If you’re like most publications, your editorial staff focuses on creating content for a specific audience. They plan out the content calendar for the year. It has themes, industry issues and trends, investigative reporting, maybe even some research studies.
That editorial calendar comes in handy whenever your sales reps pitch new and current advertisers. But how often do your sales reps actually collaborate with an advertiser?
Isn’t it more likely that advertisers view (or download) your media kit (with the editorial calendar)? And then call your reps when they’re ready to buy? Or worse, make a programmatic buy without even consulting you?
Few advertisers enjoy talking to sales reps because they get either pressure or apathy. Most avoid talking to a rep until they’ve figured out what to buy. Which often isn’t the best solution. What else can you expect when all you give them is a downloadable media kit (if that!)?
And let’s face it. Most sales reps don’t want to work hard to sell. Their dream is clients calling them to place big orders — less work, more money. I’ll also bet you want to avoid increasing your costs, making programmatic buys and taking orders enticing.
As long as you’re a top brand publication that strategy can work — yet only up to a point. Today brands are demanding more value from their advertising investments. They need solutions that match the way people buy because it’s dramatically changed in the last ten years.
Let’s Change the Frame
Let me ask you this:
- For what reasons do you invest in creating great content for your audience?
- How come you don’t invest in creating great content for your advertisers?
- What makes you think your advertisers don’t need as much education and help as your audience? Maybe even more?
Use Inbound Marketing and Selling
We find that publishers who are increasing their bottom lines are investing in inbound marketing and selling. They start with creating a comprehensive inbound strategy to educate and convert their advertisers. They create content maps showing their advertisers’ buying journey. It details the questions, pain points, knowledge gaps, and objections at each different stage. It shows what content will be created. They even have a production schedule and follow it.
Create a Blog Dedicated to Advertisers
Smart money is on those publishers who write a blog aimed at their advertisers. Filled with articles that show better and smarter ways to reach your audience. Offering tips, techniques, and information that only you can provide.
Your editorial team works their tails off to provide great content for your audience, on a regular basis. Provide that same quality content on topics that help your advertisers succeed — suddenly you’re no longer a nuisance. Instead, your advertisers start to see your sales reps as trusted advisors, who can help them solve awareness problems. Who can help them make the most of what your publication has to offer.
Done well, your blog becomes their go-to resource. Eventually they’ll clamor for your sales reps’ time to help them craft campaigns that deliver results. They’ll listen to you because they’ve come to value what you have to say. And they’re willing to pay more for those campaigns because of that knowledge.
Tip of the Iceberg
Inbound’s system has many moving parts. Parts designed to function as a well-oiled machine. All those parts need to work together to deliver advertisers eager for your phone call.
The publishers with the best, most helpful information earn their advertisers’ respect and ad dollars. Why?
Because advertisers don’t know everything. They need help reaching their audience — your audience. Your true value is access to the deeper insights, knowledge, and expertise you possess. Which can’t be found in any media kit.
Publishers that anticipate advertisers’ challenges and provide pragmatic and insightful content at the right time attract and keep loyal advertisers. Leading to increased revenues and profits.