A new global research by the International Federation of the Periodical Press (FIPP) has unveiled how publishers are using considerable imagination in devising print-plus-web packages for advertisers using features such as bespoke mini-sites, stand-alone emails, features in regular electronic newsletters, listing in product alerts, online enquiries or sales lead facilities and even organising online seminars for the advertiser to chart their success path.
The FIPP research has unveiled key methods used by business-to-business (B2B) magazine publishers to create some of the most successful and profitable websites in the world.
The study titled “Routes to Success for Business-to-Business Publishers’ Websites” is a veritable ‘how-to’ of web publishing. The survey has found that around 66 per cent of websites surveyed are in profit, compared to only about 25 per cent in the same survey four years earlier. Correspondingly, the proportion of sites making a loss has fallen from about 50 per cent to less than 20 per cent.
In most cases, the site has broadened the magazine brand’s audience base, attracting new users who do not necessarily read the printed magazines. In some cases, the new web-only customers are very significant in numbers in relation to the printed magazine’s readership. The web also extends the brand’s reach overseas and makes the brand accessible to related disciplines outside the core ones.
The survey also found that websites were creating new communities whose boundaries were set by the people who chose to participate in the community, rather than being defined more narrowly by publishers. The Internet has widened the brand’s advertiser base by persuading non-magazine advertisers to take advertising or sponsorship space on the website.
The new web advertisers who do not use the print product are attracted by the low cost of online advertising, the nature and quality of the online audience, and the measurability of the results. Other appealing features are the highly selective positioning of advertisements – on specialised pages whose nature defines all visitors as being hot prospects – and the related advantage of generating high-quality sales leads.
The survey also unveiled how some publishers are using considerable imagination in devising print plus web packages for advertisers.
The survey yielded many insights into the elements of web content which draw in the customers as site visitors. News-related services and alerts, which can take many forms, are particularly important. One of the most popular is the regular electronic newsletter, which is a good example of a vehicle that helps create communities.
Another service which is offered by most sites is archive retrieval. Substantial reference databases of information are a further source of appeal. The ability to search such databases with sophisticated search tools is also very important.
The objectives of the survey were to examine good online practice among publishers of printed B2B magazines worldwide; to learn how success has been achieved; and to better understand how publishers are using the Internet in conjunction with their magazines.