SIPAward Winners Get Notoriety, and Members Get Valuable Takeaways

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Hollywood has their Oscars, and we have our SIPAwards.  And although they've held a few more than we have—91 to 40—we plan on having a host at our celebration this year (June 4). And if we had five nominated songs, we would showcase them all. (I did write about one cool publishing song last week.)

As it is, we go to great lengths to highlight all our winners. There's a Winners Showcase that includes details from winning entries. I write articles on many of the winners; here is a page with links to those. We'll ask many of the winners to speak at webinars or conference sessions and participate in committees. So definitely enter if you can this year.

With 37 categories, that means as many as 111 winners in all. The entry period is well under way, so let's run down 5 key initiatives from last year's winners. (The links go to more in-depth articles.)

Build personas to boost audience. January Spring teamed with NOCO Style, Northern Colorado's Premier Magazine, to create a digital version that brought in many new readers, subscribers and advertisers—and win in Best Editorial and Marketing Collaboration.  "The team built three detailed reader personas that describe who reads NOCO Style," wrote Charity Huff, CEO of January Spring. "The personas defined why readers like the magazine and what other media and content they are reading. To help round out the reader personas, January Spring researched social networks and groups that attracted these types of readers, the keywords used to attract them, and the hashtags those readers use to find content and other like-minded people."

Respond to a government-mandated audience need. Behr's Verlag won a 2018 2nd place SIPAward in the category of Best Video Product for an educational package on food safety containing a 12-minute video. The product brought in more than 10% of the company's total sales in 2017. Heads of quality management in food production in Germany are legally obliged to train their employees according to the Infection Protection Law. This applies to employees in all categories of the food industry. If training is not conducted, the government can impose major penalties. "Our advantage is that all of these branches have to implement the same law," wrote CEO Arno Langbehn. "This way we have reached a big target group where everybody has the same problem."

Use quizzes as a sponsorship vehicle. Education Week, the flagship publication of Editorial Projects in Education, won second place for Best Success Story by getting 90% quiz completions and around 60% of people completing the quiz filling out a registration form. Education Week launched the quizzes in spring of 2017 using a 3-month sponsorship model with 8-10 questions per quiz. The product's success moved them to a 1-month sponsorship model as they were able to hit their "lead targets more quickly than anticipated." Sponsors such as Voyager Sopris Learning get their logo on the start page, branding opportunities on the quiz pages and a big "Find Out More" button after the quiz has been completed.

Use podcasts to promote your events. Access Intelligence won for Best Conference Marketing for their Connected Plant Conference. One of the strategies that helped to double their registration and revenue from year one was podcasts with speakers that focused on key issues for their audience. Here was one intro: "Jon Towslee, director of marketing and business development with ABB Inc., is scheduled to give a presentation during the event. He spoke with POWER Executive Editor Aaron Larson during a power-industry conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can listen to the interview in the following POWER Podcast extra."

Sell premium licenses. An extension of Money-Media's Financial Advisor IQ (FA-IQ), ThinkTank provides asset managers a free forum to publish and share their thought leadership and white papers with financial advisors, their primary audience. Money Media won second place in Best Lead Generation/Nurturing Campaign for the growth that ThinkTank provided. Each time a ThinkTank visitor reads a piece of content, that person is stored as a lead for the respective publisher, but publishers can't access the data without paying for the upgrade. "Dozens of companies" are interested in upgrading to premium in order to unlock access to the data on their account. That data includes hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of leads from the platform.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…