize that your own email and website are the best tools to build your subscribers, re-qualify subscribers, and reduce your circulation costs. I’ll be sharing key digital strategies for email and magazine audience development with the Summit attendees.”
Can you share a real-world success story about cutting through all the noise to create a successful digital path?
ERIC – “Sure! This is something that happens with most publishers, but one B2B publisher in particular was having a very difficult time getting traction with their digital efforts. They had a great brand, excellent content and pretty decent audience database as well. But they were doing way too much … too many ad deliverables, too many email lists, fragmented technologies and content strategies, and every social media platform imaginable.
The first thing we did was look at everything and simplify it. I had to help them focus their limited time, money and effort, focus on the things that actually made a difference, and trim out or shut down the things that didn’t work or were overly complicated. To use a football analogy, instead of moving 100 footballs one yard each, they focused on moving one football 100 yards and scoring.
It’s a principle that I have used throughout my career with great success and it makes all of the difference for media companies. In fact, there was a great book written about this concept called “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less“. I give a copy to all of my clients and will be bringing a couple of copies to give away at the Niche CEO Summit.”
Editor’s note: Eric Shanfelt will be a session speaker at the Niche B2B CEO Summit in Denver, June 19-20, 2019.
More about Eric: Eric is the Founding Partner of eMedia Strategist, a consulting firm that has helped dozens of consumer and B2B media companies grow their digital businesses, with a focus on practical audience and revenue-building strategies. Over the past 20 years, Eric has served as the Senior VP of Digital for Penton, Interweave, Virgo, and HarperCollins Christian Publishing. He has launched multiple highly successful, multi-million-dollar online businesses with advertising, lead generation, e-commerce, and subscription revenue streams.
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