• Latest news from Z Squared Media

MENG and Junta42 Announce Content Marketing Partnership

Cleveland, OH (January 7, 2010) – The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), a national network of marketing executives, today announced an ongoing partnership with Junta42, the leading content marketing resource.

As part of the agreement, Junta42 will provide exclusive member discounts to MENG members that provide content marketing services. Junta42 will also serve as an exclusive resource for MENG marketing members to find the best content marketing vendors for their custom content initiatives.

About Junta42
Junta42, the independent authority on content marketing, brings clients and vendors together through its Content Publishing Service, replacing the lengthy RFP process. Project posting is free and clients receive vendor information in less than 24 hours. Content projects include custom magazines, content microsites, blogs, white papers, enewsletters and over 20 other content marketing project categories.

About MENG

Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) is a national network of top-level marketing executives. The organization is devoted to enhancing its members’ professional skills, relationships, and knowledge and prides itself on a culture of genuine camaraderie.

Posted in Random Thoughts | Comments closed

Custom Media Client Questions

Whether you are a publisher or agency, we all get stuck into asking the same sort of questions that revolve around the products or services we offer.  Sometimes we forget the basics.  Keep these questions in your back pocket for your next sales call…

  • What industries are you focused on penetrating? Who is your target audience within those industries? How are you currently marketing to them? What is working well, not so well?
  • What is your biggest communication challenge for the next year?
  • How do you position your company in your marketing? Product Leader? Cadillac? Volvo? Toyota?
  • How do you sell to that target audience? Direct? Do you sell through distributors/VARs/Resellers? If so, how do you ensure your products and services are top-of-mind with the resellers vs. the other products they sell?
  • Why would someone buy your product? What is your competitive advantage? Unique feature/benefit?
  • If someone was not looking for you, how would you want them to find you in a Google search?
  • How do you currently track your marketing?  How often? How do you generate leads? How do you track retention?
  • How do you communicate with customers on an ongoing basis?
  • What new products/services will you introducing in the next year? What marketing campaign will you use to launch these?
  • How do you apprise your employees of ongoing items, issues and other sales related topics? What communication vehicles do you employ to keep your sales staff informed about changing prices, products, etc.?
  • How do you position yourself as a trusted solutions provider to your customers and prospects?
  • What kind of custom media do you currently develop for your customers and prospects?
  • Do you create content specifically for people to spread in and around social media sites?
Posted in Random Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments closed

Junta42 Announces Content Marketing Blogs – TopRank on Top

In the seventh installment of Junta42’s Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs, Lee Odden’s TopRank Online Marketing Blog led the pack of over 300 individual content marketing blogs.  For more details on the list and the winners, check out Joe Pulizzi’s blog announcement or the full content marketing blogs list here.

Posted in Random Thoughts | Comments closed

Custom Publisher to Content Agency

Knock. Knock. Knock.

More and more companies are starting to tread on what has been traditionally the turf of custom publishers.  Now that more marketing dollars are flowing into content, custom publishers are trying to fend off web content agencies, SEO companies, social media gurus and even traditional publishers who can’t sell their advertising.

It’s the evolution of the content agency. The presentation below starts to develop on this discussion. Enjoy!

Posted in New Rules | Tagged , | Comments closed

Junta42 Launches the Content Marketing Playbook

Junta42, a division of Z Squared Media, has launched the Content Marketing Playbook – the ultimate guide to content marketing and custom publishing examples and resources.  See the entire content marketing press release.

Posted in News | Comments closed

Social Media Ideas for Niche Publishers – The Presentation

My presentation from the Niche Digital Conference on Social Media Ideas for Niche Publishers.

My take:

  • Publishers need to position themselves as the trusted content provider – everywhere.
  • The more publishers leverage social media channels, the more “highways” they can create that will lead back to their brands or their sites.
  • Engagement doesn’t have to happen on your own website.
  • The 20/20/20 rule is possible in some markets (20% traffic from social media, 20% traffic from search via social media sites, 20% traffic via blogs and blog commenting).

Includes a few revenue ideas to chew on.  About 30 tips/tricks in all. Enjoy!

Posted in New Rules | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Your Custom Sales Reps Should Be Blogging – and more

I’ve been talking to more and more custom publishers lately about the challenges with getting client meetings. Yes, it’s definitely a tough environment.

Marketers are busier than ever, and they don’t want to make the time to talk to your sales reps.

What if your clients and prospects called to meet with your sales rep? What if they sought your salesperson’s expertise on a consistent basis?

It’s possible…but the challenge is that most custom publishers position their sales reps as just that, sales reps. What you and your customers need are marketing consultants.

How to Transform Your Reps into Marketing Consultants

First off, this is not easy, but I feel it’s necessary for the future of your business.  Here is an action plan.

  1. Make sure each of your reps has a focus, whether it be product-based or industry-based. Once that’s established, it makes the rest of this easier to execute. Generalists will have a harder time.
  2. Make a list of the top blogs specific to your rep’s target audience. 10-15 is a good number.
  3. Start commenting on those blogs.  Nothing sales-related. Always be helpful.
  4. After your rep has a good feel for getting involved in social media, start the content process. The blog comes first. Set a schedule.  At least twice a week is a good start. After a while and when ready, start telling your customers about your rep’s blog.
  5. Start distributing the content through their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
  6. Continue for 6 months, then review.

If the above is done consistently, the following will begin to happen.

  • The rep will begin to position themselves as a marketing and/or industry expert. People will start spreading their content.
  • If the content is relevant, valuable and consistent (which it should be – you are custom content experts), the rep will start to get invited to present on webinars and in-person events.
  • Customers will start to rely on the rep as a source of expertise…calling/emailing for advice on a regular basis.

No, this is not fantasy land…it can actually happen. If you stick to the process, it WILL happen.

Once it does, just think of how your sales process would change.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Posted in New Rules, Random Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments closed

Pricing Out a Custom Magazine Using the Markup Method

I’m a firm believer that a custom publisher should price out a custom magazine based on the value the custom publisher brings to the table. For example, if the value is in the project management, that is where the profit should be as well. Same goes for editorial or graphic design.

Using the markup method to price out a custom magazine is one way to capture that value. The basic premise of the markup method is that a custom publisher marks up each line item separately at different percentages based on the value and level of expertise.

For example, if the content for the project is complex and hard to find, a higher markup should be put on editorial services.

Note that this is just one way to price a custom magazine, but this way may work best for smaller, targeted publications.

Here is the spreadsheet I used in the presentation.  Have fun with it for yourself.

Posted in Pricing | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Resources for Growing Your Custom Media Business

It was standing room only a few weeks back in NYC for the annual “Custom Media Day” workshop presented by Junta42, American Business Media and the Custom Publishing Council. Some truly amazing presentations on how custom publishers / custom media providers can grow their revenues and take their businesses in new directions.

Here are notes and presentations of the day below.  Enjoy!

What Clients Are Doing with Content

Overview: Mike Volpe from Hubpot, Pamela Plehn from the CME Group, and Tracy Burleson from the Propane Council each shared how they use content to grow their businesses. While Mike leverages multiple internal resources and social media sites to create and distribute content, Pamela and Tracy combine internal strategy with external execution (CME Group uses Newsdesk Media, while the Propane Council leverages Hanley Wood Marketing‘s expertise).

Mike Volpe’s Presentation

Pamela’s Plehn’s Presentation

Pamela discusses how they use CME – The Magazine as part of their total content marketing strategy.

Tracy Burleson’s Presentation

Tracy discusses the importance of leveraging content as part of the total marketing mix.

What Custom Publishers Need to Know about Search Engine Optimization

Andrew Hazen from Prime Visibility gave an outstanding lunch keynote about what custom publishers need to know about SEO, and how they can develop new products and services.

Andrew Hazen’s presentation on Search Engine Optimization

Custom Media and Digital Magazines

Marcus Grimm from Nxtbook Media and Cim Buser from Texterity both gave outstanding detail and case studies about digital magazines specific to custom publications. Marcus noted that 4 of the top 15 Nxtbook’s are custom publications. Also, see Cim’s slide deck for an interactive view into Zappos’ digital magazine.

Marcus Grimm’s presentation on Custom Digital Magazine: What are digital magazines and case studies

Cim Buser’s presentation on Custom Digital Magazines: Case studies and measurement

What You Always Wanted to Know about Social Media but Couldn’t Ask

Andrew Davis from TippingPoint Labs had the most talked about presentation of the day on social media.  There were so many questions during his presentation that he didn’t have time to finish.  Luckily for us, Andrew represented via Livestream (below).

Posted in Online Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

The New Custom Publisher – How New Marketing is Changing the Custom Publishing Industry

This is the presentation that I gave in Berlin at the 2009 Forum Corporate Publishing conference. Special thanks to Arjun Basu from Spafax, Simon Kelly from Story and Mike Volpe from Hubspot for helping me put this presentation together.

Key Points:

  • Marketing service providers of all kinds are going after content projects, once the domain of custom publishers.
  • Custom publishers, to be successful in the future, must gain skills in web content strategy, social media, web analytics, and user experience to make the shift to online content marketing services.
  • Print is not dead, but new money is going to online and web applications. Clients are also cutting their print schedules to focus on more online content resources.
Posted in New Rules, Trends | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed
  • Our Brands

    Visit Content Marketing Institute Visit CMW Visit CCO