Freedom Newspapers Generate Over $750,000 of New Online Revenue with Blinder Group Assistance
Freedom Newspapers' goal was simple: Show our traditional newspaper sales reps the best method to sell their local, online inventory at high rates, with long-term advertiser commitments. They asked the Blinder Group to work with nine of their local newspaper properties in Texas, Arizona, North Carolina and Illinois.
Mike Blinder of the Blinder Group worked with the team at Freedom Interactive (the online division of Freedom Newspapers) to craft a "blended" online offering that would attract new advertiser categories within the local markets, as well as offer an incentive for those advertisers to sign full-year commitments with the newspaper property.
The local newspapers that worked with the Blinder Group offered a select number of advertisers a "Run of Site" (ROS) online "Big Box" ad (300 x 250), which rotated evenly on selected pages of the Web site. A small portion at the bottom of the online ad was reserved for a "Promotion Phrase" that invited readers to search the newspaper's online Yellow Page platform.
The online ad's content should be gleaned from the advertiser's current print campaign. Or may contain any marketing message desired from a non-newspaper advertiser. The local newspaper's design team was instructed to build the ad so that readers can be compelled to take an action based on the copy placed within the ad, without having to "click" to learn about the advertiser's location or current offering. The Blinder Group stressed to the local ad reps how imperative it was for them to work with the advertisers regularly in order to garner "copy change" information - no less than twice each month.
The online "Big Box" ad offered to local advertisers had the ability to link to the advertiser's Web site. Or a customized "Profile Page" placed within the newspaper's Web site (see below).
The newspaper also offered each participating advertiser a "Premiere Local Business Listing" appearing on the top of the results page of each category- or "key word"-related online search performed on the Yellow Page search box provided by Local.com, which appears below the "Big Box" ad being offered, as part of this program.
The Premiere Advertiser each received a listing on top of all other businesses that included:
- Logo or picture
- Location information
- Phone number
- Business description
All Premiere Advertiser listings lined to a "Business Profile Page" which was populated with business information and "keywords" to assist the advertiser's listing in being found.
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Shows an actual training slide used by the Blinder Group to instruct the traditional ad reps of this client newspaper about the program offerings and how to "take it to market" effectively.
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"Profile page" assists advertisers with "Search Engine Optimization" within "organic" search results.
The "Business Profile Page" was to be placed within the newspaper's Web site. Placing a properly-coded page, with advertiser information, within the newspaper's Web site actually assisted the advertiser in being found higher on the results pages of online search engines as part of the "organic results" of the search process. This model of "Search Engine Maximization" has been proven by a number of newspapers, with great success.
"We are convinced that local Yellow Page print directories have never been more vulnerable than they are now," states Mike Blinder, President of the Blinder Group, an internationally-respected multimedia sales training and consulting firm. "While Google is attacking the actual utility of the printed book, by stealing the readers, the advertisers are now extremely susceptible to finding alternative solutions, like online Yellow Page enhanced listings, as provided by local media companies. When these offerings are blended with banner inventory, as well as 'search engine optimization' elements, the advertiser is presented with a total solution, which is hard for them to resist. This model is proven and is working to generate new money ... from new advertiser categories for local media companies."
Initial offering to advertisers was $99/week with a one-year contract agreement required. The weekly billing was allocated as $125/month for the Yellow Page solution, and $300/month for 20,000 "run of site" online banner impressions, giving the local newspapers a "healthy" $15 CPM for their "ROS" inventory.
The Blinder Group also assisted in the production of the associated sales support collaterals necessary for program deployment. A simple, easy-to-follow single page flyer was developed and submitted to the newspaper prior to program deployment. Simple, easy-to-follow sales collaterals are necessary for advertisers (and the sales team) to easily grasp the features of the sales program being deployed. Too often media companies do not graphically explain the online portions of sales programs in an easy-to-follow manner, thus creating confusion during the sales process. The Blinder Group has vast experience in creating such sales presentations and will do so for the newspaper to support this project.
"We are glad that we chose to use the Blinder Group to assist us with training the reps how to sell our Web offerings, along with generating some online revenue for our paper," stated Becky Solis, Advertising Director of the McAllen (TX) Monitor (circulation 37,000). "They assisted us with a program that blends our banner inventory with an Online Yellow Page solution, along with Search Engine Optimization, that our local advertisers embraced very well. Plus, thanks to their in-the-field '4-legged' sales call training, we generated over $120,000 of new online revenue from the effort."
Company-wide for Freedom Newspapers to date, the Blinder Group's sales training effort has generated over $750,000 new online revenue combined, for the first five newspapers who have deployed their program. This represents almost nine times the fees for training in new business for Freedom Newspapers. "We are extremely happy with the results of the Blinder deployments in the Freedom markets they are working in," stated Dawn Paduganan, VP, Sales and Market Development, Community Newspaper Division Freedom Communications. "Not only are we seeing great local advertiser acceptance, for the bundled banner and online directory solution we are offering, but we are garnering great CPMs for our inventory as a direct result from the program. The training is great. The reps are on board. And we continue to make sales, even after they leave the market."
Local Media Contact:
Becky Solis, Advertising Director
Mcallen (TX) Monitor
For the Blinder Group:
Mike Blinder, President
Blinder Group, Inc.
The Blinder Group
Tampa Offices: 6139 Fjord Way
New Port Richey, FL 34652 USA
(727) 847-2464 ~ (727) 847-5959 (fax)
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