The Power of Magazines: Leverage Your Unique Assets for Promotions

by Julie Foley Second Street

Case Study: Backyard Poultry Guardians of the Poultry Contest


Backyard Poultry, a bi-monthly magazine catering to people who raise small-flock poultry, recently ran a submission contest inspired by the popular film Guardians of the Galaxy.

The contest was sponsored by Chickenguard, a company that makes automatic chicken coop door openers with timers and light sensors, and Foy’s Pet Supplies, a bird supply company. Both were a perfect fit for Backyard Poultry’s audience of dedicated chicken keepers.


Promotion Tips for Magazines

Here are a few ways magazines can capitalize on their strengths and run an even more successful online promotions program:

  1. Align promotions with other initiatives. Take a look at your entire editorial calendar including special editions, advertising focuses, and editorial initiatives – and make sure you wrap promotions into each major campaign. Promotions can drive additional subscribers, and then additional subscribers can help your promotions perform better.
  2. Discover reverse publishing opportunities. Have you run a hugely successful online promotion? Add a print component to get even more from it.
  3. Run promotions around events. Events and promotions go well together. For example, if you run a Best Of promotion, an associated event can drive post-promotion revenue with ticket sales and sponsorships. Other events your magazine is involved with – such as festivals, conferences, and so on – lend themselves well to a pre-event promotions that drive awareness and increase sign-ups.
  4. Be active on social media. Since magazines have a less frequent publishing schedule, social media is an important way to keep people engaged in between issues. Online contests are a great way to activate your social audience, especially when you include social features like these Twitter tools. Just look at all the engagement Backyard Poultry saw from one of the Facebook posts promoting their Guardians of the Poultry contest!

  5. Create integrated sales packages. When you are building the sales packages for your promotions, don’t just include advertisements promoting the contest. To add more value for your advertisers, allow them to run a few of their own ads in future issues. Plus, you should always be promoting with all of the resources available to you – including print, online, email, and social media.

Promotions are the perfect way to get people who are passionate about a niche subject more actively involved with your magazine while giving advertisers a way to interact with that audience.