Selling Ad Space in Digital Magazines
If there’s one thing we can all use more of, it’s money.
Here’s a little secret: you can make lots of it by selling ad space in your digital magazine.
Online advertising lets publishers passively generate more income by showing ads to targeted audiences. And if that sounds like something you might be interested in, then this article’s for you.
From print to digital media: a global trend
The world's gone digital. Everyone knows that. But the real question many people don’t ask themselves is “why?”
An important piece of the puzzle are Millennials. They comprise the largest generation in the modern U.S. workforce, and 93% of those who turn ages 23 to 38 this year own smartphones (source). More and more businesses are adopting agile operating models to synchronize the Millennial workforce with new technologies. Agility gives organizations the power to quickly respond to change by adapting its initial stable configuration, says Wikipedia. It’s so essential that 68% of companies rate agility as one of the most important initiatives when it comes to digital transformation.
Another big factor fueling digital transformation are consumer expectations. They’re constantly changing because people today expect instant access to information. Mobile technology has disrupted every dynamic of the face-to-face customer interaction. And because of its affordability, it’s also single-handedly reworked the media industry’s content creation and consumption paradigms. Digital media continues to evolve as more consumers use technology to enjoy their favorite content (Read more about transitioning from print to digital publishing here).
10 big advantages of digital publishing
Anyone from independent publishers, small businesses, and large corporations to your sibling, dad, and grandma can start publishing digital content right now. Experience isn’t necessary, but passion is.
Web publishing obviates production costs, extends your reach into new markets, and drives more sales.
The Internet is super accessible. That means digital content can be created and consumed at any time. It can be shared with anyone, anywhere and viewed on both desktop and mobile devices. That’s a lot of reach!
As a digital publisher, you can edit published content whenever you want to. Typos and outdated information can be fixed in real time. That’s right: if you’re quick enough, no one will ever know you messed up in the first place.
High printing costs are no bueno for publishers struggling to cut costs. Digital media can be distributed at no extra charge to the publisher.
Digital publishers control everything. They decide what to publish and when. A sense of control is a big reason why the industry is booming.
Digital marketing can create new revenue streams via mobile and online ad sales.
A majority of digital media is viewed on mobile devices, which means it’s trackable. Tracking data allows publishers to understand who consumes their content, how they’re interacting with it, and which devices they’re using. They also provide an in-depth look at content usage patterns, helping publishers understand their readers on a more granular level. Data like this is crucial for optimizing content and helping advertisers promote it more efficiently.
Online content can go viral. It’s really easy to share, too. If people enjoy your stuff, they’ll start spreading it on social media and other channels quickly.
Web content is engaging and interactive. Embeddable videos, audio, photo galleries, and feedback plugins hook readers into the narrative and provide a much more engrossing viewing experience than print. They also lead to higher engagement rates.
Make more money by selling ad space in your digital magazine
Advertising and subscriptions are two of the most important sources of income for a magazine. Having a profitable digital magazine means selling the idea that your content is worth investing in. Hungry advertisers are constantly competing with each other. Accordingly, publishers have to do everything in their power to attract and retain advertisers if they want to keep making money.
The Internet is chock-full of spaces where low cost or even free advertising can thrive in, and that’s especially true for digital magazines. In fact, that’s exactly why more publishers choose to sell ad space in digital magazines instead of print: online media advertising is much cheaper than the latter. Analytics are a big deal, too. Fast data drives smart advertising, and it’s something print media doesn’t have access to. So if you’re looking to get started, now’s the time.
But there are some pretty nasty pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. The biggest one? Waiting. “It always surprises me when publishers are afraid to talk to anyone, even advertisers, about their great ideas,” says Carl Landau from Niche Media. “I think it’s one of the biggest mistakes a publisher can make in launching a new magazine. They make all their plans in secret and then suddenly spring the promotion on all the advertising prospects at once, with a deadline to advertise in 2 months.”
Quick tips to help you get started
Quality content won’t guarantee consistent advertisers. Moreover, having a huge readership doesn’t mean you’ll always pull in enough ad revenue to keep your magazine running. But there are some smart steps you can take to ensure you maximize your ad space ROI.
Choose advertisers that resonate with your audience. Then focus on creating a high-quality magazine that plays on your readership’s tastes and preferences.
Make a media kit for your magazine. A media kit is a public relations tool that provides information about a new product or service to potential advertisers. A kit should include information about your readers, how your magazine is different from your competitors’, a sample of it, how you’ll distribute it, and specific information about advertising costs (i.e. how much a quarter-page, half-page, or full-page ad costs).
Pro tip: You can use Joomag’s Clone tool to quickly make a media kit for your magazine. Cloning a magazine duplicates it. Clone your publication, add any relevant information to it, then provide the distribution link to prospective advertisers.
Research advertising companies that could show the most interest in your content. Once you do, get in touch with them (via phone or email) and ask if they’d like a copy of your media kit. But be careful; sending too many emails at once is super spammy and obnoxious. If your business is fairly new, you’ll want to take these moments to build trust with prospective advertisers instead.
Make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse. If nobody’s heard of you yet, offer sweet deals for the early birds who advertise with you first, or for anyone who sticks around.
How Joomag can help you create and monetize digital magazines
The online publishing industry is REALLY crowded, and finding a comprehensive platform that fulfills all of your business’s needs can be tough. The good news? It doesn’t have to be. The even better news? We’re here to help.
Joomag is a leading provider of comprehensive digital publishing solutions. Since 2009, we’ve enabled publishers to create amazing interactive content and promote it anywhere. If you’re looking for an efficient way to create and monetize digital magazines, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick breakdown of what we offer:
Distribute it. Embed your content anywhere on the Web, use short links, leverage Joomag’s email marketing tools, or publish your magazine on our newsstand. Create once, publish everywhere.
Engage your audience, generate leads. Include interactive feedback forms, chat plugins, and HTML pop-ups in your magazine. Manage subscribers via Joomag’s built-in CRM.
Measure the effectiveness of your content. Extract useful information from every magazine you create, including content analytics, reader engagement data, and traffic + geolocation insights.