Associations Can Increase Advertising Sales ó Even in
to consider your publication is a lot easier when you deliver what they are
By Carla Kalogeridis
Summer time means schoolís out, vacation time is here, and
everyone is busy making the most of the good weather with family and friends.
But if youíre in charge of advertising sales, it can also mean youíre having a
hard time reaching anyone to talk about what your association has to offer.
Association Media & Publishing member Sheridan offers up
six ideas to help organizations increase advertising sales by capitalizing on
todayís trends and giving your customers exactly what they want. These ideas
will give you something interesting to talk about with customers and get them
re-engaged with your associationís publications.
Even if the ideas wonít be executed until the fall, winter,
or even next year, summer is a great time to talk to your customers and get new
projects in the pipeline.
with a great value-added insert. What information do you have that can be
packaged into an easy-to-tear-out insert? Even a six-page insert can yield
thousands of dollars in additional revenue. Create something that is a terrific
resource to your readers and advertisers ó maybe even consumers ó and the
insert will be a terrific draw to advertisers. Think guides, listings, and
charts. What kind of reference guides would your audience appreciate? Utility and
relevance is key, says Sheridan.
native advertising. Many advertisers are abandoning flashy brand
advertisements in favor of providing your members and readers with useful
information. Youíre selling the attention and mindshare of your audience. The
content needs to be valuable to readers. If your editorial team is involved in
developing the content and editing it, it has a much better chance of being
effective with readers. However, it must be obvious to the reader that it is a
native ad and not editorial content, and it should be clear who is providing the
content. Donít jeopardize your readerís trust by trying to make something look
like pure editorial when it is not.
ad creation services. Many potential advertisers have the budget to
advertise but not to design excellent creative. Your association probably has a
designer on staff or access to cost-effective freelancers. Sheridan notes that
you can bridge the gap between ad concept and creative execution, you can offer
advertisers an end-to-end solution in your publication.
data-driven personalization and ad targeting for print. One reason print
advertising loses ground to digital is that itís easy to buy targeted,
personalized advertising online. But with variable data printing, inkjetting,
and selective binding, you can bring data-driven thinking to print and help
your advertisers be more targeted. Understand that both the data and print
creative element must be in place for this strategy to be effective.
your print audience and advertising. Instead of discounting your print ads,
you might be able to improve your numbers by trimming unprofitable circulation.
Take a look at the extra lists of people that your publication is going to and
evaluate if that still makes sense. Then, focus on your content on your most
engaged subscription base. You can also shift your layout to make your
publication a more engaging place for a specific audience, which will create a
premium effect and actually allow you to raise rates.
flexible for advertisers. The advertising industry has changed dramatically
over the last decade. Everything is much more data-focused and digitally
oriented instead of brand image-driven. Your advertisers may be struggling with
these changes and trends. Be responsive to their needs. Donít push back against
this sea of change with traditional magazine advertising tactics, advises
Sheridan. Listen to your advertisers and address their concerns by offering
them the advertising vehicles they need. Your sales team should think of
themselves as consultants ó but it goes deeper than that. Your association has
to be willing to change its products and/or develop custom products and
campaigns to help advertisers achieve their goals.
Capturing ad dollars is getting harder, not easier.
Association publishers that focus on audience engagement and increasing
advertiser value will come out ahead. Think creatively to produce marketing
opportunities that advertisers canít resist and that address their specific
This article was
excerpted from a more detailed white paper from Sheridan. You can access the
complete report here. Carla Kalogeridis is publisher and editorial director for
Association Media & Publishing.