ITI Digital can help you increase your revenue and engage with your target audiences
Events are the lifeblood of the community. They drive business to the community, but few newspapers have the resources to devote to searching out local events and pulling together a comprehensive community calendar of events.
ITI Digital, which is a member of SNPA, has an automated process that would remove the time barriers ... and generate revenue for you at the same time.
Thanks to partnerships with Facebook, Ticketmaster and Eventbrite, ITI Digital is able to generate comprehensive lists of events from these three feeds – for your newspaper's website. Newspapers that utilize this service simply log into the program's CMS, approve those items they wish to include in their calendar, and they immediately appear on the website. Once the event concludes, they automatically drop off the site.
Franci Edgerly, president and CEO of ITI Digital, said the company will release updates in September that also will allow publishers to manually add events that aren't included in those feeds, should they wish to do so.
"Facebook is such a huge platform," Edgerly said. "You simply can't ignore it." In communities where the IMGOING social calendar of events is available, businesses are excited about the possibilities. She said, "It's a little bit of an education process, but once they understand, they see that, if they create a Facebook event for things they are promoting, it not only helps them through their personal Facebook page, but somebody else is also going to help them promote their event." That somebody else can be the local newspaper.
So, where does added revenue come from?
Here are some possibilities:
- As found at this EVENTS link (scroll down to the demo section), Editor's Choice designations can be added to certain events – for a fee paid to the newspaper, or perhaps as part of a bundled deal with a print campaign in the paper.
- At this PLACES link, the Facebook pages of local businesses appear. If the reader logs in with his or her Facebook account, the Facebook feeds could also be viewed when given links are clicked on. Revenue comes into play when the preferred businesses pay for top positions or purchase an advertising package in the paper that this deal is bundled with. Other businesses on the page can be listed in various manners, perhaps alphabetically or by the number of Facebook LIKES.
Edgerly also suggested more revenue possibilities:
- Include real estate open houses that have been created as Facebook events ... and sell those top spots.
- Sell Editor's Choice designations AND place business listings in the top spot in its appropriate business category. This opens up lots of possibilities for bars, restaurants and all kinds of local businesses.
The various categories that can be pulled in are those specified by Facebook when companies create their Facebook business pages. This takes away the controversy, Edgerly said, of which category a business should be listed under; the business has already self-designated this. Whatever category they selected in Facebook is the category they will be displayed under.
"For publishers," Edgerly said, "this is revenue! They may want to add all of the Facebook categories for maximum reach."
There are two models that newspapers can choose from in setting up their IMGOING social event calendar.
- Option 1 – Newspapers pay an annual licensing fee and own everything on the page, meaning they can monetize the events calendar anyway they want.
- Option 2 – Newspapers receive a 50 percent discount and ITI Digital reserves two tiles on the left-hand side of the page that it sells to an advertiser to underwrite that portion of the costs.
Edgerly said ITI Digital is currently in talks with several SNPA member newspapers who are interested in the events calendar.
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