Tag Archives: advertising

Two observations about online advertising

First thing: I check Facebook twice a day: probably I spend half an hour a day on the site. Every day I see at least one advert that makes me think – oh, I want/need/like the look of one of those.

But I’ve NEVER clicked one. Why? I don’t trust their integrity. They run alongside the ubiquitous take this pill to be thin and 1 tip of a flat belly adverts, and I have no confidence that the link I’m about to click will take me somewhere sound. I wouldn’t trust these advertisers with my money.

Second thing: Here’s an advertising policy from an American blog, describing how they choose (yes, choose) their advertisers and sponsors.

First, they need to have been recommended by a reader, client or industry professional. We don’t simply look for a referral but rather for a passionate reason as to why a particular vendor deserves to be in the book. Whatever the connection, it must be strong and based on a real knowledge of the vendor’s work.

Second, we dive head first into the vendor’s business. Their portfolio, their experience, their time in the industry. We look at press that they’ve received, we chat with their industry neighbors, we get to know who they are and why they are good at what they do.

We spend time…. getting to know them, figuring out if they are honest, have a high level of integrity and are truly devoted to their craft. For highly competitive industries, like photography, we also have vetting teams. An unbiased group of vendors who can fairly, objectively, and accurately evaluate other’s work.

If you have had a negative experience with any of the vendors listed, please let us know as soon as possible. Your name will remain anonymous and we will take your issues very seriously. If we find that indeed the vendor has violated what we believe to be good, honest work ethics, they will be removed from the site immediately and any advertising dollars will be refunded.

That’s a pretty firm commitment – but one that I’d say increases the chances of readers clicking those ads dramatically.

People talk a lot about curating in journalism, a new attitude to news gathering and distributing, being a place readers trusts to sift through the web and find them the solid gold good stuff.

So what if you applied that logic to advertising?

What if your food pages had a similar list of producers that your knowledgeable food writers had checked out? Or even restaurants or coffee shops? What if your leisure pages had a similar list of hotels? What if your online readers knew that they wouldn’t see fat-busting ads but instead the logos of reputable local trainers?

Just a thought….

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

Newspapers on Twitter: is there any point?

I think there is. Forgive if this is going sound like trumpet-blowing, but this is why I think twitter is worth persevering with as more than an RSS feed.

One of our followers asked for suggestions as to where he should take his girlfriend for dinner.
This is what happened
Our conversation on Twitter

Our conversation on Twitter

PROS: The links are all links to our reviews. And everyone who’s following us or him can see this conversation.
We’ve promoted our taste section, boosted our reputation for being the source of all food knowledge, published links to five old reviews that might now get some traffic and increased awareness of us as a brand providing a service to readers. (and possibly created a rod for my back when people start asking me questions!)
But it took five minutes of my time and Rob Hawkes thinks we’re great now (and hopefully will tell other people how great we are, and so on.)
CONS: is the benefit worth the time?Will we, as a paper, get enough from this one reader for it to have been worth my stopping what I was doing (writing a photo sales strategy) and spending five or ten minutes finding some content that matched his needs?  Added on, of course, to the time I spend monitoring the account in the first place, which, as I read here is a time consuming job.

I think, in this age where we’ve got some pretty stiff competition for people’s attention, that it probably is. This may only be one person. But better to have 1000 true fans than than 100,000 who’ll visit the site once and then never again, right?
What do you think? (and sorry again about the trumpet blowing)
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Reasons to be cheerful

It’s all doom and gloom at the moment, isn’t it? Recession, unemployment, crashing share prices leading to company takeovers (there but for the grace of new shares goes Johnston press).

So here are some blog posts that make me optimistic. There are some people out there who think we’ll make it through. More thinking like that, and less thinking like this, is what we need to become commercially successful enough to keep us in our jobs….

We’re rethinking advertising

We should care about how our money is made. Advertising needs innovation as much if not more than editorial if newsaper websites are to work. Thankfully Paul Bradshaw’s got some ideas

We’re admitting we can’t do things the way we always have

And isn’t that exciting? Mark Potts has a convincing explanation for why change is good

There are lots of people with ideas for new business models

I didn’t really get into journalism for the business angle. But it makes me happy to know there are people out there who have thought about how we make money – and how we can make enough of it to ‘save newspapers’

And we do still care about the quality of our product

No matter what people say, subbing IS important. It’s not something any reporter can do. And it’s not obselete, not matter what Desmond or Greenslade say. Don’t agree? Richard Burton might persuade you.

You may think his points aren’t relevant online. But just because you don’t have a physical space to cut your copy to doesn’t mean said copy won’t require pruning, or checking, or sharpening up, or even hacking back to three pars because that’s all its worth. Quality control is just as important online as it is in print.

Tagged , , , , , ,