Cross-Promotion: Driving Readers Across Multiple Platforms
In an age when publishing products run the gamut from print to online, mobile to events, separate audiences and separate advertisers for the different platforms of the same brand no longer work. Publishers now realize it's necessary to drive their audiences and advertisers across their entire portfolio.
Digital b-to-b publisher FierceMarkets has grown in six years from an e-newsletter provider to a full-fledged media company with 16 online publications serving six industries via four media channels, including Webinars, trade shows and executive summits. The goal is not only to bring in new customers but to get existing advertisers and readers to use all FierceMarkets products, says president Jeff Giesea.
At Reiman Media Group, which publishes cooking and enthusiast magazines such as Taste of Home, president Barbara Newton says the company looks to its audiences to offer direction in cross-promotion. "We have a saying at Reiman, ï¾Listen to the customer and everything else will follow,'" Newton says. "And I think that's more true today than ever before. When you're feeding multiple products into a system, you need to listen to the customer about what they want and when they want it, and figure out a strategy to deliver it to them the way they want it."
Reiman says her company often uses its different channels to market its products. "Taste of Home has 3.5 million subscribers," she says. "So if we have a cookbook coming out, we'll promote in Taste of Home, in other magazines, on the Internet, through direct mail and through our cooking classes."
Giesea says his company often uses a similar strategy to promote the products in its different channels. When the company advertised a party in one of its newsletters, 1,400 RSVP-ed. "[The party] is a whole new venue in which we get to serve readers and marketers," he says. "From an advertising perspective, it gives our marketers who usually reach our readers online or in our newsletters, the chance to reach them in person."
Reiman also cross promotes by repurposing content in a variety of products. "We might do a one-track cookbook in direct mail at $24.99 and then do a lower-priced trade version for $14.99," she explains. "We also might want to take that content and use it in a bookazine for $9.99 and do a digest size at the register that's all recipe cards for $4.99. But we also think about the way we offer that content very carefully. We don't want our best customers purchasing the same content in a different format."
Newton says it's more important than ever for publishers to diversify their offerings. "In cross-promoting, we look for the kind of project that can appeal across a variety of media channels, has a broad enough reach and what makes sense in pricing, timing, format and production specifications in each channel," she says.
Recently, FierceMarkets launched companion Web sites for all of its newsletters (previously the company's Web pages served as places where people could read a newsletter if they missed it). "They really feed off of each," says Giesea. "We've noticed a spike in traffic and page views. It really represents a whole new growth opportunity for us."
FierceMarkets is considering launching companion print titles to their channel offerings. "Even though we're digitally inclined and it's something we don't do now, it is something we're open to," he says. "We want to find more ways to best serve our readers and best serve our advertisers.The guiding principle in cross-promotion is that publishers need to get out of the mindset of circ management. Unique visitors are important, but they're not necessarily the most valuable. You need to look at it across the board."
ï¾ Keep your messages simple.
ï¾ Listen to customers and provide information to them where and when they want it.
ï¾ Create content that makes sense for your audience.
ï¾ Cross promote your different products across different channels.
ï¾ When repurposing content be sure the timing is right and you're not offering your audience the same product in a different format.
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