The darlings of the publishing world are the consumer publications. Breaking news on the latest farm tractor or radio transmitter doesn't capture the imagination like a buzzworthy Rolling Stone cover or risqué Vanity Fair spread. But toiling in the shadows are smart teams of editors, marketers and publishers who are thriving, innovating and making money.
What used to be basic magazine publishing businesses have become complex B2B information distribution companies. These publishers have the advantage of knowing their readers in a way consumer publishers cannot. B2B publishers embed themselves in the industries they cover and the best among them are viewed as industry leaders in their own right.
Here we present revenue-generating ideas that may be of value to your publication, as shared by five smart B2B publishers.
Lead-Gen & Content Marketing
Lead generation has been a primary demand of B2B advertisers, especially since 2008, and content marketing is taking a larger and larger slice of marketing budgets. A combination of the two creates a profitable product with high value.
MediaTec Publishing has four magazines serving the HR industry, or as they call it, human capital. The Chicago company is revamping its websites to serve readers and sponsors in a more profitable way. Its newest title, Workforce, was acquired from Crain Communications this past January and became its first redeveloped site.
The new Workforce site was launched with an elegant, reader-friendly look and a sponsored content tool called Roadmaps. At its core, the Roadmaps lead-gen product is based on white paper downloads organized by topic. Workforce adds a content marketing component by making brand-sponsored articles a central focus of the section.
"The editorial and sales staff worked together to develop topics that readers were most interested in," says Kendra Chaplin, VP of development and technology. Topics include such HR mainstays as performance management and recruiting. Each Roadmaps section launch is promoted in the corresponding issue of the monthly magazine. There is a feature story on the topic accompanied by a one-page advertorial for each sponsor.
Andy Kowl is a journalist and entrepreneurial publisher with more than 30 years developing, marketing and growing publishing companies. He is senior vice president of publishing strategy for ePublishing Inc., the leading enterprise publishing system (EPS) provider which manages content, audience data, workflow, newsletters and e-commerce for hundreds B2B online publications. He helps publishers increase reader engagement and response by integrating behavioral data with contextual content, and shows them direct ways to monetize the results. Andy writes the B2B Beat blog for Publishing Executive magazine. His background in B2B includes publishing, editing and/or owning magazines and information products covering specialty retail, horse breeding, real estate, credit unions, Wall Street compliance and wireless technology.