This is part one of a series of summaries from the Niche Digital Conference held in Nashville, Tenn. The conference is focused on online revenue strategies for niche publications.
What if we just tried to own some quality time in our reader’s inbox? What if we ignored analytical numbers like opens, and click-through rates? What if our primary goal was a zero opt-out rate?
When it comes to digital content, publications are looking at it all wrong. Yes, numbers are nice but they don’t really tell us much. Instead, let’s look at our brand as a television network and develop shows (or content in our case) that people just can’t wait to watch (read, or consume). These are shows that are under our masthead, but allow for branding and revenue opportunities.
Instead let’s focus on quality readers, or subscribers. Let’s look at how our brand can help propel content that people actually want.
There is a strategy to creating killer content and a content brand:
Step 1: Fractal Marketing
-Get rich by targeting a smaller niche. Drill down, then drill down again. Capture a very small portion of your readers.
Step 2: Audience Empathy
-Understand your reader, and write a statement that explains why the reader needs your content.
Step 3: Make an appointment
-Set an expectation and deliver on it.
Step 4: Talent
-Select talent that can deliver, as well as be a trusted source. That relationship of trust between the talent and consumer will ultimately drive revenue.
Step 5: The X Factor
-Develop or determine the hook and simple twist that makes your content unique.
Step 6: Brand it
-Treat your content like a product. Give it a title, and log line. Just like in TV Guide.
Step 7: Legs
-Does your content brand have legs to go the distance? Develop enough topics that content can be created for the long haul (or maybe the short haul) you just don’t want to run out of topics early and the reader loses interest.
Step 8: The format
-This is the important part, because it’s what you actually own. Talent may come and go, but if the format is yours you’ll continue the content brand’s success. This is the outline of the content, or the “show bible” that contains all the mechanics of your content.
Step 9: Underwrite it
-Rather than the typical ads, shake it up. Underwriting is a way to show a company puts value in the audience, and content. The banner ads and display ads should be the value-added portion. An underwriting statement is important and gives the company value in the ownership (and the audience being delivered).
Step 10: Pull it all together
-This is the pitch. Ambitious developers include art, logo development, or mock-ups.
An additional resource pertaining to this topic is a mini e-book written by Andrew Davis. Davis presented today’s bonus session on creating killer marketing content.