This weekend, I took my son to a birthday party in the playroom. Running behind him, I met an interesting guy who works with big data on the Hometogo.com platform and we had a great discussion about collecting, analyzing, and translating data into actionable insights. This got me thinking about niche publishers and the many missed, unmonetized opportunities they have.
Today’s digital world is blooming with “new” trends like social media influencers, bloggers, and Facebook ads, all of which are highly effective at selling their product to their audience. But, thinking deeper about this, niche magazines have even greater power! In fact, each of the aforementioned methods are reaching their audience on the basis of their authority to advertise the stuff.
You, however, as a publisher, have the same, if not more, capability! You have the audience, you have the authority, and you have tons of premium, editorial content. That’s actually all it takes to generate massive revenue. You just have to offer the right infrastructure to the prospects in order to deliver the results.
Advertisers are no longer interested in your circulation or mailing list size. If you want them to continue sponsoring your magazine, you instead have to show them results.
I’m not going to repeat myself saying that you have what it takes, but I’ll give you an example of what you should do after you’ve generated traffic to your website via Google and other search engines.
Capture visitor emails: you need to get that email address.
Your website needs to have email capture architecture (a “squeeze page”), so you can always be pushing unsubscribed visitors to subscribe. Don’t worry about asking for it for too many times; if somebody leaves your site because of that, they were not your customer anyway.
After they subscribe, start building a file about each subscriber. Track their activity to understand what they are looking for and what they like to read. Ask for their name, company, etc. Don’t do it with long and boring forms; instead, add some creativity to the process and collect the information over time.
Let’s say you have a product section on the site, like most niche magazines have since it can generate some decent revenue for you. A visitor enters your website and starts browsing, which can end up looking like this flowchart:
We need to check if a visitor has a cookie set on their browser. If he does, we log the visitor in automatically and we know who he is. This delivers a better user experience to the user because we don’t bother him with pop-ups asking to subscribe, etc. The user will get a premium experience without interruptions. The benefit of logging-in the user automatically allows us to learn more about the identified user and offer him what he needs without disrupting his visit.
Engage the user with great, useful content
Let’s say the user goes to the product section, then chooses a subcategory. Let’s say, for this scenario, that you are a B2B magazine about logistics and warehouses, so the user clicks on the subcategory “Forklifts” and filters to “all electric forklifts.” Since we already know a lot about this user’s needs, this is where we can offer a free PDF download that explains how to choose an electric forklift. You are a magazine publisher, not an e-shop, so this “help” type information has more authority and value for the user. When the user clicks to download the PDF, we show him a sleek form with a few fields like name, email and company name. If the user is already subscribed and has a cookie, we can prefill some of these fields and just ask for the information we don’t have. Then, of course, we allow him to download the PDF with our high quality content.
Monetize the information you collect
The user continues to browse through the forklifts and then leaves the site. What just happened?
We have generated a quality lead! Our system is smart, so we have collected all the data about the user from the moment he entered the site. We now know what he did on the site, we know that he was looking for electric forklift, and we know which one he liked the best (most likely the ones he kept open for the longest time or visited more times). We also know his name, email and company name. It’s a very warm if not hot lead. This information can be sold or you can market directly to the user via email or via remarketing campaigns. You name it.
This is just a small example of what can be done by collecting and analyzing data. Keep in mind that this works only if you have enough data and that you can actually sort it. Visitors come to read niche magazines for trustworthy content about the industry and products. If you deliver that, just collect the right data and you’ll soon be king.
If you have questions or simply want similar capabilities for your online magazine contact us.