Sponsored Content Programs + YOUR Magazine Readers = Sales Success!

Publishing sales expert Ryan Dohrn shares his insights on the future of advertiser-sponsored content programs.

Are advertisers not all that excited lately about buying ads? Are you spending a lot of time trying to convince them of the ROI? That’s unfortunate, because there is a HUGE advertising opportunity they are missing out on: advertiser-sponsored content for YOUR hyper-targeted, super-niched audience.

We recently interviewed Ryan Dohrn, Founder and CEO of 360 Ad Sales, on ways publishers can help their advertisers position themselves through compelling content in both print and digital:

NMHQ: What are some ways that sales reps can help their advertisers to be positioned as thought leaders? 

Ryan: “Almost all research suggest that readers like paid content.  Advertisers need to understand that paid is just one more way to reach their audience in multiple ways on multiple days.  The secret is to create super relevant content, not promotional pieces.  An advertiser is not the best author for their paid content. Consult some outside eyes (editorial) and industry experts to advise on the content.  Also, make sure that the promotional plan around the paid content is very solid. 

So what kinds of paid content models should publishers be using? Print alone does not give the total flexibility we need in the paid content space to make significant money. There must be an equal (or greater) focus on the digital side of the business too. Here’s an example: I want to be able to sell an online article that is content rich and has a ton of reader benefit. In addition to that, I want a lead gen form at the end of the article. I want to be able to offer main page web site promotion, massive boosted social media and inclusion in an e-blast. I want this total paid content package to be robust and full of value. “

NMHQ: What’s one key piece of advice you would give sales reps when selling paid content? 
Ryan: “Promote, promote, promote. The promotion around the paid content is the critical piece of the total sale.”

NMHQ: What’s the future of paid content look like? 
Ryan: “The future is bright if we always focus on reader benefit first.  No reader benefit, no go.  I truly feel that over 45% of the content you read in the next 10 years will have some paid aspect to it. The key is providing sponsored content in an authentic way, so readers don’t feel tricked. And developing a comprehensive, paced-out sponsored content program will be more effective in then long-term than just a one-off here and there.”


Editor’s note: Sales expert Ryan Dohrn will be leading the session, Selling Paid/Sponsored Content at the Niche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21, 2016.



More about Ryan: As an ad sales superstar consultant, Ryan Dohrn has built the revenue models for over 200 magazines and trained over 3,000 sales people as the CEO of 360 Ad Sales Training & Strategy. Ryan was formerly a Vice President and Group Publisher at PennWell Corporation, the largest privately owned B2B publisher in the USA. Ryan’s extensive media resume also includes Morris Magazines, The New York Times, Disney/ABC TV and Vance Publishing. He is also the author of the Amazon best selling business book Selling Backwards.


Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. Next up? The Niche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – is launching the all new Super Niche Event, March 27-29, 2017. Check it out!

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