Advertising Resources for Local Sites: isocket

Interviewed by Jennifer McFadden

Describe your product/service.
isocket helps websites sell their own ads directly to advertisers. The seller/website can package their ads they way they want to, with their own rules and pricing. We offer a clean interface for buyers to easily purchase ad campaigns and for sites and bloggers to manage those campaigns. We take care of all the painful parts: invoices, payments, ad serving, statistics, scheduling, etc.

How can isocket help local publishers?
Local media shouldn’t have to think small just because they are small. Ad networks alone often don’t cut it. Even though local advertisers are buying less radio and newspaper ads, they still want to reach local people. Local websites and blogs are the way to do it – so we give them the tools to go from stuck-with-AdSense to a hyperlocal ad-selling machine.

How do you simplify the process of advertising online for local businesses?
The key to local ad sales is simplicity. People don’t want to jump through hoops to buy a $100 monthly sponsorship, or to learn how complicated ad-targeting exchanges work. We make the process as painless as possible.

Who is currently using your product?
Check out TechCrunch. They were our first customer and are one of the largest technology news sites in the world. We’ve also been working with a few Brooklyn-based bloggers during our beta. These are some of the amazing sites:
Brownstoner
Brokelyn
Brooklyn Heights Blog
DumboNYC
GelfMagazine

How can local publishers increase revenue on their sites?
• Think of selling your own ads like you’re opening up a local retail store. You have a store where you want to sell products to customers. That means promotion, relationships, money, etc.
• If you’re new to direct sales, it can take a while to ramp up. Again, your store doesn’t turn a profit on opening day.
• Don’t overprice your inventory. Focus on pipeline, then raise the prices to an equilibrium.
• Promote!!! How will anyone buy from your store if they don’t know you’re open for business?

Who are your primary competitors? What value do you provide that makes Isocket a better solution?
In terms of similar tools for hyperlocal, the biggest competitor is actually “paper and pencil.” Many publishers use a combo of email, a spreadsheet, PayPal, and maybe an ad server. The status quo needs to change!

What is your revenue model?
The revenue share is a whopping 0%! isocket was the first commission-free ad platform. Publishers pay a flat monthly fee based on how large they are. For example, you can serve 1 million ad impressions per month for $49.

How does a local site implement your products?
We strive to make it as simple as possible, but it’s by nature not something that’s ready to go in 5 minutes. For example, you need to configure your ad packages and set the pricing. It can take 30 to 60 minutes to get out the door, but we’re always here to help.

What is your outlook for the local advertising marketplace over the next 2-5 years?
Maturing, hopefully. Advertisers want to reach these audiences in a meaningful way – it’s just too hard and inefficient to do so right now. The local ad industry will flourish when the transactional friction drops and the quality of inventory rises.

What do you see as the biggest hurdle for local advertisers? How does Isocket address this issue?
Local advertisers need an easy way to buy. They are used to the behavior of calling up their local radio station and saying “Hey Joe, put me down for another $5,000 this week.” They need it to be that simple for buying an ad online.

What sites do you think are effectively targeting and reaching the local market?
Brooklyn Heights Blog has run a prodigious number of ad orders through our system. The site has a combination of a well-known blog and an easy-to-manage interface (via isocket). They also put an incredible amount energy toward contacting advertisers to buy on the site.

Contact:
isocket
Jason Chen – hello@isocket.com
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See more advertising resources for local sites.

Advertising Resources for Local Sites: PaperG

Interviewed by Jennifer McFadden

Describe your product/service.
Flyerboard is a virtual bulletin board for local publishers to show interactive local ads made from flyers, posters, or other print ads.

How can PaperG help local publishers?
The Flyerboard can enable publishers and their sales reps to easily display local ads made from existing print creatives. The simple interface makes ad serving, management, and selling extraordinarily easy.

How do you simplify the process of advertising online for local businesses?
Flyerboard requires minimal materials that you likely already have on hand — such as a flyer. It makes ad space available on a fixed price basis so local advertisers and sales reps understand the pricing and value easily. It also reduces the complexity of online ad serving.

Who is currently using your product?
Hearst, Gannett, McClatchy, Chron.com, Boston.com, New Haven Independent and many other local publishers use our product.

How can local publishers increase revenue on their sites?
They need to be proactive and go out and sell. Being aggressive in sales is critical.

Who are your primary competitors? What value do you provide that makes PaperG a better solution?
Legacy print-to-web systems providers like Travidia are the primary competitors to Flyerboard. Our system is designed to support premium ad units and not simply take print materials and bring them online. It’s built around delivering real value to the publisher and advertisers by powering premium ad units.

What is your revenue model?
We do a revenue share depending on volume with publishers getting 70-80% and PaperG receiving 20-30%.

How does a local site implement your products?
It’s very easy to implement once an account is set up. You just use the interface to specify what size ad unit you want, what pricing, and what type of ads – then you get code to copy and paste onto your site. It takes a couple of minutes to get started.

What is your outlook for the local advertising marketplace over the next 2-5 years?
It is going to get bigger and more competitive. Being able to reduce the complexity of local online advertising will be the key to success.

Do you have any new products in your pipeline that will serve the needs
of local publishers?

PlaceLocal is an ad technology that makes display ad creation as easy as typing a business name and address into the program.

What do you see as the biggest hurdle for local advertisers? How does PaperG address this issue?
When local advertisers don’t understand the pricing or don’t have a creative ready to go, then sales come to a stop. We built our system to be simple and easy to get started with existing print creative material.

What sites do you think are effectively targeting and reaching the local market?
New Haven Independent has done a great job. The site has a high penetration of local readership and its ability to attract advertisers and get them to respond is very strong.

Contact:
PaperG
Victor Wong — victor.wong@paperg.com
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See more advertising resources for local sites.

Advertising Resources for Local Sites: Shoutback

Interview by Jennifer McFadden

Describe your product/service.
We provide a white label (private branded) Daily Deal application.

How can Shoutback help local publishers?
We primarily assist publishers by bringing incremental revenue along with new clients.

How do you simplify the process of advertising online for local businesses?
Our automated process allows for custom look and feel while sharing best practices.

Who is currently using your product?
We have numerous media partners ranging from Gannett, Media News Group, Media General, Hearst, Scripps, and others. For a sample site, please look at Sign on San Diego.

How can local publishers increase revenue on their sites?
Analytics and account management assure the best possible chance for success in the market, along with consistency of a definitive marketing plan

What is your revenue model?
There is no upfront cost. Our revenue is dependent on the success of the product.

How does a local site implement your products?
We have adapted best practices to the site in terms of development and usage so implementation takes very little time.

What is your outlook for the local advertising marketplace over the next 2-5 years?
Flash marketing has gone mainstream and is expected to be an integral marketing tool for local advertisers into the future.

What do you see as the biggest hurdle for local advertisers? How does Shoutback address this issue?
Minimize risk and increase their social media exposure. Our platform is a wonderful tool that accomplishes both of those objectives.

Contact:
Shoutback
Robert Scher — rscher@shoutback.com
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Advertising Resources for Local Sites: Trafficspaces

Interviewed by Jennifer McFadden

Describe your product/service.
Our primary product is the Trafficspaces – a self-service ad management tool. Take a look at our demo.

How can Trafficspaces help local publishers?
Each publisher gets its own Ad Store, which is dedicated ad management site. A publisher’s Ad Store
• allows advertisers to buy ads directly from publishers instead of going through middlemen, thereby helping the publisher save costs;
• gives publishers more control over ad quality, reducing the number of irrelevant ads on their sites;
• features a simple interface that lets local advertisers to get started very quickly.

How do you simplify the process of advertising online for local businesses?
Our system makes advertising simple by:
• reducing the number of steps it takes to get started;
• providing ad templates so that local advertisers can customize great ads with their own text and logo;
• allowing advertisers to purchase on a pay-per-day/month basis in addition to CPM and CPC pricing, which is easier to understand for some advertisers

Who is currently using your product?
Current clients include:
MapMyFitness
Anchorfree
County Parents
New Internationalist
News Cloud
Three Sheets North West
OpenClutch
DesignSponge
Magento

How can local publishers increase revenue on their sites?
• Provide online, self-service ad sales. Don’t insist that advertisers call or email before they get started.
• Simplify your pricing model. Use pay-per-day/month instead of CPM.
• Promote your self-service Ad Store with coupons.

Who are your primary competitors? What value do you provide that makes Trafficspaces a better solution?
Our primary competitors include AdReady, Google Ad Manager, and OpenX. Our key value is that our system is designed primarily around the needs of the advertisers rather than technical administrators. As a result, the user experience is powerfully simple.

Publishers need to provide better geo-targeting and interest-targeting for advertisers. With Trafficspaces, publishers can do just that – help their advertisers target their ads very accurately and improve their return on investment.

What is your revenue model?
We charge a flat monthly fee that starts at $19.99.

How does a local site implement your products?
Integration is as simple as dropping a piece of JavaScript into the publisher’s site. We also have a WordPress plugin that makes it even simpler. The whole process can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

What is your outlook for the local advertising marketplace over the next 2-5 years?
I believe that more local sites will be accessed through mobile devices so it’s going to be important to make sure that local sites are optimized for mobile access and they can serve ads based on a user’s proximity to a location.

Do you have any new products in your pipeline that will serve the needs
of local publishers?

We are working on a marketplace/directory that will list Ad Stores from multiple local publishers and help to drive advertisers to their sites.

What do you see as the biggest hurdle for local advertisers? How does Trafficspaces address this issue?
The biggest hurdle is getting a positive Return on Investment on their ad campaigns. If they spend a $1000 on a local site and get no boost in sales then, needless to say, they won’t be spending any more. To solve this problem, we work with publishers to improve the quality of their ad targeting so that local ads are only shown to relevant audiences.

What sites do you think are effectively targeting and reaching the local market?
PlentyOfFish, the online dating site, is killing it right now with their targeted advertising system. They have a wealth of information about their members, which they use to create both better matches and serve more targeted and relevant localized ads.

Contact:
Trafficspaces
Niyi Gbodimowo — niyi@trafficspaces.com
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See more advertising resources for local sites.

Advertising Resources for Local Sites

When it comes to selling ads, managing inventory, or helping local businesses create online advertising campaigns, most local sites readily admit they need all the help they can get. And while there is no secret sauce that magically increases revenue, a number of new companies have emerged to provide a variety of advertising solutions for small publishers. The following series profiles some of the latest entrants into the local online advertising space, including Ad Avengers, Adility, InstiAds, isocket, PaperG, Shoutback, and Trafficspaces.

The lineup of companies presented here is by no means comprehensive, nor is it an endorsement of their products and services. Our goal is to create a conversation around the new tools that are available to local sites. Let us know what’s working for you. Thanks to all the folks who were interviewed. We appreciate your time.

Advertising Resources for Local Sites: Shoutback

Interview by Jennifer McFadden Describe your product/service.
We provide a white label (private branded) Daily Deal application. How can Shoutback help local publishers?
We primarily assist publishers by bringing incremental revenue along with new clients. How do you simplify the process of advertising online for local businesses?
Our automated process allows for custom look and feel while sharing best practices. Who is currently using your product?
We have numerous media partners ranging from Gannett, Media News Group, Media General, Hearst, Scripps, and others. For a sample site, please look at Sign on San Diego. How can local publishers increase revenue on their sites?
Analytics and account management assure the best possible chance for success in the market, along with consistency of a definitive marketing plan What is your revenue model?
There is no upfront cost. Our revenue is dependent on the success of the product. Continue reading "Advertising Resources for Local Sites: Shoutback"