The Opportunity with Reader's Choice Ballots

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  • Ballots are another promotional tool to increase your potential social community.  Email acquisition via ballots can expand your available list of contacts to invite to join social networks as well. Social is really about creating conversations and relationships with your potential customers, engaging and listening which is what ballots do. Really wanted to share a great strategy as we enter Q4
  • Where the money is going. We all know traditional spend is declining. But did you know that Promotional spend is increasing? Advertisers are looking for campaigns that can excite local audiences.
    Right now promotions are a $37 BB industry but look ahead just four short years and they are going to rise to 80 BB!!
  • Advertisers Promote You & Your Brand
  • Print Ads
    Vote for me! Double truck kickoff ads – 2x a week for a month. 26 spots. $600 for 8 ads. In the core product. Sells out every year very quickly. To get frequency in print product.
    Many advertisers see value in advertising during the voting period to highlight their businesses.
    In order to make the most of this, merchants on the ballot are able to purchase a print ad for the print version of the ballot,
  • Paper ballots are time consuming, painful
  • Paper ballots are time consuming, painful
  • http://todd.upickem.net/aux/ux/bigdig/back-end/affiliates_demo/moderate.html#AmericanTitle
  • WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WITH VOTER’S CHOICE
    • Upgraded Listings
    • Ballot Sponsorships
    • Print Issue or On-Air Special
    • Live Event
    • Deals Store
    Look to the following pages for a breakdown of each.
    ★ Remember - these models can also be combined to maximize your
    revenue. A single ballot could incorporate upgraded listings, category
    sponsorships, preview and winners special sections,
  • The step before you open an upgraded listing
    People have struggled to make money DURING the promotion and online. Really get how to make money in print but not necessarily digitally.
    This is an answer to one of those challenges.
    The upgraded listing model works when you are featuring local advertisers on the ballot. This model allows them to pay to feature their listing more prominently in an effort to attract more votes.
    LISTING UPGRADES
    • Logo
    • Description
    • Website
    • Address
    • Interactive Map
    • Social Sharing Buttons
    o Facebook
    o Twitter
    o Google +
    In a mid-size market, you could charge each sponsor a $149 flat fee
    for an upgraded listing including an image, phone number, address,
    website, and Facebook & Twitter buttons. If you have 30 merchants
    who purchase upgraded listings for a 4-week ballot, you would end up
    generating $4,470 in revenue!
  • The step before you open an upgraded listing
    People have struggled to make money DURING the promotion and online. Really get how to make money in print but not necessarily digitally.
    This is an answer to one of those challenges.
    The upgraded listing model works when you are featuring local advertisers on the ballot. This model allows them to pay to feature their listing more prominently in an effort to attract more votes.
    LISTING UPGRADES
    • Logo
    • Description
    • Website
    • Address
    • Interactive Map
    • Social Sharing Buttons
    o Facebook
    o Twitter
    o Google +
    In a mid-size market, you could charge each sponsor a $149 flat fee
    for an upgraded listing including an image, phone number, address,
    website, and Facebook & Twitter buttons. If you have 30 merchants
    who purchase upgraded listings for a 4-week ballot, you would end up
    generating $4,470 in revenue!
  • Augment revenue from upgraded listings by selling ballot sponsorships.
    BALLOT CATEGORY SPONSORSHIP
    With the ballot category sponsorship model, sponsors pay to be
    featured on a specific category of your ballot. an example might be the “Citizens Bank Coach of
    the Week.” In a mid-size market, you could charge a category sponsor
    $249/week for the duration of the promotion. If you have 10 category
    Sponsors for a 10-week ballot, that gives you $24,900 in revenue.
    Right now a mid market alternative weekly is charging $200/week for this type of sponsorship.
  • Augment revenue from upgraded listings by selling ballot sponsorships.
    BALLOT CATEGORY SPONSORSHIP
    With the ballot category sponsorship model, sponsors pay to be featured on a specific category of your ballot. an example might be the “Citizens Bank Coach of the Week.” In a mid-size market, you could charge a category sponsor $249/week for the duration of the promotion. If you have 10 category sponsors for a 10-week ballot, that gives you $24,900 in revenue.
  • If you have a print publication, creating a special section or issue announcing the winners of your metro Voter’s Choice competition is an absolute must.
    Many members of your audience will save their special issue to refer back to throughout the year
    Many winning merchants will frame their part and display it in their place of business
  • This strategy can work for your city wide metro ballot OR a special niche ballot like Best of Prep Sports!
    A Voter’s Choice live event could be anything from a Tuesday lunch in your company offices to a full red carpet event with an actual awards ceremony.
    BONUS: Inviting your winning merchants to a Voter’s Choice event and making them feel special relaxes them and introduces you in a fun environment before you go in to discuss their advertising budget for the upcoming year.
    Naples Daily News Naples, Florida
    Circulation 61,000
    Southwest Florida’s Choice Awards
    Each year, Naples Daily News caps off their Southwest Florida Choice Awards with an event to celebrate the winners.
    In 2013, more than 700 people attended.
    Tickets were sold for $35 in advance or $40 at the door.
    Each winning merchant received two free tickets.
    Each winning business also received a certificate, window cling, and license plate cover.
    The awards were hand-delivered by sales reps the next day, along with a flyer with an offer to feature an ad in the winners special section.
    As a result, sales increased by 10%!
  • A deals store is an excellent way to continue making money once
    your Voter’s Choice ballot has wrapped up. Your voters chose
    these advertisers for awards, so the deals they have to offer are
    guaranteed to be appealing to your audience. As always, deals
    provide yet another way to engage your audience while driving
    even more revenue.
    Deal Store
    WHEN TO RUN
    –As soon as possible after your Voter’s Choice ballot is over and your winners have been announced.
    HOW LONG TO RUN
    –10-14 Days
    WHEN TO SELL
    –You should start selling as soon as you know the winners.
    PROSPECT LIST
    –Approach all of the winners and runner-ups from your Voter’s Choice ballot.
    HOW MANY DEALS TO INCLUDE
    –Aim for at least 10-15 deals (and remember that you can include multiple deals from the same merchant in your store).
  • Here is an example of a midsize newspaper sponsorship package for a large advertiser in your market like a Community Bank
  • Always has been a PRINT only promotion. This year they needed more traffic to website, and find a way to make more revenue.
    2013: 10K registered users
    2012 Votes 2,000
    2013 votes: 115k during the 3 week voting period
    anytime we run a promotion our traffic goes up 10-20%
  • Gave this ballot the “car wash”. Integrated promotion - sliding billboard for a few days, Eblast or two to our promotional database. Social, print ads. Its a well known brand so it spread quickly. Made them feel special.. Next year we are going to create some “Best Of Nominee - vote for us” WE didn’t do that this year. Our plan is to print out the fliers to take to the stores to promote the vote. Our merchants wanted things that said they were Nominees. Before it was all write-ins so no one knew who were the top candidates.
  • Gave this ballot the “car wash”. Integrated promotion - sliding billboard for a few days, Eblast or two to our promotional database. Social, print ads. Its a well known brand so it spread quickly. Made them feel special.. Next year we are going to create some “Best Of Nominee - vote for us” WE didn’t do that this year. Our plan is to print out the fliers to take to the stores to promote the vote. Our merchants wanted things that said they were Nominees. Before it was all write-ins so no one knew who were the top candidates.
  • First year online for The Signal
    2012: 2K users
  • Is this more Revenue than 2012? significant increase - raised 20% increase.
    $70k in 2013
    Going to run a best of holiday shopping store for our holiday gift guide. Going to do this all year with different themes. Our readers like it - anytime you post things that are “best” ppl engage and so do advertisers. Going to use “Best of Prep Football” as a way to launch our new Prep sports site.
    Its a great lead generator for our sales reps
  • Vote for me! Double truck kickoff ads
    $265 per print run (3 runs total) for a 3 col x 5” ad
    Print - Steady with years past. Didn’t effect single copy sales
  • 300x250 banner ad - $299 sold 6= $1800
    Enhanced listing - $99
    Enhanced listing with social buttons - $149
    Enhanced listings were last minute sales decision. Could have sold far more.
    Full promotion (3 print ads, online banner, enhanced listing + social) - $999
    Sold 10 enhanced listings
    Made $3,000k just with expanded listing. Its going to be up all year. Its a great resource for ppl to have at their fingertips. Its CONTENT for our site that keeps ppl coming back. Been an easy sell for our reps b/c everyone wants to be associated with the “best of” brand.
  • 13th annual
  • Winners page – live on site and how you sold expanded listings to winners will be on site all year. Will promote via social media all year.
    Whats a couple hundred bucks if it lives on the site all year.
  • Always has been a PRINT only promotion. This year they needed more traffic to website, and find a way to make more revenue.
    2013: 10K registered users
    2012 Votes 2,000
    2013 votes: 115k during the 3 week voting period
    anytime we run a promotion our traffic goes up 10-20%
  • Think about audiences you want to engage – advertising categories you want to grow revenue with or special sections you want to take the next level!
    Weddings, Holidays, Parents, Sports fans – all great themes for your next Voter’s Choice!
  • Audience Specific!
    Here are a few audiences you may consider targeting: - around a certain audience
    AUDIENCES TO TARGET
    • Sports Fans
    • Parents
    • College Students
    • Art Aficionados
    • …and anyone else your company targets!
  • Audience Specific!
    Here are a few audiences you may consider targeting: - around a certain audience
    AUDIENCES TO TARGET
    • Sports Fans
    • Parents
    • College Students
    • Art Aficionados
    • …and anyone else your company targets!
  • The Illinois State Fair is a huge deal in our market, and we had previously partnered with the fair for several promotions. In 2013, we wanted to take our involvement with the fair to a new level.
    The Idea
    We decided to create a State Fair Top Ten ballot that would allow our readers to share their favorite things to do at the fair. We promoted to the entire region, and we were blown away with the response.
  • The Execution
    People could either vote for their existing favorite in each category – we pre-seeded the ballot before it launched – or, if they didn’t see their choice, they could add a write-in vote.
    Those who registered for the ballot and voted on their top choices were automatically entered in a sweepstakes for several prizes. The grand prize winner received 2 Mega Passes to the Illinois State Fair, as well as 2 tickets for grandstand seats to a performance at the Fair
    My vote for fav food is the CORN DOG!
  • The Results
    We received more than 1,000 registrations from an area covering several states and as a result of the ballot we were able to secure new partnerships with a local bank and the Springfield Mass Transit District as well as many other small businesses and vendors.
    Furthermore, we were able to dramatically increase our level of partnership with the Illinois State Fair by using the information we gathered from the ballot as part of the content for the State Fair Guide that the State Journal-Register puts together to release before the fair (you can see the cover of the guide on the right). This improved partnership in turn led to us being able to secure more fair concert tickets to give away through sweepstakes contests on our Facebook Pages.
    These sweepstakes enabled us to increase the number of Facebook Likes on the State Journal-Register Page from 9,500 to 12,150 – a 34% increase – in 60 days, and to grow the number of Likes on our Greater Springfield DailyDeals Page from 300 to over 3,000 in just 6 weeks!
  • Category Driven
    Like Best of Business
    Help Us Honor the Most Family-Friendly Businesses in OKC & Be Entered to Win a Weekend Getaway to the Gaylord Texan Resort!
    MetroFamily’s Family Favorites awards program is back and better than ever! This year, the program offers the opportunity to honor businesses in more than 80 different categories. The purpose of Family Favorites is to allow you to tell fellow parents which businesses do an outstanding job serving local families.Plus, if you complete 35 of the categories included on the ballot, you will automatically be entered to win a holiday family getaway to the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas! The getaway includes two-night accommodations for up to four people, plus the complete Christmassy Dreamworks Experience—including admission to ICE!, Dreamworks character meet-and-greets and more. The getaway package is good from November 14, 2013 through January 4, 2014 and is valued at $900!
  • Charlotte Wedding presents the inaugural Best of Wedding (BOW) Awards! The goal is to showcase the best wedding and events businesses in the Charlotte area. BOW Awards Survey in which we invite only professionals in the business to vote on who they think is the best in town
  • Another Voters Choice from Springfield Journal Register.
  • The Roanoke Times
    The daily newspaper for 19-counties across Southwest Virginia.
    One of the best-read newspapers in the U.S.
    Circulation
    Average Daily: 67,300
    Average Sunday: 85,000
     
    Readership: consistently ranked in the top 10 for metro area penetration by Scarborough Research
    Average Daily: 177,700
    Average Sunday: 230,100
    Online Traffic
    Average monthly uniques: 732,500Average monthly pageviews: 7.8 million
  • Goals of program:
    Play to our strength of great local content, with a specific focus on the many great communities in our region and what they have to offer for the holidays
    Improved voter experience (Check!)
    Year over Year Revenue Growth
    Year over Year Ad Growth
    New Business Revenue
    Launched Sept 3rd
    2nd year of holiday best of
    Best ofs work really well and they needed more of these types of promotions on their calendar
    19 counties in their footprints – huge market area.
    lots of boutiques - SMBs
    Needed something for holidays to tap into these retailers
    Gift Guide published in early Nov that goes along with it
    Editorial around Shopping, Entertaining, Events, Parties, Decorating, Recipes
    Last year used survey monkey - and this year Tammy Burdick set it all up alone - very easy to use
    What’s new this year:
    Intuitive, easy to use design
    Mobile friendly
    Faster vote tabulation and voter tracking
    Ability to offer enhanced listings to grow Social Media audience and drive website traffic
  • Votes
    Users
    Write ins
    Merging was easy – write ins weren’t as scary as we thought they would be.
  • Collecting opt-ins for deals program
  • Best Of section in nav bar. MAKES IT EASY TO FIND
  • Utilizing our own internal resources to promote.
    In Print and on roanoke.com – including their blog – lots of homepage promotion – even have a “best of” link in top nav!
    Facebook and Twitter , Pintrest
    Newsroom Blog
    Lots of Email
    A2 mentions by news
  • Newsroom has a blog. They promoted it when it launched.
  • Sent original email to their circ list. Not great response. Sent this email to their promotions email list and saw a huge bump! 217 ppl who entered as a result of that email that went out. THAT IS 22% of total entries coming from an email!!!!
  • Print Ads
  • Customized POP displays – poster, flier, biz cards, post cards, facebook cover photo, icons, images, logos of various sizes, buttons, table tents
    Lots of POP sales this year - “Promote the Vote” use it as a lead generation tool to reach out to merchants for enhanced listings
  • and there is an online upsell allowing them to feature their business on the online ballot as well. Those who choose the online option also receive a link from the ballot back to their own website.
    Social
    Interactive Map
    Link to their website
    Phone number and address
    Logo
    16 sold
    $1,600 Revenue
  • Category Sponsorship – Short amount of time and a valuable audience
    Sold 6 at $600 each
  • What is Facebook PPC?
    Reseller of these – worked with a broker.
    2 sold = $800 revenue
  • Started to sell – will know winners on the 14th
    All about the holidays. More than just your general holiday gift guide. Lots of editorial. More than shopping. What do ppl want to help them with the holidays.
    Example of content – a section that is appealing and interesting.
  • we ended up doing a whole page just for shops in Lexington, which is a great shopping destination and home to a few colleges. We have more of these pages planned for this year, along with content from news to help those who decided to take a day trip. Let them know about the best places to eat, where there is parking, and any community holiday events they should check out.
  • infographic on how to choose a fresh Christmas tree.
     
    Holiday Lights info
    How much in 2012 in print? 51,000
    How much have you sold in 2013? On track to make more this year.
     
  • IN 2012 we didn’t do an official “deals store” we just did some different messaging/branding for the holidays. We made $16,450 revenue from Black Friday – Christmas Eve. which is a fairly typical month for us. Can’t wait to see what we do this year when we go after it with a real Deals Store!
    Planning Cyber Week store
    Dec 2-6th
    General Holiday Deals Store up through Christmas
    Will be built off of the Best Of Shopping but not limited to winners – will be the basis of our prospect list.
     
  • Always has been a PRINT only promotion. This year they needed more traffic to website, and find a way to make more revenue.
    2013: 10K registered users
    2012 Votes 2,000
    2013 votes: 115k during the 3 week voting period
    anytime we run a promotion our traffic goes up 10-20%
  • Smartphone
    VC on tablet
  • Find two more examples
  • Get your advertisers to promote your ballot for you! Create a hashtag and use it in all promotions : #bestofswva #bowawards #bestofndfootball #bestofpreps
    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Vine! Use social media
  • Gives YOU something to talk about on your social news feed.
  • Consumer promoting their favorite.
  • Update to show buzz feeds’ name
  • Update to show buzz feeds’ name
  • http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/08/10-paragraphs-about-lists-you-need-in-your-life-right-now.html
  • http://www.stltoday.com/sports/other/setting-the-record-straight-top-moments-in-st-louis-sports/article_c2bbd8f4-c7a4-11e1-8381-001a4bcf6878.html
  • Another way to continue to capitalize on your Voter’s Choice
    competition after the voting is over is to create a live event that
    celebrates the winners and brings the Voter’s Choice experience
    to life for your audience.
  • WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WITH VOTER’S CHOICE
    • Upgraded Listings
    • Ballot Sponsorships
    • Print Issue or On-Air Special
    • Live Event
    • Deals Store
    Look to the following pages for a breakdown of each.
    ★ Remember - these models can also be combined to maximize your
    revenue. A single ballot could incorporate upgraded listings, category
    sponsorships, preview and winners special sections,
  • Think about audiences you want to engage – advertising categories you want to grow revenue with or special sections you want to take the next level!
    Weddings, Holidays, Parents, Sports fans – all great themes for your next Voter’s Choice!
  • The Opportunity with Reader's Choice Ballots

    1. 1. Opportunity with Reader’s Choice Ballots Inland Annual Meeting | October 2013 DRIVING REVENUE | BUILDING DATABASE | GROWING AUDIENCE
    2. 2. Agenda • Importance of Reader’s Choice – Engaging Local Content – Go Deeper with SMB’s In Our Markets – Acquire Deep Data • • • • New Tools Provide Efficiency Bigger Opportunity than Ever Before Year-Round Opportunity Hits on all trends that you are trying to capitalize on
    3. 3. Who We Are
    4. 4. In Billions Why Online Promotions? Source: Borrell Associates
    5. 5. History of Reader’s Choice
    6. 6. Pain points
    7. 7. How voter’s Choice solves problems
    8. 8. “Our new tool gave me the ability tabulate votes faster, offer enhanced listings to increase revenue, plus collect email opt-ins for my deals program. It only took 30 minutes to set up this year! Last year it took a week and a half to tabulate this year we drastically reduced that.” - Tammy Burdick, Senior Market Analyst at The Roanoke Times
    9. 9. Bigger Opportunity Than Ever before
    10. 10. Voter’s Choice Revenue Opportunities
    11. 11. Upgraded Listings
    12. 12. Upgraded Listings
    13. 13. Category Sponsor
    14. 14. Online Ads
    15. 15. Special Print Issue
    16. 16. Live Event
    17. 17. Deals Store
    18. 18. Integrated Campaign • Print • Online • Enhanced Listings • Email Opt-in • Social Media • Mobile • Email Campaign
    19. 19. Case Study: THE SIGNAL
    20. 20. The Signal Santa Clarita, CA 8,500 circulation 1.3 MM pv/month signalscv.com
    21. 21. Integrated Promotion
    22. 22. Integrated Promotion
    23. 23. Integrated Promotion
    24. 24. Results 270% users 115,000 Votes 4,600 Write-ins
    25. 25. 2013 “Best of” Results $72,960 Revenue
    26. 26. PRINT ADS $6,360 Revenue
    27. 27. ONLINE ADS $3,000 Revenue
    28. 28. Special Section Winners purchased “Thank you” ads $60,000 Revenue
    29. 29. WINNERS PAGE $3,600 Revenue
    30. 30. The Signal Revenue Results
    31. 31. Ballots: More than just Once a year
    32. 32. Align with What your already doing
    33. 33. HOLIDAY
    34. 34. SPORTS
    35. 35. COMMUNITY EVENTS
    36. 36. PARENTING
    37. 37. WEDDING
    38. 38. WORKPLACE
    39. 39. Restaurants
    40. 40. Case Study: The Roanoke Times
    41. 41. The Roanoke Times Roanoke, VA 85,000 circulation 7.8 MM pv/month www.roanoke.com
    42. 42. Audience Results 990 Users 13,133 Votes 4,252 Write-ins
    43. 43. Promotion
    44. 44. NAVIGATION NAVIGATION
    45. 45. ONLINE ADS
    46. 46. BLOG
    47. 47. SOCIAL MEDIA
    48. 48. EMAIL 22% of entries!
    49. 49. PRINT ADS
    50. 50. POP CAMPAIGN
    51. 51. Revenue
    52. 52. ENHANCED LISTINGS $1,600 Revenue
    53. 53. CATEGORY SPONSORSHIP $3,600 Revenue
    54. 54. FACEBOOK PPC $800 Revenue
    55. 55. PRINT SPECIAL SECTION
    56. 56. PRINT SPECIAL SECTION
    57. 57. PRINT SPECIAL SECTION $51,000 Revenue
    58. 58. HOLIDAY DEALS STORE $16,450 Revenue
    59. 59. The Roanoke Times Revenue Results
    60. 60. Ballots hit on Trends
    61. 61. MOBILE
    62. 62. LOCAL
    63. 63. SOCIAL
    64. 64. CROWD SOURCING CONTENT
    65. 65. LISTS
    66. 66. SMB ADVERTISERS
    67. 67. User-Generated Reviews
    68. 68. Live events
    69. 69. Voter’s Choice Revenue Opportunities
    70. 70. Q&A Matt Coen matt@secondstreet.com 314.880.4902 @mcoen

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