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Publishers worldwide are turning to agency business models, offering marketing services to their advertisers in an effort to diversify revenue. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for media organizations to provide branding services, web development, and more, in addition to traditional ad placements.

Diversification is a wise move for publishers, with consumer magazines expected to see revenue decreases of more than 2% every year until 2023, according to a PwC Global report. Evolving your business model from strictly sell-side into a well-rounded, full-service provider is an excellent way to strengthen your media company’s foundation.

In our last blog post, we gave a few examples of publishers who’ve successfully transitioned to offering marketing services. In this article, we’ll explore how you can make the switch, too.

Build an in-house team

As a publisher, you already have talented writers on your team who understand which topics resonate with your audience and can translate those ideas into relevant, compelling ad copy. You can also tap into your graphic design resources to begin creating ads for your customers in-house. 

You’ll likely need to hire marketing strategists, and possibly web developers, depending on the specific services you plan to offer your advertisers. It’s also helpful to strengthen your team’s technical knowledge by bringing data analysts on board.

Whatever your new team looks like, it’s imperative that your staff are well-versed in the marketing services you offer, and that your sales team can make a strong pitch for these services to your advertisers. Investing in education and training can give your employees the knowledge and skills they need to help you successfully transition to an agency model.

Decide what packages to offer

Your media organization’s new suite of services can include copywriting, graphic design, marketing strategy, web development, social media support, and more. You can bundle various services together to provide a range of options to your advertisers at different prices.

If you own multiple titles and channels, you can take an audience-based approach to selling your offerings, which enables your packages to span a broader landscape and deliver stronger results for your customers-”not to mention a greater profit for you.

You can also explore event-based packages, which can include sponsorships, out-of-home advertising space, video ads, digital ads, and traditional ads bundled together to promote a specific event or launch.

Invest in technology

As you expand your services, your business will inevitably become more complex. An order management system (OMS) can help you keep your operations organized and efficient. With Lineup’s Adpoint Multimedia Packages, you can bundle your inventory across multiple channels, and your sales reps can view updates to your package options in real time.

Adpoint’s OMS gives your media organization a “single source of truth” for each advertiser’s history with your company, enabling your account managers to tap into insights from past campaigns to help drive new sales.

Gather data and keep it clean

Bundled packages are only one piece of the pie when it comes to providing marketing services. As a publisher, you have access to an incredibly valuable asset for advertisers: first-party audience data.

Technology can help you collect and store data in a way that adheres to data privacy regulations, which are becoming increasingly complex. There are several solutions on the market today that can help you navigate the evolving data landscape, such as identity solutions, consent management platforms, consumer data platforms, and data management platforms.

The richer and cleaner your data is, the more attractive a selling point it is to your advertisers, in addition to the benefits that greater audience insights hold for your own editorial strategy.

Develop robust analytics

Once you have enough data to set benchmarks that illustrate the current state of your business, you can use content analytics tools to measure the performance of your editorial and advertisements, test different options, and make adjustments to your strategy based on the results.

“Bringing targeted audiences back to the website isn’t just about creating more engaged readers, though. It’s also about demonstrating to advertisers the value that the publication provides and its ability to reach the audiences that advertisers are interested in selling to,” said this article by Web Publisher PRO.

Having robust analytics means you can make decisions that improve the quality of your offerings and drive your media organization forward.

Promote and sell your services

You now have the foundation in place to start providing your marketing services to the world. Ensure your sales team is prepared to highlight your industry expertise, deep audience knowledge, and ability to offer customized packages to your advertisers. This kind of white-glove service gives your media company an advantage over Big Tech.

It’s also crucial that your sales reps understand which packages to suggest to which advertisers based on what is valuable to each particular customer, as well as how to communicate the ROI on their campaigns.

Tap into existing relationships

If you’re a local publisher, you have a big advantage in the area of relationship building due to your “know, like, and trust” factor with existing advertisers-”again, something that Big Tech just can’t deliver. You can put this credibility to work for you when you approach advertisers with your new suite of marketing services.

Seek out strategic partnerships

By using platforms like Spotify and smart speakers to amplify your voice and extend your reach, you can offer advertisers even greater value-”for example, through a podcast offering. Digital audio is a growing medium that shows no signs of slowing down, so it’s to your advantage as a publisher to get on board. The same goes for video advertising and over-the-top TV (OTT).

Do you have questions about how your media organization can start selling marketing services? Contact Lineup today.

Afton Brazzoni

Afton helps B2B companies serve their audiences with captivating, refreshing, effective clarity through storytelling. She brings 12 years of experience in marketing and communications, with a background in journalism, to her mission to deliver clients excellent content that drives their businesses forward. Afton has extensive experience developing strategies and content for growth-oriented organizations such as technology companies, higher education institutions and the tourism industry, as well as for entrepreneurs.