Back in 2007 when we launched our digital marketing consultancy, local newspaper and radio were still fairly successful. While both of thee traditional media platforms were ramping up their internet based efforts, most were doing the bare minimum. At that time, there was still just way too much money to be made the old fashioned way. Compared to print and radio, web advertising was certainly proving effective, but only brought in a fraction of the revenue. Thus, most of the focus was on business as usual.
What we learned about hyper-local news and marketing over past 12 years.
- WordPress Rules. This CMS, Content Management System, is the online publishing platform we’re so glad to have adopted. We watched many of our media colleagues go down other paths. Joomla. Custom and proprietary builds. Medium. Facebook. Blogger. Wix. Squarespace. Expensive 3rd party vendors with primarily tech backgrounds.
- Newspaper and Radio industry leaders have blinders on. These folks take direction from other Radio & Newspaper execs. The blind leading the blind. The much better plan is to embed yourself within the tech space. This is where the action is. The pioneers with no baggage to drag along. This is how Craigslist, Napster, Pandora, Facebook and other platforms were born.
- News is a commodity. It’s everywhere, being shared by everyone. On one hand, that’s great for community awareness. On the other hand, we’re faced with a cacophony of news, opinion, shares, half-truths and other info overload.
- Too many newspapers made the mistake of pushing their political and social agenda. These publishers and editors forgot that half of their potential readership had a differing opinion on things. These folks slowly unsubscribed. Circulation dropped. Newsrooms were forced to downsize. Newspapers forgot the no longer held a local media monopoly.
- Over-reliance on banner ad sales for revenue. In 1999, it was not uncommon to sell display banner ads at $25 cpm. (cost per thousand views). As the web grew, so did available inventory. it became a buyers market. Banner ad pricing sank like a rock. Today, we see local newspaper and radio websites filled with Google Ad Word campaigns. Pathetic. Letting your #1 competitor (Google) resell your premium inventory…to the lowest bidder. Stupid beyond belief.