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Top 10 ways to monetize content for publishers

Publishers often ask us here at BlueToad for advise on how to monetize their apps or sell digital ads in their magazines.

The real important factors here are not just where can you, but more importantly how do you? Or more specifically “How do you convince advertisers/agencies to spend dollars advertising with you AND to spend it in different ways? “

In my quest to provide some answers, I attended a Ad Sales Seminar hosted by the Florida Magazine Association. Ryan Dohrn, President of Brain Swell Media was the speaker. 

Ryan had many ideas for publishers and here are what I consider to be the Top 10 list of tips I learned. This is certainly not a comprehensive list – the full day seminar detailed specific examples and exercises that publishers can do to make these concepts a reality.   These are simple (although not always easy) things that publishers and their ad sales team can do to grow ad sales and monetize the digital space. I hope you enjoy them!

1) You will need to work both harder and smarter to grow your ad sales, not just smarter. Traditional print ad buyers need to learn about the potential digital brings while online only ad buyers can be shown the value of paginated media.

2) The Direct Marketing Association tells us that you will need to touch a prospect 7-10 times before you get a sale.

3) Create data sheets for your advertisers with at most 10 data points that explain the size of both your print and digital audience. As 86% of people are visual learners, ensure that the content contains visual triggers that support your message.

4) Create packages for your ad sales. For example, print ad, digital page, newsletter banner and social media sponsorship. Build several tiers of packages and name them.

By Ryan Dohrn

5) When presenting a proposal, place an ROI calculator at the top. Something that talks to the value of your ad placement and what it will do for them. 

6) Don’t overwhelm your advertisers with too many stats. It’s better to pick a few, relevant stats and explain what that means to the advertiser.

7)  The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) has a great fact book with stats on the power of magazine media. This is a credible resource for information – use it to educate your advertisers. (See #6)

8) Eliminate these words from your vocabulary “We’ll throw in the digital edition ad for free”.  Why? Because what do you do when digital circulation surpasses print? If you do not place a value on digital now – you won’t be able to later. 

9) On Social Media: 1 in 10 of your posts on Facebook should be a sponsored ad – just be sure to label it as a “Sponsor”. This is a missed opportunity for many publishers. 

10) Above all else – Stop pitching! An educated customer is much more valuable.