Tag Archives: publishing

Have News Publishers Become Dangerously Dependent on Facebook?

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In an interesting post on The Monday Note the author Frederic Filloux outlined the tough spot news publishers have found themselves in when it comes to distributing their content on Facebook.

On the one hand, content producers need all the article distribution and eyeballs they can get, and Facebook provides them, en masse. According to Filloux, “Today, Facebook drives about 40% of all referrals and Google drives about 35%.” That’s an insane amount of referral traffic, and much the reason why newspapers and magazines started using Facebook’s “Instant Articles” platform to publish content directly to users. That, and the fact that Instant Articles purported to provide the reader with a better, faster article loading experience to aid in ease of reading. Ideally, this would provide a huge amount of traffic to the articles, and eventually provide ad revenue either via the publisher’s site direct or through Facebook Ads itself.

Alas, it seems things may not be working out as planned on the publisher side, as Facebook recently changed their News Feed algorithm to display news from friends and family first, while lowering the priority of Instant Articles. Essentially, publishers can post articles all day long, but Facebook ultimately controls how many people, and exactly who, the content will be display to.

How publishers will react to this remains to be seen. Have they become so dependent on the Facebook traffic that they will pay the increasingly high ad prices to maintain and grow the audience they’ve been working to engage? Facebook hopes so. Will they pull back on Instant Articles and refocus on different distribution methods? A definite possibility.

If you’ve thought about publishing via Instant Articles, we’d highly recommend you read Filloux’s piece on the tenuous relationship between Facebook & content providers – it is very insightful. Find his full post here: https://mondaynote.com/news-publishers-facebook-problem-6752f1c35037#.bjqhs54ze

Post by Jess Greiner

Local PI (per inquiry) – Top 5 Reasons to Start Today

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Local PI (per inquiry) is a program for community-based publications that are looking to meet the changing needs of advertisers in their local market. Every community has local market advertisers that want to buy newspaper ads but will only buy the ads on a performance basis (meaning pay-per-call.) In other words, local PI is a way for local publications to generate revenue from local advertisers that are otherwise more likely to continue spending their entire budget on search marketing and social media. Local PI offers community publications a way to stay relevant to the majority of local market advertisers.

At Mediabids, we have local PI already figured out for you. We handle all the paperwork, rate negotiations, ad traffic, call tracking/reporting and accounts work. Your publication runs the advertising and is paid a fixed amount per call generated. It’s that simple!

Whether or not  you’re struggling to replace lost print revenue with digital or alternative sources, here’s the top FIVE reasons to be considering local PI.

It’s Easy

Under any circumstances, it’s tough enough to sell advertising space. But now you’re also battling against several damaging mis-perceptions -namely, print is dying and too expensive. Local PI is entirely response-based (e.g. phone calls) so it’s easily more measurable and cost-effective for advertisers than most other local advertising options.

Also, Mediabids handles everything so local PI doesn’t cost you or your sales staff time or money. Your ad reps continue to focus on selling ROP and digital to their book of business.

New Print Revenue

Local PI is an alternative revenue source but it’s also new print revenues. To put it another way, it’s a new opportunity for you and for select advertisers in your market. The ideal local PI advertisers:

a)  May have tried print before but didn’t stick with it.

b) Were consistent customers for many years but are now reluctant to return your calls.

c) New businesses or advertisers that have always avoided print for one reason or another.

Phones Are Driving Everything

Local PI provides local advertisers a way to tap into the increasing use of smartphones and tablets by consumers. It just makes good business sense.

Mobile phones use has exploded over the past 4-5 years and people love to pick up the phone and call, rather than fill out an online form or email. In fact, roughly two-thirds of customers prefer to call versus other ways to contact a business. BIA/Kelsey recently reported that by 2019 businesses will get 162 billion more customer calls than they received in 2014. (Invoca, Call Intelligence Index 2016) Clearly, consumers are increasingly wired to call.

Bridge the Digital-Print Divide

Mobile phones are the proving to be the missing link between advertising and the customer. Seventy-nine percent of people ”switch devices during a single activity” – meaning consumers today move from one media channel to another and move from online to offline media channels quickly and with ease. (Invoca, Call Intelligence Index 2016) Local PI drives calls from print ads to local advertisers and print calls are by far the highest quality calls. The average call from a newspaper ad is over 3 minutes longer than an average call from TV and 2 minutes longer than an average call from an online display ad.

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Local Advertisers Get Results

According to the Invoca’s Call Intelligence Index 2016, the industries with the highest increases in call volumes are those with high value purchases or services where customers generally need a lot of personal service. The kinds of local businesses in these categories include home repair, financial services, insurance, health and wellness and travel. What does this mean? It means you likely already have a long list of potential local PI advertisers in your backyard.

Rolling all this up – you have advertisers that want measurable response and customers that are increasingly prone to respond to advertising via their phones. As a print publication, you want more print revenue but you need a way to overcome the usual objections to print – ”high” cost and a less competitive ROI. Local PI by Mediabids checks all the boxes.

Post by Jim Jinks.

 

 

 

Content Marketing Via Newspapers

SF HousesAt Mediabids we recently became aware of a somewhat unique insert program at the San Francisco Chronicle. They call it the ”slim jim.” It’s essentially a multi-page, double-sided pamphlet (full-color, 6 wide x 10.5 tall.) In fact, you may have seen a similar ”insert” from American Express or another lux brand in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, this got us thinking about inserts and newspapers in a slightly different way.

One unique aspect of the slim jim product is the personalization feature; the inserts are going to San Francisco Chronicle subscribers only. As such, the advertiser prints ”Exclusively For San Francisco Chronicle Subscribers” on the front and back cover. This tactic isn’t necessarily cutting-edge but it is more often used in direct mail than newspaper inserts. Furthermore, the advertiser is using a unique phone number specifically assigned for the slim jim. The calls (both inquiries and sales/reservations) are then tracked back to the paper’s subscriber list. The tracking/reporting allows the advertiser to precisely measure ROI.

A top travel brand has been running the slim jim consistently for the past year. By all accounts it has been a very successful effort. Relative to a simple newspaper display ad, the slim jim really plays to the strengths of the advertiser and newspapers. Indeed, for advertisers and publications, there’s a lot to like about this type of insert product because it is essentially ”content marketing via newspapers.”

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There are several reasons why newspapers are ideal content marketing distributors – targeting and context to name two. Affluent households are readers and print is a proven, high-conversion media channel. Insert products, like the slim jim in particular, allow for engaging graphics and copy -qualities that tend to be more appreciated by affluent, print media consumers. Perhaps most important though, good content can further the duo marketing goals of brand and sales. Print display ads, on the other hand, tend to struggle to further more than one objective at a time at a time.

Don’t get me wrong, the idea of newspapers as content marketing distributors is not new. Advertorials have been a part of print publishing for generations and we are only a couple of years removed from the ”native ad” craze of the early 2010s.

http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/mar/24/brands-publishers-digital-content-marketing

We are well into the era of digital publishers being content marketers themselves and offering content marketing services to clients. Content is ”king” and print publishers are beginning to catch-up to the idea. Nevertheless, beyond the largest metro dailies, the idea that newspapers (and inserts) are a great way to distribute marketing content may not be top-of-mind in print ad sales departments around the country.

Increasingly, advertisers want marketing campaigns that are cost-effective, measureable, ideally allow for the right amount of personalization and reach qualified consumers or purchasers efficiently.  The San Francisco Chronicle’s slim jim (and similar insert products) check off many of these ”must haves” of smart marketers in 2016.

Post by Jim Jinks

 

 

 

Generating Ad Revenue in Print

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A recent article in The Guardian points to the challenges newspapers face attracting advertisers and maintaining ad revenue.  And yet millions of people are still picking up print editions.  Though the article comments specifically on the UK market, the same could be said of the industry here in the US.  But contrary to the sentiment the author suggests that “publishers must find new ways to convince advertisers that they have audiences worth targeting,” we would argue that publishers are tasked with finding alternative ways to monetize their product.  Convincing advertisers of the value of their readership is not enough.

While many have looked to selling digital advertising as their saving grace, there is another option.  A new revenue stream within the print property.  Per-inquiry advertising.  Yes, this involves publications taking on risk and shifting from their traditional model.  But if they are boasting engaged readership, shouldn’t they have confidence in their ability to drive response?

Advertisers are paying per response in other mediums, so is it really that unrealistic that they expect to be able to do the same in print?  They demand performance, measurability, and tracking.  Advertisers need to justify spending, after all.

Here are MediaBids, we believe in the power and value of newspapers.  Our President, Jedd Gould, has said “we at MediaBids feel very strongly that newspapers and magazines are a critical component to democracy in the United States…we really feel that without newspapers and magazines and the original content that they’re producing, we all would be worse off”.  When is this truer than in an election year?  Yet, we know the model is being threatened by economic pressures and changes in the advertising landscape.

Hundreds of publications have already adapted and teamed with MediaBids to run per inquiry ads.  While response varies widely depending on many factors such as advertising campaign and publication size, its undeniable these campaigns are driving calls and sales, thus delivering revenue to publications.  If you’d like to increase your advertising revenue and feature national advertisers in your publication, give us a call today at 860-379-9602 or learn more at https://www.mediabids.com/publication/print-advertising.jsp.

Does Your Paper Reflect the Spending Habits of the American Consumer?

ConsumersIn the U.S., nearly 70% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is based on consumption. In fact, Americans spend a little over $11.2 trillion on goods and services.

The breakdown is about 65% on ”services,” such as housing, health care, travel, education, entertainment and personal care. The remaining 35% is spent on ”goods.” Economists tend to split the goods category into two types: 22% of spending on goods is non-durables (every day items such as clothing, groceries, fuel and household items); the other 13% of spending on goods is toward larger and less frequent purchases like cars, trucks, tractors, furniture and appliances.

Of course -depending on age, life-stage, income and a host of other factors- each of us may have somewhat different ratios of services to goods. Nevertheless, the ”average American consumer” spends about 65% on services and 35% on non-durable and durable goods each year.

The question you might want to be asking is -how well do the ads in your pages reflect what Americans are buying?

Over the past month, the Print Observer has profiled four local dailies (one in Vermont, Indiana, Washington State and Texas.) For each paper, we tabulated and analyzed the ad space in a recent Sunday edition. The analytics included: the number of ads overall and in each ad category; the total ad inches, total inches for each ad category and the average size of the ads in each category relative to the average size of all the ads in the section.

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Looking back at the data, it’s interesting to note how well the advertising categories represented in the papers compare to consumer spending habits. Across the four dailies we reviewed, the average number of ads in the services category was 48%, the average in the non-durables category was 30% and the average in the durables category was 28%.

  • The services category (housing, health care, restaurants etc.) had a range of 68% to a low of 28%.
  • In non-durables (groceries, clothes, household items etc.) the high was 49% and the low was 4%.
  • In the durables category (autos, furniture, appliances etc.) the high was 28% and two papers had no advertising at all for durables.
  • Two papers also had a large number of house ads and/or political.

We only looked at four Sunday papers so this small sample is not necessarily indicative of the trends in newspapers across the country. However, the four papers were all mid-size dailies in small cities that are not unlike most other small cities in America so the averages across the basic categories are likely to be proximate.

Ultimately, considering where your readers spend the bulk of their dollars (65% services/35% goods) is as good a guide as any for targeting the kinds of advertisers that are likely to do well in your pages. If you’re at 60% or better for services and 30%-40% for goods, you at least know your publication is aligned well with general consumer spending habits and you’re at about the level of advertising, in each category, readers can tolerate.

Post by Jim Jinks

 

5 Companies Innovating in the Print Media Space

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Print media companies are ripe for innovation. In a time where readership is moving online, media brands need to figure out new ways for readers to engage with their content on all platforms. Here’s a few examples of companies doing cool things to keep readers interested in quality journalism.

1.) Blendle  – Blendle is a company that lets consumers read articles in some of the top newspapers and magazines in the US on a pay-per-article basis. No frustrating paywalls, no limitations. Readers can just pay for what they want. It’s currently in its testing phase, but it will be interesting to see how many readers sign up. Currently their site says about 22K readers have signed up – a good sign!

2.) Layar – Layar helps advertisers create interactive experiences in the print media they purchase and create. It enables consumers to interact with print media on their mobile phones – creating an “augmented reality” experience.

3.) Media Math –  Media Math is a technology company that is powering Time Magazine’s programmatic print offering. They help Time create targeted ad programs that reach specific readers offline – customizing the ads readers see by their demographic info and the magazine title they are reading.

4.) Mag Cloud – Mag Cloud makes magazine publishing easy for the small publisher. They let you produce beautiful editions of print magazines along with top-not digital versions as well.

5.) Quad Graphics – This printing company is always on the cutting edge of printing technology, and recently took a big leap into virtual reality by outfitting the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition with printed virtual reality viewers.

Know of a company innovating the print media space that’s not listed above? Let us know in the comments!