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Local Community Newspapers Go Digital Thumb.PNG

Reposted From NewsUSA (original print below)

Small, local newspapers have been valued community resources across the United States for approximately 200 years, but many have faced challenges from increasing costs and difficulty keeping up with the latest technology. However, one form of new technology can help these papers survive. A specifically designed platform can help small community papers contribute to their survival by capitalizing on mobile revenue options.

HubCiti, a digital platform and services company based in Austin, Texas, has developed a digital platform specifically for the local newspaper industry, to help local papers maximize new digital revenue opportunities.

HubCiti works by providing newspaper publishers with the tools to leverage customer loyalty into increased use of mobile technology and the mobile revenue opportunities that go with it.

Local newspapers can use the mobile platform to connect and forge relationships with both consumers and advertisers. HubCiti provides not only overall development of the mobile platform, but...

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With the end of the year on the horizon, it is time to think about effective digital marketing strategies for news publishers in 2017. Online consumers are savvy shoppers and will respond to creative use of digital media to grab their attention, meaning publishers need to up their marketing game to reflect those expectations. We’ll discuss two new trends that will attract audiences and create revenue growth opportunities in the coming year.

Live Video

Data shows video views on all platforms is on the rise. This year adults watched 5.5 hours of video per day online according to eMarketer. It is fair to say there is a mountain of video content for users to consume. How do you make video content stand out from the competition? Use the latest technology on social platforms to stream live video.

News is the third most popular type of content online after entertainment and music. What news publishers can do is identify stories appropriate for live video and broadcast across social channels that there will be live content displayed soon. Facebook has...

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It is well known retail brands employ contests to boost interaction with consumers. We have all seen and entered contests running on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Newspaper publishers can also benefit from online contests in several ways. Running a contest can increase engagement with your audience, boost revenue and allow collection of valuable user data.

Being the voice of a community gives publishers an opportunity to partner with local businesses to offer giveaways, event tickets and even subscriptions in exchange for email addresses, interaction on social channels and increased exposure. Keep in mind publishers directly benefit from traffic to their web properties. Hosting contests on your website provides more benefits than hosting your contest on Facebook for example.

Not only can publishers ask for contestant’s email addresses to enter their contest, but the contest page can be shared on any social media platform sending followers from social to your website. After a user enters your contest, the site can direct them to relevant content upon completion....

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Digital strategists generally agree; content is still king. Developing an effective visual content strategy is key to driving traffic to that excellent content. This means using high-quality images, gifs and video with your content in a consistent manner across multiple digital platforms. Websites, social, mobile and video platforms are all places where publishers have the opportunity to share content with prospective readers. Placing content on those platforms with visual content is a proven method for gaining more traffic to your articles.

Understanding the impact of visual content is paramount to implementing an effective visual content strategy. According to HubSpot content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Research by 3M found the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Given that over half of all users spend less than 15 seconds looking at a webpage before leaving the site, images significantly increase...

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How internet users consume media on the web has changed over time as smartphones have become ubiquitous. According to digital marketing publication Impact, 80% of internet users own smartphones. Moreover, they claim apps account for 89% of mobile media time spent, giving publishers a golden opportunity to connect to their users via push notifications sent through a smartphone app.

One issue publishers must contend with is getting users to return to their app to view more content. That is where personalized push notifications become integral to the success of your app. While personalization can mean addressing a user by name, other more effective means of push notifications exist. For example, if a user has shown interest in reading articles on football may respond to a push notification letting them know scores of recently played games are available. Or during a local weather event, push notifications can be sent to users linking them to valuable information on coming storms, advisories and evacuation instructions.

The point...

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You want your audience engaging with your digital ads. More clicks lead to more sales for your advertisers. But more clicks also lead to more data about your audience. By analyzing available data about the audience that engages with your ads, you can create targeted ads designed to increase engagement for your advertisers.

What can you learn from ad analytics?

1. Where is your audience? Geolocation data tells you where your audience is and where your ads will be most effective. 57% of consumers are willing to share their locations to receive more relevant advertising, and 53% are more likely to engage with location based advertising.

2. Who is your audience? You can also learn a lot about the demographics of your audience: age, gender, parental status, and household income. For example, if one ad performs particularly well with millennials,...

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Facebook often boasts about the mountain of video content users upload to the social network. In fact, at the start of the year, Facebook reported during their Q4 earnings call that users were watching over 100 million hours of video per day. While that is an astounding number, YouTube claims even larger numbers. The site reported over 4.9 trillion videos watched per day. The way users view videos on those platforms is vastly different which is what publishers should be aware of when posting video content. Thus the difference between an “owned” video platform like YouTube, Vimeo, or custom, standalone video platforms versus social sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Rather than post video content directly to Facebook where users are more likely to watch content without sound (and without viewing ad vehicles), publishers should leverage the power of owned video channels where viewers spend on average 40 minutes a session watching content.

Moreover, that content is primarily viewed with sound. Users are more likely to watch short ads that enable viewing of...

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Tonight in Austin, Texas, Hubciti is beta testing our new AllAustin App at Team Austin's Takeaway Party: a night of live music, free drinks, raffles, giveaways and an all-around good time. Stellar entertainment includes legendary Austin group Riders Against the Storm and post-genre pop sensation Mobley. All proceeds from the raffle go to the Team Austin Foundation tech scholarship.

The event is free and open to the public – all you need to do is RSVP here! And if you can’t make it, be sure to follow us on...

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In a few months’ time, Google will divide its index into separate mobile and desktop versions by implementing new split format search index. The mobile index split is meant to incentivize site owners to offer richer, better pages on mobile. In fact, mobile will take priority over the desktop index when updating, meaning that mobile results will be more current.

This is a part of Google’s effort to eliminate inferior search experiences on mobile devices. By prioritizing the mobile index, Google is effectively asking site owners to stop providing non-optimized sites and to stop simplifying their mobile sites (e.g. eliminating words and content or m.example.com sites). Google doesn’t want site owners to strip down their sites for mobile. Google’s current index still extracts information from desktop sites and modifies it for use on mobile – but not for long.

This step makes sense when you consider that mobile is the dominant choice over desktop for search. Advertisers that host separate mobile and desktop sites containing varying content will need to double...

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Motivation to sell digital products and services needs to be actively cultivated for a sales staff that’s used to selling print only ads. Digital is new territory, and it may take a while for reps to get comfortable selling it. Here are a few ways that you can help your staff make the transition.

Commitment and Focus

First and foremost, the commitment and focus toward digital services needs to be rock solid and plainly evident in your company. When a sales staff feels support and confidence throughout the entire organization from the very top all the way down, they’ll be more confident themselves leaving the print only comfort zone. Sales reps will only be as motivated as they perceive their company to be about selling digital. The importance of digital sales to drive incremental revenue needs to be re-enforced in all relevant internal communications – from the publishers update to team meetings.

Accountability and Compensation

Make your digital goals clear across the organization so that everyone is aligned. Incorporate those goals into the way you...

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