How to turn online readers into new advertising revenue
How can newspapers make money delivering their content on the web? Ever since the internet explosion, newspapers have been struggling with a changing business model. And now, with Facebook and Twitter feeds, news articles are removed even further from the advertising that supports them. Banner ads scattered across a web page and attempts at paid online content have fallen considerably short of the revenue necessary to support a community newspaper. However, a trend is emerging that may provide the answer.
Many newspapers are now encouraging online readers to register, for free, on their website to access advanced features such as commenting on news articles, or saving searches of classified ads. Once a newspaper has a number of registered online readers, the paper can begin offering their advertisers a new way to target the online readership… direct e-mail advertising. By offering to e-mail all of the online readers with an e-mail advertisement on behalf of the advertiser, a newspaper can provide new direct access to their readership for their advertisers, without being combined with other advertising, or even competing with news for the reader’s attention.
A newspaper that has a significant Facebook or Twitter following can also offer to post an advertising message to Facebook or Twitter on behalf of their advertisers. Every e-mail news update or RSS feed can also include a message from a sponsor. Be creative, every interaction with a reader is an opportunity to connect an advertiser with a customer.
To be successful in the internet age, community newspapers are going to have to change their thinking about advertising. It is no longer viable to think in terms of selling real estate on a page, whether printed or electronic. Instead, they must think in terms of selling access to their readers, no matter where they are, or how they can be reached.