Attracting new advertisers is one of the most critical components in running a successful trade publication as advertisers are often one of the most, if not the only, source of revenue such publications bring in. What's important to point out, however, is that, with the changing digital landscape, attracting new advertisers has become more complicated than in the past.
Previously, attracting and retaining advertisers was generally a matter of being able to offer a return on the advertiser's investment, but today, through the Internet, advertisers have so many less-expensive options that are cutting into trade publishers' bottom lines.
How to Capitalize on the Switch to Digital
As a result of the advertising dollar pendulum swinging toward online venues, it's important for publishers to keep up. Essentially, publishers will need to make sure that they have a digital presence in order to attract advertisers. This can simply mean having a website up, but it can also mean leveraging social media profiles to not only promote your products, but also to provide advertisers with a new venue to display products or services. You might also allow advertisers to display online videos on your Internet real estate in order to reach a larger audience, or you could include ads in a digital version of your print publication.
Content Marketing is a Must
Another way to attract new advertisers is to incorporate content marketing tactics. Content marketing essentially marries content and advertising by offering valuable content that has some advertising sprinkled in. Think of content marketing as product placement in a movie or television show. An example of content marketing might be where you're working with an advertiser that sells a food product, and you generate a recipe that involves this food product.
Basically, you provide the recipe to readers, but you incorporate the food product in a subtle way, as if to say that the recipe can't be completed or will not taste as good without the advertiser's product. Another example might involve an advertiser that provides distribution services, and you could create content that offers tips to new publishers regarding distribution. In the content, you then mention the advertiser and provide a call to action.
Become an Advertiser Yourself
In order to attract advertisers, you might also need to become an advertiser yourself. In order to do this properly, you'll want to target the types of advertisers you're looking for through Internet ads, publications, and even billboards. When doing this, you don't want to directly say "I'm looking for advertisers." Instead, you want to display the value of advertising with your publication. This can be done by highlighting the benefits of your content and how it draws in and retains readers.
Likewise, you will want to demonstrate that readers of your publication often turn to its advertisers for products and services. As mentioned, content marketing is a good way to draw people in, and it can be used in your own efforts to attract new advertisers. By creating an e-book that offers valuable content that incorporates your brand, you'll be more likely to see an upswing in advertiser inquiries in no time.