A New Perspective
All successful publications have found ways of marketing that work for them: print mailings and cold calls, tracking subscriber (and ex-subscriber) behavior. These outbound methods are valid and will continue to be so.
But when you switch to a digital publication, you open up a whole new world of opportunity and your mindset needs to shift with it.
Now that you have a destination for your readers to reach, you need to focus on inbound marketing.
Instead of reaching out to them, draw them in to you. Your digital publication will become the engine that drives all of your sales, digital and print alike.
Three Simple steps
Inbound marketing follows three simple steps:
First, draw them in.
Second, show them your value.
Third, convert them to subscribers.
The foundation is your digital publication. Ensure that all of your unique, valuable content is published on your site and protected behind a metered or hybrid-metered paywall like Leaky Paywall.
Once you have a destination for your readers, it’s time to lead them to it.
Ease them in with Email
Start with email addresses.
Chances are, you already have some, from your existing readers. If not, start collecting them. Offer visitors a first glance at new content with a newsletter. Or even offer them free content in exchange for their email address.
Once you’ve started building your list, you can use services like MailChimp to automate your email blasts. Once you’ve got them set up, they can continue the process all on their own.
Because here’s the statistic you want to remember: people on your email list are 10x more likely to become paid subscribers.
Just a Sample
If the publication is your foundation and your emails are the portal, the paywall is the key to your subscription revenue.
A metered paywall allows visitors to read a set number of articles for free before prompting them to purchase a subscription.
A good paywall will allow them to control their experience, choosing their own articles to peruse and sharing those articles freely on social media. The shared articles can be re-shared to near infinity.
When their social media friends follow the links back to your site, the meter starts for them. They have the opportunity to read and share the same number of articles as the original visitor.
Your paywall should also allow Google and its kin to completely catalogue your content so that you show up in the relevant search engine result pages. Then visitors searching for content you have will land on your site and activate the meter.
Either way, you’ve successfully brought them to you to start the sales process.
Once you’ve got them in the system, whether through emails or just the weekly or monthly reset of the meter, it’s only a matter of time before they convert.
Offer them bundles, priced correctly, and you’ll end up growing your print subscriptions, too.
Inbound marketing isn’t just for subscriptions, though. It’s also the way of the future for your advertising revenue.
Move away from the blaring display ads and the cold calls to convince advertisers to purchase them.
Consider, instead, a digital marketplace, like LiveMarket.
Akin to classified ads, LiveMarket allows advertisers to post simple promotions in a prominent and featured spot on the important pages of your publication.
The front page listings lead to dedicated ad pages with more details. The ads are simple for the advertisers to generate, absolving the publisher of all design responsibility.
And attracting advertisers follows the same inbound principles as attracting subscribers. Draw them in, show them the results, and convert them.
It starts with a teaser on the main site: want to get your promotions in front of all these local readers for free? Then you offer them a free level that allows advertisers to post a free promotion every month.
With LiveMarket they have access to a clearly designed dashboard that shows them how effective their ad has been.
Once you’ve drawn them in, offer them more promotions and more perks – like scheduling their ads rather than just an instant display. All they have to do is pay the recurring monthly fee.
It’s a better way of advertising for you and them.
Banner ads are useless and other options, like Facebook Ads are both more frustrating and more expensive. (LiveMarket is about 13x cheaper per click than Facebook Ads and the advertisements can be created in minutes as opposed to the hour and more that a Facebook Ad can take.)
And it’s all made possible be an inbound mindset.
Are you ready to see what an inbound mindset can do for your publication? Let’s chat.