Information Overload and Filter Failure Result in New Filters that Favor Large Businesses

New Media Inevitably Favors Large Businesses

Years ago I heard it said that the problem we face today isn’t information overload but rather “filter failure.” In all aspects of our life we have filters to help us identify and respond to the important things awhile quickly moving past the insignificant. On the web this has been true and growing for years but now we’re seeing some interesting side effects. The internet has democratized nearly every industry turning everyone into publishers with blogs, social media and the like but the problem is that not all content – or content creators – are created equal. As a result, there is far more noise on the internet and thus Google has become one of… [Read More]

6 Things to Share in Your Newsletter

Email Newsletter

Newsletters are still one of the most effective ways to reach an audience and drive traffic to your website. Compared to Facebook, newsletters often out perform Facebook posts by 20% or more as publishers in our network typically range between 20-30% open rate compared to reaching 1-2% on a Facebook post (all else being equal). While the level of competition for eyeballs in people’s inboxes continues to rise, publishers are uniquely positioned to provide awesome content where other businesses often fall short. Here are a list of 6 different types of content that you can re-purpose and use in your email newsletter.

Search Engine Optimization Then & Now – Things You Need to Know About How SEO is Changing

Google constantly refines how they show search results, are you falling behind?

When was the last time you took a few minutes to understand what’s in in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? SEO is a topic that comes up frequently when we’re talking with publishers and their sentiments tend to range from “I have no idea” to “I get the basics.” Once we talk for a few minutes it becomes clear most publishers have some understanding of outdated SEO concepts but little more. If you don’t want to read, feel free to scroll to the bottom of the page to watch Google’s 2:45 video about their most recent overhaul called Hummingbird – note, that video is 2 years old and Hummingbird has been live for some time. Let… [Read More]

Facebook Reduced Your Page’s Reach and That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing for Publishers

Your Facebook page is about to reach approximately no one. Credit: Social@Ogilvy

For those of you who are Facebook page managers and pay attention to the analytics Facebook provides you know the number of people you reach is a fraction of your actual followers (represented by page Likes). Facebook has long used Edgerank, more recently referred to as “the algorithm,” to determine who-sees-what on Facebook however the reach of a page has recently been compacted even further. According to an analysis of December 2013 posts by Social@Ogilvy the average post reaches just 6% of fans for pages with fewer than 500k followers i.e. local. That means if you have 1000 fans your average post will reach 60… 60! More than that, reports have just surfaced that Facebook is… [Read More]

Going Viral Math for Publishers

The concept of going viral has become a contemporary cultural phenomenon but there are a few things you should know about how and why things go viral – or don’t. First, going viral literally harkens back to epidemics which spread from person to person. Ironically, it’s taken on a positive meaning more recently. As a content publisher today, we have multiple channels to maximize the Seed within our viral “diffusion model” which is effectively a measure of digital word of mouth spread. With all of our social tools it’s much easier to share content and thus achieve more reach but going viral is still hard. But even if your content fails to actually go viral… [Read More]

You Want to Do What? A Guide to Help Local Publishers Make Smart Decisions – and Avoid Bad Ones

Are you in danger of missing the forest for the trees?

In our travels we regularly speak with publishers who have visions of the future of their business that are, shall we say, somewhat misguided. I always applaud action over inertia but I pride myself on educating publishers (even those we don’t work with) and when their vision is fueled more by hype than reality I want to jump in. In order to judge where you should invest your time and resources it’s important to understand the key pieces of the changing media landscape. Below are a list of things we often hear publishers “want” but which would fail to realize results. Let me be clear, many of the items below are great things they’re just… [Read More]

Focusing On the Right Things When Solution Selling

Can you spot the real-deal from the counterfeit?

Within the Secret Service is a group of people focused on detecting and addressing counterfeit currency. If you’ve looked at a $100 bill over the last 10 years or so you’ve noticed a serious change in its appearance, in fact there’s a website dedicated to showing you what a new bill looks like called NewMoney.gov - definitely worth a quick look. Mistaking the fake for the authentic can be an expensive, time consuming, and embarrassing experience – in currency and in life. What does the changing appearance of a $100 bill have to do with your local media business? Glad you asked. See, the media landscape is changing faster than currency and attempting to identify the counterfeit… [Read More]

The Difference Between Responsive Design and Mobile Optimized

Responsive Web Design is (Almost) Synonymous with Mobile Optimized

Mobile is becoming an increasingly significant medium in our lives with ever more powerful devices and faster wireless connections enabling enjoyable experiences for most of the US Population. Half of Facebook’s users are now Mobile Only and more than half of their revenue comes from mobile users. As such, optimizing your website or message for mobile is becoming increasingly important especially at the local level. But it’s even more than that because Facebook represents a significant share of traffic for local sites – or at least it must if you’re going to have a thriving and engaged community who shares your content with their friends – which means a significant amount of your traffic is… [Read More]

Quick Tips to Help Local Businesses Write Great Sponsored Content

The Effectiveness of Native Advertising per ShareThrough

Great content has always been important but with the growth of the internet great ‘advertiser’ content is becoming increasingly important – for them and you, the publisher. Sponsored Content (advertorials or the preferred fad label “native advertising“) is a great way for businesses to tell their story, demonstrate expertise and company values, and simply stand out from a crowded local market. The fact is, most local businesses are viewed as a commodity and Sponsored Content helps leading businesses break out of the mold. Plus, when done well, Sponsored Content complements traditional ad buys while also keeping your (publisher) brand in front of more consumers in the process. But what happens when the sponsored content stinks?… [Read More]

Driving Revenue AND Readership Growth with Sponsorships

ESPN College Gameday Built by the Home Depot

Most local publishers have thrived for years with display ads and bring this approach when embracing digital. There is absolutely nothing wrong with display ads when done well (banner ads as the digital variety are usually called) but they only provide one benefit to you, the publisher… income. Ok, sure, revenue is a pretty great benefit but there are a variety of revenue generating opportunities that exist for local publishers that drive more than just revenue such increased readership, engagement, SEO and social media sharing. Sponsorships are also often easier to sell locally than traditional digital because we’re so accustomed to sponsorships in our culture from ESPN’s College Gameday Built by Home Depot to the various… [Read More]