Every successful multiplatform publisher we know follows these four guiding principles
It’s funny, any multiplatform publisher who has attended one of our events, or has come to us curious about what Mequoda is all about will find that we’re our own little island. We have our own acronyms and even a few words, and we have a council of elders (also known as Mequoda Masters).
In fact, this council of elders in Mequodaland convinced us to come up with a set of four relatively simple principles you need in order to build a multiplatform media business that wouldn’t require a degree in Mequoda-ise to understand.
And so this is what we came up, and it describes the four principles that we think every niche magazine publisher should live by.
Principle #1: Attraction is your number one priority. Direct mail isn’t the big dog anymore, Google is. So your primary focus in life should be to create and publish Google-friendly content and attract as much free website traffic as you can.
Principle #2: Once you attract, you need to have architecture in place to capture their email address. Getting visitors to your website is great, but for most websites, 90% of people will stop there, which means 90% of traffic is going to waste because most will never come back. We always want to capture a relationship, so niche publishers should be offering incentives, like free downloads, to get the visitor to start a relationship.
Principle #3: Engage subscribers with relevant, compelling content that will make their life better. As Seth Godin once said, “we’re never going to outgrow our need for information.” A quality daily email newsletter that is editorial-focused has an annual retention rate of 65%, which is a great number. And while we always want to promote on social channels too, it’s no secret that social media reaches a much smaller percentage of visitors than your opt-in email list.
So we’ve covered principles 1 -3, all of our clients follow those principles in a similar way. However, most approach monetization completely differently, and the smartest ones we know monetize several different ways.
Principle #4: Monetize the relationships in many ways. How can you take a big loyal engaged audience and monetize them?
A lot of the decisions you’ll make come down to the system you’re using to accomplish principles 1-3.
Your content management system should have the capability to attract new visitors through a search-friendly and optimized platform. It should have the website architecture ready to capture those visitors and convert them into email subscribers. It should also provide marketing automation necessary to engage these visitors, and a multiplatform product catalog with processing capability to monetize these visitors.
We see all four as stand-alone strategies that must all be completely interlocked in a customer experience management system. We use them because the publishers who come to us tell us they want more customers, and we explain that monetization doesn’t come first – it comes last.
First, you need to increase the volume of traffic to your website from the types of people who are most likely to subscribe.
Then, you need an email subscriber base, so you have to capture those qualified website visitors as email subscribers with a free download of some kind.
Then you spend time getting to know them, and proving that your free content is great, so it’s worth investing in your premium content.
Finally, you need a multiplatform magazine, so that you can more effectively convert email subscribers into a magazine subscribers on the platform(s) of their choosing.
Your business system should allow you to be able to look at any tactical activity and know whether one activity will help you attract more people, capture more new relationships, engage your audience, or will it help you monetize?
And it’s a litmus test. If the answer is that the activity won’t help you with any of the above, then don’t do it.
If you have 150 things you can do, that’s how you pick the 10-15 you need to fund in a quarter or a year.
Schedule a 30-minute complimentary consult with me to learn more about Mequoda Systems. We’ve helped more than 300 niche publishers grow their business and we would love to help you grow yours.