The Media Minute 1.5.21

Marketing CRMs track digital interactions on websites and social media, send automated emails based on sales readiness, and so much more. They’re undoubtedly a necessity of every business to nurture leads, retain clients, and everything in-between. Moving beyond utilizing the basics of the software, what’s in store for the marketing CRM in 2022?

Over time it gets harder and harder to grow subscriptions, and everyone ends up discounting. What happens is that, as you grow your subscription numbers, your revenue goes down. Coupled with this, publishers have found that advertising is no longer a dependable revenue stream. And there continue to be many publishers who struggle to monetize their presence online, where free content has long been an issue. The solution, many acknowledge, is for publishers to train their audiences to pay for content.

Many publishers closed out 2020 in a better financial position than they expected early on in the pandemic, giving them the flexibility to experiment with new revenue streams and launch new products in 2021.  One of those experiments involved dabbling in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which rapidly caught fire across a wide range of industries this year, including the publishing space.

It’s time to stop thinking about digital editions as a sidekick. They’re the superheroes we deserve, and they can help your audience connect with your content moving forward. Here’s a closer look at why now is the time to shift to digital.

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The Media Minute 12.29.21

Brand loyalty is the automatic association of a company with positive characteristics. When people associate a company this way, they become brand advocates (or evangelicals, as some marketers coined). It begins with quality content, products, and/or services all with the same mission in mind: To tell a story and put the consumers’ experiences first.

The one unifying factor in all the twists and turns of the last twelve months has been the acceleration in the adoption of digital publishing technologies. As advertising revenues and real-world retail sales evaporated, Covid-19 made previously cautious publishers fast track any technology that gave them options. Tech solutions that helped deepen and monetize audience relationships got special attention.

It’s the season for forecasting 2022. With the range of predictions, one is consistent: advertisers will keep spending more than 2020 and more in each category no matter what. Even the emergence of Omicron and the possibility of further lockdowns don’t seem to have skewed that outlook. Advertisers have gotten better at managing the risks.

When it comes to magazine media and digital publications, reliable software tools are a necessity. From publishing CRM and magazine design, to circulation and subscription management, this ultimate guide to magazine software is an overview of the most popular software tools in the publishing industry.

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The Media Minute 12.22.21

‘Tis the season for making a list and checking it twice, so to ensure you know how to tell if an email address is valid as well as how to avoid invalid email addresses, Mirabel’s Marketing Manager will discuss the difference between invalid and valid email addresses. We’ll also list email verification tools that you can use to grow a healthy email list for future marketing campaigns.

In last year’s report, I wrote: The big players got bigger and stronger. The small ones continued to struggle. The first part is very much true for subscriptions and membership in 2021. But the second got better – even smaller publishers in Europe found recipes to grow reader revenue. We also got some deeper insights thanks to the reports published throughout the year.

Paradigm shifts rarely announce themselves in advance. This is what makes the current moment so unique: It’s known that third-party data, the lifeblood of Web 2.0, is on the way out.  Google’s cookie ban is imminent, and regulators are cracking down. The way forward will be first-party data gathered directly from customers and consumers. Acting on that knowledge in the waning days of third-party data has become essential: In a recent poll, 88% of marketers said first-party data collection was a priority for 2021.

Social media platforms continue to evolve, and so do the perspectives of users who continue to find new ways to satisfy their needs for both entertainment and connection. This blog post will explain the increasing shift to video content in publishing and explore some examples of publications that have proven to be experts at connecting with audiences through video.

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The Media Minute 12.8.21

Unlike mass campaigns, an automatic email is sent after a user reaches a trigger on your website. It’s a strategy to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time—without doing it individually every time. It’s done by linking website analytics with your email marketing platform and targets users based on web behavior, preferences, and previous sales.

The endgame for publishers is wrapped up in a belief in the email newsletter’s superpower: building direct relationships with readers. With platform dreams dead in the dust, publishers are leveraging the intimacy of the inbox to connect with individuals, build media habits, drive traffic and in some instances monetize relationships.

The latest global ad revenue forecast from WPP’s GroupM is out — and if it’s accurate, media is going to have a pretty great 2022. Brian Wieser, GroupM’s global president of business intelligence, and a longtime prognosticator of media fortunes, revised his 2021 global ad revenue forecasts upward from 19.2 percent growth back in June to 22.5 percent. Wieser also bumped up his 2022 ad revenue forecast from 8.8 percent back in June to 9.7 percent. Both numbers exclude U.S. political advertising.

That opportunity brought along digital tools and techniques now considered essential for many to conduct business, but renewed privacy concerns are inviting not only deeper, scrutinizing looks at those techniques, but sweeping changes by tech companies who essentially hold the keys to the toolbox. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the modern, more common tracking practices, the takeaway if these techniques are ultimately taken away, and what those working in the publishing industry can do to craft and execute even more effective outreach plans in their wake.

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The Media Minute 12.1.21

Anyone who’s ever created content marketing collateral knows to include internal and external links. This digital marketing best practice is in place because it lifts your content in search engine rankings. If you’re looking to improve your link-building strategy, take a look at how to create backlinks to your site, examples of a backlink, and more from Mirabel’s Marketing Manager.

A lack of clarity around how blockchain technology can be deployed in publishing has stopped most publishers from experimenting with it. The majority of the publishers in a recent survey said that blockchain has the potential to transform news media but less than 10% have incorporated it into their strategy. Blockchain was developed as the infrastructure to support cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but it is now being used in many other applications, from music royalties to voter registration.

In the absence of links to original sources, the significant impact on publishers’ traffic, and the associated revenues, are irrefutable. That’s the view of publishers in the U.K. who have come together via trade body the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) to back a standardized way to cite sources. The protocol revolves around an email process whereby those publishers who have registered for it are able to contact other publishers who have not cited exclusive content they’ve produced so that it can be updated.

If you’re a magazine publisher, chances are you are constantly coming up with creative ways to make additional revenue. Chances are you have considered hosting an event. Hosting events is a way to supplement magazine advertising revenue. Additionally, events can increase your brand awareness and gain customer responses on how to improve your product. Events are costly but can reap huge benefits for both your magazine and your advertisers.

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The Media Minute 11.24.21

While lead generation is more likely to be a marketing objective for B2B companies versus B2C, nearly any company focused on selling high-value products and services will likely become familiar with lead-based marketing practices, tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. In fact, companies that employ lead generation marketing strategies are also very likely to prioritize leads and assign them to sales teams for follow-ups (which are also important steps throughout the customer acquisition journey).

Blockchain allows users to record information that is next to impossible to hack, cheat, or alter. Publishing digital content using the technology will help publishers enforce more accountability as they will be transparently traceable to the original source. “With more transparency comes a greater sense of control and security — both directly applicable in combating copyright and IP infringement,” the authors write.

The media buying world’s obsession with performance marketing keeps growing, and it is starting to creep into publisher deals that were once focused on the upper half of the funnel.  As 2021 has worn on, more advertisers are asking that ad deals typically measured using upper-funnel metrics such as brand awareness or social lift — branded content campaigns, for example, or event sponsorships — be measured using lower-funnel metrics like sales, or deliver guaranteed numbers of sales leads.

The territory fight: It’s the bane of every publisher and sales manager’s existence. All managers in the publishing industry have to deal with it, but there aren’t many who like to, and for good reason! The best sales reps are notoriously competitive, testing even the best manager’s patience, which is why having good account management rules is important.

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The Media Minute 11.17.21

While lead generation is more likely to be a marketing objective for B2B companies versus B2C, nearly any company focused on selling high-value products and services will likely become familiar with lead-based marketing practices, tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. In fact, companies that employ lead generation marketing strategies are also very likely to prioritize leads and assign them to sales teams for follow-ups (which are also important steps throughout the customer acquisition journey).

Publishers have sat at the center of communities of interest for as long as there has been a publishing industry. Print publications drew like-minded readers to their mastheads and now digital publishers gather their most loyal fans together behind paywalls. But how else can publishers monetize communities that grow up around their content?

Apple’s crackdown on in-app tracking so far has come into force more gradually than expected thanks to a protracted rollout. This has tended to obscure the impact of the new restrictions. But after a first full quarter, it has become clearer that it will rattle, squeeze and throttle the flow of ad dollars online. The long shadow Apple cast over the current earnings season for the largest online advertising businesses puts this impact into sharp focus.

The technologically advanced, data-driven society we live in needed a face-lift when it came to presenting content in a user-friendly, accessible way. It’s time to stop thinking about digital editions as a sidekick. They’re the superheroes we deserve, and they can help your audience connect with your content moving forward. Here’s a closer look at why now is the time to

shift to digital.

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The Media Minute 11.10.21

Marketing CRMs track digital interactions on websites and social media, send automated emails based on sales readiness, and so much more. They’re undoubtedly a necessity of every business to nurture leads, retain clients, and everything in-between. Moving beyond utilizing the basics of the software, what’s in store for the marketing CRM in 2022?

Facebook is changing its name to Meta and with it, the future focus of the company. Meta’s long-term mission will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses. The change moves the company beyond its social media roots, but will its planned move to the metaverse affect publishers?

Publishers need to build relationships with their audiences that they can then connect to advertisers. Companies must also simultaneously architect internal systems around data custodianship to protect consumer data. In fact, consumer privacy and business outcomes are closely correlated in a complementary way. The companies that champion consumer privacy and work to create a sustainable omnichannel ecosystem that drives better results for every constituent will be the winners, now and in the future.

The technologically advanced, data-driven society we live in needed a face-lift when it came to presenting content in a user-friendly, accessible way. It’s time to stop thinking about digital editions as a sidekick. They’re the superheroes we deserve, and they can help your audience connect with your content moving forward. Here’s a closer look at why now is the time to shift to digital.

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The Media Minute 11.3.21

When people search for anything on Google, it “crawls” the internet to find you the best results. To find and rank these results, Google accounts for SEO. Optimizing SEO on websites is a digital marketing strategy that’s used to increase quality and quantity of visits to web pages. Prioritizing SEO means you have the strongest chance to rank for searches relevant to your product or service.

In this series, I’ve shared thoughts from leading media scholars, researchers and practitioners for their top tips for successfully implementing innovation as well the principles and likely barriers organizations need to consider. For this final article, based on their expert insights, I’ve identified nine principles of content innovation, and examples of them in action.

Dynamic paywall technology, increasingly available as a SaaS solution, is letting publishers ditch the blunt instrument of metered access. Rather than cut non-subscribers off once they reach broadly assigned limits, publishers can look to audience segmentation and machine learning to personalize access and target subscription conversion messaging.

Publishers are natural storytellers with a keen eye for graphic elegance. But if there’s one more thing we know about you, publishers, it’s that you’re sick of competing with Google and Facebook … Even if your business starts morphing into the “annoying agency,” there are still some strategies that may be worth considering. Regardless of your talent, salesmanship, and entrepreneurial skill set, you may find some of these survival skills are worth further cultivating.

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The Media Minute 10.27.21

When it comes to organic or paid content marketing, it’s about figuring out how to use data to enhance and optimize your digital strategy. Utilizing this data has never been easier, thanks to the king of search engine analytics: Google Analytics. Understanding Google Analytics helps you produce content that your target audience wants to see. The platform provides actionable insights, like click-through and bounce rates, time spent on page, and more.

U.S. ad spending rose 10.2% in September vs. the same month a year ago, according to a MediaPost analysis of an updated composite of actual ad spending from the major agency holding companies. The composite, an updated version of the U.S. Ad Market Tracker launched in partnership with Standard Media Index in 2015, represents a more comprehensive pool of data contributed by all of the holding companies and was necessary to provide a more accurate view of the marketplace.

The pace of change in our industry means that even the biggest, most successful, companies need to continually innovate, refresh and reinvent what they do and how they do it. Those who don’t risk being left behind, overtaken by digital upstarts, or blown away by more established players with deeper pockets and a longer transformational runway. I asked 10 experts — leading media practitioners, researchers and scholars around the world — for their insights around what constitutes innovation, the barriers to implementing it, and how to overcome these roadblocks.

Nowadays, no single revenue stream is enough to sustain, let alone grow, a digital publication. Instead, online publishers are relying on a combination of revenue streams to ensure they can bring in sufficient capital. And according to former head of Hearst magazines, David Carey, there just may be a magic number: “You need five or six revenue streams to make the business really successful.” While there are numerous potential revenue sources, most companies will find success by creating their own “mix of six” streams that are suited for their individual publications.

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