Could Non-Endemic Ads Be a New Revenue Source for Your Association?

Your association members come to you for insights and information about your industry, but, to loosely paraphrase Walt Whitman, your members are large; they contain multitudes. They have hobbies, jobs and lives outside your niche. 

Advertisers know this. They recognize that people have wide-ranging interests and see it as an opportunity to extend their reach. 

So, how can you take advantage of your members’ multitudes and start selling more ads? How can you serve your members better while increasing advertising revenue at the same time? 

Non-endemic advertising. That’s how. 

In this post, we’ll dig into: 

  • The difference between endemic and non-endemic advertising.
  • The benefits of non-endemic advertising for your association publication.
  • How to find the right non-endemic advertisers. 

Endemic and Non-Endemic Advertising: What’s the Difference? 

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to understand the fundamental differences between endemic and non-endemic advertising.

Endemic Advertising

Put simply, endemic advertising is advertising that naturally fits where it is placed. For example, a fraternal organization dedicated to celebrating Scottish-American heritage may seek advertising from a company specializing in handmade Scottish attire, like kilts. This type of advertising is typically highly targeted and can be very effective because it aligns closely with your members’ existing interests. 

Non-Endemic Advertising

In contrast, non-endemic advertising refers to ads that are not directly related to the publication’s content or its audience’s immediate, stated interests. 

Using our Scottish fraternal organization as an example, a non-endemic ad might promote an international airline that happens to have flights to Scotland. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine members of a Scottish-American organization have an interest in traveling abroad — but it’s not directly related. 

This type of advertising takes advantage of readers having interests outside of your association’s primary focus. It can be a way to diversify revenue and attract a broader range of advertisers. 

See The Difference

Heartbeat Magazine
An endemic ad for home-based cardiac rehab in Heartbeat Magazine, a publication for members of The Mended Hearts, Inc.
Keynotes Magazine
An ad for Nissan in Keynotes, a magazine for security professionals.

Types of Non-Endemic Ads

As with endemic ads, non-endemic advertising comes in many forms. The traditional magazine ad may be a full-page or half-page spot placement that serves as a broad-based brand message to your association members. But non-endemic ads lend themselves particularly well to packaging or bundling. 

Offering non-endemic advertisers a standard ad alongside an advertorial, native content, supplement or even digital ad placements can make the deal more attractive and allow them to get more for their buy.

The key is to create an integrated and interactive advertising experience, going beyond just visibility. For instance, an advertiser can purchase an ad and partner with the association to offer your members a special travel deal or service. Alternatively, they might arrange an ad and a giveaway, giving your members a voucher or incentive to engage with their service or product.

The Benefits of Non-Endemic Advertising

Non-endemic advertising allows associations to tap into the multifaceted interests of their members, a strategy that broadens the range of potential advertisers and brings in new revenue streams. Bonus: You provide even more value to your members. 

Here are a few more key benefits of non-endemic advertising: 

  • An expanded advertiser pool. You open up a wider range of potential advertisers by stepping outside your immediate niche. 
  • New revenue streams. Thinking outside the endemic box offers more options for non-dues revenue. 
  • More member engagement. Non-endemic ads — especially in the form of native content or advertorials — reflect the diverse interests of your members and can enhance member engagement. 
  • Less competition. Since non-endemic advertisers are less likely to be approached by your direct competitors, they may be more open to an association partnership. 
  • Valuable content. Non-endemic ads can bring a fresh perspective, making your association’s publication more interesting and diverse. 

Is Non-Endemic Advertising Right for Your Association? 

Once you realize you can tap into areas beyond your immediate niche, revenue streams open up. However, non-endemic ads are not necessarily the right fit for every association. Here are a few factors to consider: 

  • Size. To attract larger non-endemic advertisers, it helps to have a substantial membership base. Smaller associations, particularly those with fewer than 2,000 members, may find it challenging to land big-name advertisers like major airlines, insurance companies or retailers. 
  • Time. Your team’s time is valuable — and often stretched pretty thin. It takes time, persistence and dedication to seek out and land non-endemic advertisers. That’s because, unlike endemic advertisers, non-endemic advertisers are not already part of your ecosystem and may need more convincing to see the value in advertising with your association. 
  • Resources. Non-endemic advertising often requires additional resources like staffing and partnerships to bring in new advertisers and create attractive ad packages. 

Finding the Right Non-Endemic Advertisers 

How do you find the right non-endemic ad partners for your publication? Here are a few tips for getting started: 

  • Profile your members. Poll your members to discover their interests, habits and demographics. This fuller picture will give you an idea of what type of products and services they use in their everyday lives. 
  • Gauge engagement. Track how engaged your members are with the publication. Are they seeking out services from your current advertisers? Higher engagement means that non-endemic ads are more likely to be noticed and acted upon. This increases the value for potential advertisers and gives you a strong selling point. 
  • Determine your reach. Does your association have local, national or international reach? Knowing this will help determine what types of non-endemic advertisers you should pursue. For example, a local franchise business may be more relevant for a small association with a regional reach, while a national retailer might be more fitting for a larger association.

Finding the right types of non-endemic ad partners for your association takes creativity and persistence. If you need help getting started, consider partnering with a publisher that has experience selling ads for association magazines

Remember, though, not all publishers or sales associates have genuine experience with non-endemic ads — even if they say they do. Before committing to a partnership, ask for the sales team’s success rate in landing non-endemic advertisers for association magazines. 

Non-endemic ad sales is an art and a science. The right publishing partner has the skills, time and know-how to find your perfect non-endemic partners and build an advertising package that benefits both the advertiser and your association. And of course, they know how to close the deal.  

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