Niche Digital: Mega Online Revenue Mania


This is part two 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.


Ryan Dohrn, 360 Ad Sales Strategy and Training, is a digital sales guru. He presented 20 ideas to maximize cash from programs, sell social media, use video to drive dollars, and ways to apply new ideas. These real world examples have all been proven successful for Dohrn’s clients around the globe.

Idea #1: Sell Social Media
“From our friends at…” is a great way to incorporate advertisers into your Facebook feed, however, this makes me cringe. Instead, we need to be looking at creating Facebook ads for our advertisers that promote programs. When we post to our news feed only 1 to 2 percent actually see the post. Promoted posts (ads) are a guaranteed way for people to see the content.

Idea #2: Social Media Contests
To make these contests a real success hiring a third party company (like Second Street Media Solutions) is the way to go. Contests need something valuable. If a prize value is not exceeding $500 response rates drop by 45 percent. When that value is exceeding the $500 mark the response rates increase by 75 percent.

Idea #3: Push Up Ads
Banner ads have dramatically dropped in effectiveness. This means it’s time to get creative, and get advertisers excited about buying ads. One way is to look into push down or push up ads. Yes, they are disruptive, but they are different. CTR goes above .5 percent when these ads are used. These ads are very easy to design (they are half page ads) and they are not overly diffficult to implement.

Idea #4: Content From Sponsors
Sponsored content is read more than original content. This type of content put on your website can be placed in a specific area of the site that houses white papers, research, company information, etc. Advertisers love the fact that you are helping promote their information. In some cases freelancers can be hired to help develop content if necessary.

Idea #5: Alternative Audience E-News Letter
This is a way to drive subscriptions by using a little reverse psycology. Send a subscription ad that’s not really for the audience, but is for the audience. Confused? Think about a Father’s Day ad soliciting a subscription as a “gift for dad.” Guess who responds to the ad? Dads.

Idea #6: Experts Video
Create videos for advertisers that serve both our site, and theirs. Tailor these videos to certain programs, or issues. Use the advertiser in the video if possible, then promote the videos via banner ads on the web, print ads, and social media.

Idea #7: Ryan’s Prospecting List
Utilize a CRM (customer relationship manager) and tailor solicitation to three types of clients. Clients who have advertised, who might advertise, and who actually advertise. This could help when trying to come up with leads for special projects.

Idea #8: Contest Calendar
Set up an area in the office that outlines a contest or special projects calendar. Sales reps can’t sell items they don’t know exist. This is a plan that helps everybody plan.

Idea #9: Video Content Lists
Just because we don’t have time to shoot videos, that doesn’t mean we can’t provide them. Curation is the key. Create a page on your website (or an e-newsletter) that provides the top-five videos (via YouTube) that are relevant to a specific topic.  This helps drive traffic to the website. You can promote the curated lists on social media, too.

Idea #10: Micro Site
The best way to track for the advertiser is a micro site. These help design for conversion specifically. The first two months of launch the revenue will be very low, but once it gets established it can start to provide revenue through leads generated. What do you charge for a micro site? Rule of thumb is 25 percent of the cost of a full-page, four-color ad. Just remember to follow best practices and be visual.

Idea #11: Best Ever E-News Signup
Show people exactly what their getting, and include short tag lines. An area on your website that is dedicated to newsletter sign up will help drive subscriptions. If a reader can read a tagline, click to see a preview, and then provide a check box that allows them to opt-in to receiving your information. (Check out MensHealth.com because they are doing it right).

Idea #12: Selling Big Data 
The smaller the e-list, the more targeted, and the more valuable it is. Advertisers are all about behavior targeting, or quality. Not necessarily quantity. The value of a company increases up to 6 percent when they can provide perfectly mined data.

Idea #13: Google Drives Contests
Use Google Ads to help drive traffic. Utilize keywords and dedicate dollars each month to help drive traffic to either a specific contest, or website.

Idea #14: Responsive Web Design
Optimize it. Make it user friendly and make it mobile friendly.

Idea #15: Power Pricing Grid
Visual fact sheets show pricing structure, offerings, and opportunities. When things get complex we need to figure out how to present them in a simpler way.

Idea #16: Data Sheets
Make things simple. Put all the information there in front of people and make it easy to understand and access.

Idea #17: Specific Ad Binder or a PDF Viewer on iPad
In order to show what you’re offering, show what you’re offering. A good way to do this is PDF leave behinds of ads for example, or a link of a digital publication that is nothing but ads. Show what the possibilities are.

Idea #18 Advertiser Video Advice and Tips 
Feature playlists on your website and monetize your videos on YouTube. Grab videos from advertisers and pull them into a featured playlist, or just a page of resourceful videos and drive traffic there.

Idea #19 Max Out The CRM
When it comes to customer relationship managment use the tool to the best of its ability. Create categories and tailor messaging to those categories.

Idea #20: Sales Videos For Success
Every product you have show have a one to two minute video associated with it. Show what the product is, how it works for advertisers, and the link is easy to send out for advertisers to look at. These short videos do not have to be “professionally” produced, but produced as a visual tool.

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One response to “Niche Digital: Mega Online Revenue Mania

  1. Pingback: Niche Digital: Wrap-Up | Marketing 411·

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