local media insider

Best Native Advertising

Best Overall Native Strategy, Best Native Niche Campaign, Best Small Market Native Initiative

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Best of Native Advertising

Best Overall Native Strategy

Company: Graham Holdings

Initiative: BrandConnect

Market: Washington Post - Washington, DC

Initiative: BrandConnect

Population: 5.8 Million

Ethan Selzer

Key executive: Ethan Selzer, VP Retail & Regional Advertising 

Judges take: LocalMediaInsider estimates this program generates more than $1 million a year in new revenues to the Washington Post company with 24 campaigns that have run in homepage positions, and are showcased in the BrandConnect gallery. Judges liked the magazine-style of the features with big visual image, use of the right rail to promote related content and the creative content packages.

* LMI story: Washington Posts BrandConnect program

Best Native Niche Campaign

Company: The Observer Group Inc.

Market: Sarasota Observer - Sarasota, FL

Population: 53,326

Emily Walsh

Key executive: Emily Walsh, Chief Digital Officer

Judges take: While there are been a number of niche native channels around the country, including weddings, health and dining, this native niche channel sold to a local business association, the Sarasota Manatee Originals last year is unique.

With upsells to 52 restaurants in the association, the video programming has evolved in two years from video profiles and recipes from restaurants, into a more robust food show that features where local food comes from, including trips with fishermen and to organic farms, and a partnership with a cooking school.

“We see partnerships with business associations as an important new trend, and this initiative exemplifies possibilities.”

* LMI stories:

Sarasota Manatee Originals expand concept

In the kitchen with the Sarasota Manatee Originals

Best Small Market Native Initiative

Company: Lee Enterprises

Market: Quad City Times - Davenport, IA

Circulation: 53,942

Mark Monroe

Key executive: Mark Monroe, Retail Advertising Manager (acting manager)

Judges take:

If you are looking to start up a native program, the major media companies are often too big, and some of the smallest entries, just look too small ($199 to 500 a month). This program at a $1,500 a month,  with contract at  $6,000 for four articles placed on the high traffic home page looks like a reasonable model that has shown success and is worth studying. It has survived a management change and still experimenting with formats, but with five new clients signing by year end, it clearly has a  head start on a growing revenue stream.

* LMI story: Selling social media at Lee Enterprises

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