Reprints rebound

New tactics

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People marketing reprints and content licenses must continually be creative when it comes to making potential customers aware of what's available. Jill DeVries, corporate reprint manager for BNP Media, handles reprints for 39 of the company's stable of more than 60 b-to-b titles. “We try to always keep up on what's new,” she said. “We have Facebook pages for all of our publications, so, about eight months ago, I started promoting our reprints on Facebook.” DeVries created a logo that simply says “Need reprints or an e-print for that next trade show or your website?” Each publication team decides where to place the notification; most have located it under the Notes tab on their Facebook pages. Wherever it is used on Facebook, the logo is next to a link to the reprints page on the BNP corporate site, as well as e-mail and telephone contact information for DeVries. DeVries said she is currently unable to tell exactly how much traffic comes from Facebook, but “based on how much our leads have gone up since we started using Facebook, I think it has had an impact,” she said. Gilbert began a new style of e-mail campaign about six months ago. “After we publish rankings, we send a soft-sell e-mail that congratulates the companies and lets them know the reprint options available,” he said. “It's a pretty simple HTML e-mail that allows the client to see a sample reprint. It's easy to forward it to other people who might be involved in the decision.” Haymarket's Merot reports to Gil Torren, VP-sales and associate publisher for SC Magazine, who said reprints and licensing at the publication are driven by independent product reviews conducted under the auspices of SC Magazine Labs. The magazine, aimed at IT security professionals, tests at least two product groups each month, resulting in dozens of individual product reviews that become leads for reprints. SC Magazine offers a variety of reprint and licensing options, including traditional print reprints and licenses to use specific phrases from the reviews in electronic communications. Torren supports the value of the product reviews with research. “In a recent study of our website users, we found that 85% refer to the product reviews before they make some sort of purchase,” he said. The inexorable shift of marketing dollars from print to electronic media is opening up a host of new options for the reuse of the content b-to-b media companies have produced for magazines, websites, newsletters and directories—resulting in new revenue streams. Over the past nine months, Torren has been generating new revenue from “editorial content that has been written but doesn't fit into the magazine for one reason or another,” he said. “We've gotten sponsors for these stories; they get leads when the PDF is downloaded. It's been very successful.” One of the newest offerings at SourceMedia is the licensing of editorial Web videos. “It has been pretty successful,” Gilbert said. If a company wants to link to a video on a SourceMedia website, there's no charge; licensing only applies when a company hosts the video on its own site. “One of the main selling points for the client is that they get to keep the traffic on their sites,” he said. At the end of the day, the way reprints are monetized must change with the transition from print to electronic, Dow Jones' Yates said. For example, he said, “we're starting to see contextual advertising working its way into reprint products.” Yates referred to article tools developed by iCopyright Inc., which facilitates reprints and licensing in electronic media. Last year, iCopyright's system processed 4 million instant licenses, a 400% increase over 2008. Andrew Elston, iCopyright CEO, said publishers can customize its suite of tools, but the best practice is to use four tools—print, e-mail, post and republish—on every article page. When users click on any of those words, a pop-up box explains how they can “quickly and legally” print or redistribute content. Users are informed that the free option “includes ads.” ICopyright has worked out a simple way to share revenue. “We serve 50% of the ads using Google; the publisher serves the other 50% any way they choose,” Elston said. “Each of us keeps 100% of the revenue from the ads we serve.” •
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