Go after non-customers relentlessly

Here’s more good advice from Newspaper Next 2.0 (American Press Institute). As the report points out, in most newspaper markets, less than half of local consumers are frequent newspaper readers and as little as one-quarter or less of local businesses are newspaper advertisers. The latter figure is the result of most newspapers 1) not having…

Develop a widget strategy to expand your reach

As a strategy to grow your news website, developing and deploying smartly designed widgets is an important one. This year you’ll see me write and hear me talk a lot about widgets and the overall concept of spreading your content far and wide online. News publishers by now should have deep-sixed the old notion that…

The ultimate in free user marketing

The guys over at Evomo must be ecstatic about this. They make stylish mountain biking apparel (including some branded t-shirts commissioned by my former company, the Enthusiast Group), and one of their fans asked if he could get a tattoo using Evomo’s “Braincase” design. The answer from Evomo head honcho Bryan Thombs: “Hell-yeeeaaaah!” So here’s…

Facebook is screwing up a potentially great ad model

I’ve said here that I’m a (qualified) fan of the “social ads” concept that Facebook is implementing. But I’m only a fan as far as the concept goes; Facebook’s implementation still has major problems. Example: In my Facebook News Feed this afternoon was this social ad, which appeared because someone on my friends list allowed…

Facebook’s take on its social ads

WSJ.com’s Kara Swisher interviews Facebook’s Owen Van Natta about the whole social ads things. Yeah, Facebook’s had some privacy problems and it screwed up at first with the implementation of social ads, but this is so innovative. We’ve come a long way from banner ads!

Facebook relents

I really like the concept behind Facebook’s Beacon program, which sends information about your purchases to the people in your Facebook friends network. That is, I like it as long as I as an online shopper am in control. Having online shoppers opt in to having purchase information broadcast to their friends is, of course,…

The social company — and implications for media companies

My Editor & Publisher Online column this month looks at the mega-trend of companies becoming more “social.” That is, they’re starting to move money away from traditional advertising and into content, services and community. Companies like Nike are figuring out that they can be media companies, too, in additional to being brand companies. I think…

A brilliant ad format

Take a look at this ad from Facebook, which is in between two items in my account’s Newsfeed: I’m not sure if this format is new, but until a couple weeks ago I never noticed any ads or “Sponsored” messages in my Newsfeed. There were only vertical banner ads in the left column — which are…

Pop-ups: RIP

A few years ago I remember writing a lot about how website pop-up ads were evil and how I thought that in time, because online users would spurn them, online publishers would be forced to abandon them. Well, I’m pleased now to see this article by The Guardian: Pop-ups shot down by surfers but ‘relevant’…

Giveaway/product-review program works out nicely

Last month here I wrote about a product giveaway and user review promotion that my website, YourMTB.com, is doing. The idea is that we work with companies that want to get user reviews of their products, giving away a few items to YourMTB.com registered users in exchange for their promise of writing a review. Results…

Yet another Craigslist success tale

This week I posted an ad on the Denver Craigslist looking for some part-time contract marketing help. I must say, I’m impressed with the response I received — 21 so far, which I’ve whittled down to seven candidates that look very promising. The bulk of the responses came in within 24 hours, with a few…

A marketing experiment with a little risk

We’re trying something new on YourMTB.com: It’s this contest promotion done in conjunction with Spenco Cycling. The idea is that Spenco and YourMTB.com are giving away 10 pairs of the company’s new mountain biking gloves to registered users of YourMTB.com. To get the gloves, our users have to be among the first 10 people to…

Depressing newspaper outlook; depressing ads

You can’t help but see the irony in the screen-grab below: The story from MediaPost, “Newspaper Outlook Dubbed Deeply Depressing, Ad Business Shifting To Online,” is accompanied by an ad from the Newspaper Association of America, part of a recent (and controversial inside the industry) campaign to encourage more newspaper advertising. The irony is that…

User-submitted ads: Use some common sense

User-generated ads are a risky business, as Chevrolet found out with a campaign that invited people to create their own ads for the gas-slurping Tahoe SUV. (The New York Times reports on some nasty submissions. Here’s one of the user ads.) But just because Chevy got muddied by people making fun of its product on…

Contextual ads: Place them carefully

Here’s an interesting observation (admittedly anecdotal). I use Gmail, and you’ll find Google contextual text ads in individual-message view; they’re in the right column. Also on the main-inbox view as well as individual-message view are “Web Clips,” which are links to related stories, with the occasional contextual ad thrown into the rotation. It’s common to…