Online access, e-commerce, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, oh my! Advances in the digital space have profoundly changed B2C media forever. Readers can now instantly search, receive content, and talk with advertisers directly online – how does your brand’s expertise fit in? Dealing with all this audience disruption can be challenging, to say the least.
But fear not, niche publishers. Think of these market advances as new revenue-generating opportunities for your media company. The key to success is to develop a long-term plan to capitalize on market innovations.
We interviewed Mark Hintz, CEO of Sovereign Homestead Magazine publishing and also a featured speaker at the Niche CEO Summit, June 21-22, in Washington D.C. He truly understands the importance for publishers to start (and embrace) using new tools and market disruptors to develop new media products, e-commerce trends and more.
What are some ways that niche publishers can recognize key market innovations in the first place? Are there some performance benchmarks that make you say, “Aha!”?
“One of my simplest and cheapest ways of trolling for new product ideas is using the keyword tool for google adwords. I start with a basic theme and then come up with as many subsets of that theme I can think of.
For example, Sovereign/Homestead has a line of history magazines. So, I type “history” into the Google keyword finder tool, and find the number of monthly Google searches for that term. How many variations of that subject can I think of in a word or phrase? What alternative keywords or offshoots of “history” does Google recommend? The keyword tool will start recommending highly searched branches of your topic you probably never even thought of.
Then develop your 10 or 20 highest searched keywords within your subject matter. Look at the publications serving those markets. Which of the most highly searched terms are the most underserved in terms of publications? You’ve probably just found a product idea worth testing.
The next step is the product test. We do an a/b split broadcast email to our opt- in newsletter subscribers. (Test A offers an existing winning product, Test B is the test idea). If B sells as much or more than the existing product, you know you have a winner.”
Can you share some real-world success stories of ways you capitalized on those innovations?
“Sovereign/Homestead just launched a Hitler one-shot on the national newsstands for $9.99. This summer we’re launching a WWII Weapons one shot, again for $9.99 on the newsstand. Both are products garnered from the Google Keywords tool. I started with World War II as my keyword phrase.”
What do you think the future of e-commerce looks like for B2C publishers?
“When I was a young boy, I found an injured bird, put it in a box and nursed it back to health. When it was ready to go back into the wild, I took the box outside, opened the top and stood back. Nothing happened. The bird was so scared, it didn’t realize it was free to fly! With all the change in technology, many B2C publishers have the exact same problem. They’re so scared they don’t realize they’re free to fly!
I’ve read some research which has shown that millennial consumers do not distinguish between a printed version of a magazine and the same magazine on a tablet or smartphone. They consider both “the brand.” Increasingly content is king, and the format it is presented in is insignificant.
What a huge opportunity for B2C publishers! A “brand” can be sold as a single article, an entire archive of all articles we’ve ever published, a printed magazine, a digital magazine, or a compilation of stories with the same subject matter.
E-commerce allows us to sell our brand in any way that we can dream up to sell it, instantly with a payment upfront. All we need to figure out is how, when someone types a search term into a search engine, they can find our website. Millions upon millions of people are looking for our content EVERY DAY. We just have to help them find us.
But I need to end here, because I don’t want to give away too much!”
Editor’s note: If you want to learn more from Mark Hintz and other CEO’s, he will be speaking about the 10 Steps to Use Disruptive Change to Your Advantage at the Niche CEO Summit, June 22, 2017 in Washington D.C. The deadline is Thursday, May 22nd. Don’t miss this opportunity to take your media company to the next level!
More about Mark: Mark Hintz is CEO and one of the three founders of Sovereign Homestead Magazine publishing, and has launched over 20 consumer niche media properties, including Log Cabin Homes Magazine, SCI FI, the official magazine of the Sci Fi Channel, OTAKU USA Magazine ( an anime & manga magazine), World War II History Magazine, Military Heritage Magazine; bookazines including WWII Quarterly; portal websites including warfarehistorynetwork.com, otakuusamagazine.com, and logcabins.com; and formerly owned Country’s Best Log Homes Magazine and consumer trade shows.
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