YNT uses OwnLocal
The York News-Times delivers local headlines daily to approximately 4,000 residents of York, NE. However, as print costs have risen over the past few years, the newspaper has had to cut back from publishing six days a week to only five. Like many small publications have had to do in this economy, the York News-Times was faced with the challenge of strengthening its online presence to attract new users and create more diverse revenue streams. With an already understaffed team the newspaper hired OwnLocal in April 2009 to overhaul its website.
The goal was to create an online presence using turnkey digital monetization tools in as little as 48 hours. The company is effective in working with media outlets in particularly small markets like York that have limited staff and resources to effectively manage and support full-fledged websites.
York News-Times’ New Media Director Eric Eckert had previously worked on other ventures with OwnLocal founders Lloyd Armbrust and Jason Novek, so when Eckert was put in charge of achieving the new online presence and revenue goals, Eckert was confident OwnLocal would be able to deliver on these needs.
Eckert signed on OwnLocal for its Local Hero directory software, AdForge print-to-web ad conversion software, and Web Builder service. Local Hero was used to raise York News-Times’ online profile, through integrated white hat SEO, custom tags, built-in mobile and coupon capabilities. AdForge increased customer conversion of print ads to online, allowing users to click, share and post these ads online. Web Builder offered the News-Times a social media-integrated SMB website builder that could be sold to its advertisers to have their own sites rebuilt while also boosting SEO.
In less than 18 months since beginning to work with OwnLocal, the York News-Times’ online revenues have increased by over 80 percent, which accounts for 12 percent of the paper’s advertising revenue. OwnLocal generated $120,000 in revenues in 2010 alone for the York News-Times.
“The proportionate cost of their services compared to our revenue growth has made our partnership a worthwhile investment,” said Eckert. “Our advertisers are pleased with the added exposure they are now receiving online, and we’ve found our readers to also enjoy the more interactive content when surfing our site. With more content being consumed online, small papers have had to adapt to the changing marketplace and move online to remain profitable, and OwnLocal has been a major factor in our newspaper staying lucrative.”
OwnLocal now works with more than 100 publications in 35 U.S. markets as well as 700-plus small business clients spread across other industries. Its products generate more than one million impressions each month. In addition to AdForge, Local Hero and Web Builder, there is also an all-inclusive Daily Deals tool that offers publications a way to create discounts and flash sales for readers, and Arcade, a social gaming component that can be implemented on a company’s website to host flash games.
“I think we have been their guinea pig since we started working with them early on in the company’s existence,” said Eckert. “This has benefited both the News-Times and OwnLocal, with the trial-and-error along the way. We’ve had to work together through every problem big and small, and this is the reason why our partnership has been a success for us both. Their commitment to customer service separates them from their competitors.”
SCHEDULE A TOUR