Creating the Best of Both: How to Sell Digital AND Print for the Ultimate Ad Package

Associate Publisher and Sales Expert Nancy O’Brien shares her insights on selling the ultimate package.

Many advertisers think that digital is the less expensive alternative when really it’s not. And more than ever, advertisers are turning to Google AdWords, Facebook and other online-only digital ad opportunities….and leaving you and your niche magazine’s advertising opportunities out in the cold. So what’s the best way to overcome this “either-or” way of thinking?

We consulted Ad Sales Expert Nancy O’Brien on ways to prove that traditional media is alive, well and needed–as well as how to advance your conversations about your digital products at the same time.

NMHQ: Why does a combination of digital and traditional advertising work so well? Can you share a real-world success story? 


“Using both traditional print and digital components in an advertising campaign allows the advertiser to reach a much broader audience.  Where a magazine may have 20,000 readers, the website could have 40,000 unique visitors – a larger more diverse audience.  Digital advertising invites engagement through clicks and video views which creates a relationship between the reader and the media. 

Print advertising is a key component to branding.  Where print ads have a long shelf life and much greater potential to be seen when they appear in or near articles, digital advertising has a brief moment to catch someone’s attention – or perhaps not even if the user has ad blockers. 

I have a client who uses high impact print ads (full pages, spreads and inserts) to reinforce their brand and white papers with digital downloads and videos to educate the market about the benefits of certain technology.  Our year over year brand perception study shows that this particular company has the highest recall as a brand, perceived with the highest quality products and enjoys the greatest market share among its competitors.  Using all forms of media is the best way to reach the largest market with a variety of messages and experiences.”

NMHQ: How do you convince clients that your audience data is compelling? Any “stats secrets” you can share?  


“We have very specific data that we share with our clients about the performance of their digital campaigns with us.  We can show them clicks, CTR, geography, what other content they have viewed and a myriad of other data points.  The more information you can give them the more real and reliable it is for the client.  Plus this type of data allows them to better target their message to just those prospects who are most likely to purchase their products.”

NMHQ: What are 3 good ways ad salespeople can improve digital product conversations with clients? 


“1. Ad sales professionals need to ask a lot of questions up front.  What are the client’s goals?  Their expectations?  Their success measurement tools.  Those questions should be asked at the beginning of the sales process so the sales rep can customize a program that fits all of their needs. 

2.  Sales people need to have plenty of examples of digital strategies and artwork that has been successful on your digital platforms.  Show them the ads/whitepapers/video.  Tell advertisers what your average CTR is and show them ads that far exceed it.  Coach them what to include in white papers and other content to enhance lead generation. 

3.  Talk about ways to measure digital performance.  Encourage them to have a dedicated landing page for every different banner ad.  Explain to them how video will highly increase their metrics.  Help them to be successful by sharing success stories with them.”

Show your clients how “either-or” thinking can actually hurt their marketing efforts. Be prepared with detailed facts and stats, fully integrate your media packaging, share success stories…and then you can help your clients decide what combination of advertising in your magazine will work best!

Editor’s note: Nancy will be leading the session, Overcoming Digital Objections at the 2016 Niche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21. Join us!



More about Nancy: Nancy works for Aviation International News as Associate Publisher and Ad Sales Guru. She also co-teaches Camp Niche Ad Sales Training. She’s a b-to-b publishing vet and previously worked at Petroleum Engineer, Oil & Gas Journal, and Electric Light & Power.


Diana headshot photoAbout this blogger: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast…who sometimes gets carried away.



Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. 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! Check out the Niche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21!

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