local media insider

Top Ten Innovations in 2011 - A Look back

Alisa Cromer

Here's the list of the top ten innovations LocalMediaInsider covered in 2011 and reported at the end of the year. Which ones are still innovative and which are already old news?

1. Creating an in-house real estate brokerage
A number of local media companies are hot on the trail to replacing - or just creating - real estate revenues by cutting out the advertising and selling real estate directly. Pioneered at Sanjose.com by Dan Pulcrano in 2001, the in-house real estate brokerage has been most effectively executed at MediaOne of Utah, the full case study is here and steps to create a brokerage is here.

2. ServiceAlley in the home services industry replaces classifieds, directories

Those of us signed up to monitor Angie'sList have noticed a series of subscription discounts being offered, the latest one in May, 2011 was 40%. Coincidence? Or is the model succumbing to free marketplaces such as ServiceAlley, created by the Washington Post, in partnership with Teach Street. Here's how it works. Other marketplaces worth a look are Wimgo and WhoCanHelp.

3. PRLink turns press releases into profits

We are still a big fan of PRLink, first implemented at the St. Petersburg Times as an easy way to monetize press releases. The Times is now selling about five a week, and aiming at mid six figure income from the self-serve platform. Our original review is here.

4. The end of the story

Links at the end of articles can be turned into traffic builders and new revenue streams.  New York Times Regional Media Group is making a cool $20,000 a month from a "related links" widget that refers traffic back to its own site - and to paid links off site.  The full report is here.

5. Hunters and gatherers

According to Borrell & Associates, all of the local media companies succeeding in creating digital media business models have at least two dedicated digital sales reps. We especially like the Source Media sale model, however, which is a hybrid approach and uses an all new business development team that sells any product and hands it off. This model tripled the volume of monthly new business  almost immediately.

6. Quick Ads

This versatile self-serve advertising unit is quietly taking hold on a variety of media sites, replacing Google Adwords with direct sales of text ads that link back to a website or pop up page. The ads can be moved around your site in blocks for targeting or just infill. They are advertised at "a dollar a day" on this site, and well worth a second look.

7. Group deals

2011 is the year of the deal. Group deal sales are getting savvier as the market matures, here are Best Practices from three top sellers on   the Second Street platform. Trippr is another contender due to its deal aggregation platform.

8. Mobile coupons.  Even in a crowded market like San Francisco or Chicago, mobile coupons are still new. Porkapolis, a built-from-scratch mobile app just launching in Cincinnatti with checkin as well as locational coupons.  For groups that want to partner, consider Forkfly, which is a mobile coupon platform with notifications (which work like SMS) and a daily deal with the hidden advantage that the merchants can download their email lists.

9. Selling SMS  marketing

The great thing about SMS marketing is that it requires more marketing to actually work. So getting into the the agency sales business means adding these products and taking advantage of the lucrative upsells. This takeaway from Stephen Weis, Vice President of Interactive at Hearst, who says the SMS campaigns at Chron.com typically generate large onling advertising campaign.  Here are some ways to upsell SMS to mobile and online advertising.

10. Selling Facebook services

Chron.com also sells Facebook services with a similar result: Upsells to advertising and larger share of client. Here a review of how one medium-sized site sells Facebook services.  A number of other kinds of services can be packaged in, such as at the Riverside Press-enterprise, who's hosts a merchant blog platform, called eMediaWaves, with a full service option to write the blogs and update to Facebook. Forkfly also includes updates to Facebook and Twitter, why not offer a full serve option for these mostly self-serve sites?

Alisa Cromer

The author, Alisa Cromer is publisher of a variety of online media, including LocalMediaInsider and  MediaExecsTech,  developed while on a fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and which has evolved into a leading marketing company for media technology start-ups. In 2017 she founded Worldstir.com, an online magazine,  to showcases perspectives from around the  world on new topic each month, translated from and to the top five languages in the world.

real estate, facebook, chron.com, dan pulcrano, metro, prlink