Diving into digital

New GNS network gives advertisers more options

It’s another tool in the box.

That’s the way to view Georgia Newspaper Service’s new and growing digital advertising network — as another tool connecting advertisers with customers through newspapers.

Nearly 50 newspapers have signed on to the network, providing advertisers with a wide range of publication websites across the state to showcase their products and services. Already, two organizations with hospitality industry ties have bought advertising.

An ad is running for Augusta Tourism, and “they have been very pleased with the results they have received,” said Bruce Washington, GNS manager of new business development. “Earlier this year we had another tourism event, called Garden Festival, run on the network. They were thrilled with the results they received and have included the digital network in their ad budget for next year.”

The network works similarly to the display and statewide classified advertising networks. GNS sells ads to clients for the digital network and provides participating papers with a link to the ads to place on their websites. GNS charges the client a flat rate for advertising, and money collected from the ads GNS sells goes into a fund that becomes part of the rebates GNS gives each year at the annual convention.

Similar to the BENN Advertising Network for national ads, all a participating newspaper needs to do is insert a small bit of coding into its website. Papers only need to add the coding once. GNS uploads and updates the advertising. Most newspapers have already received the coding to add the network information. Those that have not will be receiving it soon. The coding must stay on the website to participate in the program.

GNS is adding this program to all of its collateral and sales pieces as well as the Georgia Press Association website and is offering this digital option to all of its existing and potential clients. Newspapers will be provided with promotional house ads that can be used as part of the display advertising program and SCAN networks. Using those ads will help promote the digital network with potential advertisers.

“While our digital network is new, we think it is a necessity going forward. We look at it as a way to access another revenue stream for our newspapers,” Washington said. “We thank you for your participation and look forward to watching the digital network grow.”

Small papers must begin to offer digital services

What’s the formula that makes newspaper advertising successful?

Newspapers match a targeted group of readers — made desirable by income level, geography, interests or other demographic trait — with advertisers who wish to reach that particular audience.

For decades, it’s been done with print products like the daily or weekly paper, special sections and magazines. Though media and media consumption habits have changed from being strictly print based to include digital products and services, the formula is the same. Match your audience, whether they’re print subscribers or Facebook friends, with businesses or organizations that need to reach them. The tools may change, but the model doesn’t.

But what tools are most important for newspapers to offer? And how can even the smallest-staffed newspapers offer a few digital advertising products that serve the growing needs of the small- and medium-sized businesses in their communities?

Shannon Kinney is the founder of Dream Local Digital, a Maine-based company that provides digital marketing tools to small- and medium-sized businesses and helps media companies establish and grow digital revenue. “It’s critical for media companies to be thinking about how to serve the reader and the advertiser today and of the future, and recognize that online marketing is playing a larger and larger role in the success of small- and medium-sized businesses,” she said. “Media companies should have a strong online presence of their own both in terms of a website and social media presence, and they should consider offering digital advertising products beyond their own website as offerings.”

Kinney identified the most popular digital ad services that small businesses need as social media management, search engine optimization, website development, email marketing and native advertising/content marketing.

“Through the selling of these and other services, media companies can act as full-service agencies for their clients,” she said. “While it is possible to build teams to fulfill these services in-house, it’s difficult to do so profitably or at scale, and the majority of media companies outsource the fulfillment to someone. Dream Local Digital is one of the several firms that offer that service to media companies.”

Still, there are ways newspapers can offer simple digital services to businesses in their communities and remain a trusted adviser to them.

For example, a newspaper that’s built a Facebook following of a few thousand people can sell sponsored posts on its site by posting a weather photo every morning and selling it as “Brought to you by your local auto dealer.” Or if your paper posts all of the area’s critical back-to-school information on its Facebook and other social media accounts, sell it to a local advertiser especially interested in parents as a target audience. It’s a fast way to make money from your digital outreach.

“As Google and Facebook continue to dominate online advertising, by selling digital marketing services, a media company can keep some of that market share for themselves, as well as the valuable trusted advisor role with the advertiser,” Kinney said.

Because of their relationships in their communities, newspapers have an advantage over other others offering these services, but they need to start using it now.

“Small businesses today are bombarded with people promising the moon, and it’s confusing for them. They’re seeking partners they can trust to assist with their marketing, and newspapers are at the top of that list,” Kinney said. “By offering these services, it allows the newspaper to maximize those relationships, and remain relevant to the advertiser in the future.

“Ultimately, newspapers have been in the business of matching advertisers to readers for years, now we just use different tools to accomplish the task.”

What are the digital ad terms you need to know?

Ad display/Ad delivered – when an ad is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.

Ad impression – an ad that is served to a user’s browser. Ads can be requested by the user’s browser (referred to as pulled ads) or they can be pushed, such as e-mailed ads.

Ad serving – the delivery of ads by a server to an end user’s computer on which the ads are then displayed by a browser. Ad serving is normally performed either by a Web publisher or by a third-party ad server. Ads can be embedded in the page or served separately.

Affiliate marketing – an agreement between two sites in which one site (the affiliate) agrees to feature content or an ad designed to drive traffic to another site. In return, the affiliate receives a percentage of sales or some other form of compensation generated by that traffic.

Behavioral targeting – A technique used by online publishers and advertisers to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Behavioral targeting uses information collected on an individual’s web browsing behavior such as the pages they have visited or the searches they have made to select which advertisements to be displayed to that individual. Practitioners believe this helps them deliver their online advertisements to the users who are most likely to be influenced by them.

Bonus impressions – additional ad impressions above the commitments outlined in the approved insertion order.

Click rate – ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions.

Clicks – metric which measures the reaction of a user to an Internet ad. There are three types of clicks: click-throughs; in-unit clicks; and mouseovers;

Click-stream – the electronic path a user takes while navigating from site to site, and from page to page within a site; 2) a comprehensive body of data describing the sequence of activity between a user’s browser and any other Internet resource, such as a Web site or third party ad server.

Click-through – the action of following a link within an d or editorial content to another website or another page or frame within the website. Ad click-throughs should be tracked and reported as a 302 redirect at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity.

Click-within – similar to click down or click. But more commonly, click-withins are ads that allow the user to drill down and click, while remaining in the advertisement, not leaving the site on which they are residing.

Content integration – advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope. Also known as “Web advertorial”.

Contextual Ads – Existing contextual ad engines deliver text and image ads to non-search content pages. Ads are matched to keywords extracted from content. Advertisers can leverage existing keyboard-based paid search campaigns and gain access to a larger audience.

CPA (Cost-per-Action) – cost of advertising based on a visitor taking some specifically defined action in response to an ad. Actions include such things as a sales transaction, a customer acquisition, or a click.

CPC (Cost-per-Customer) – the cost an advertiser pays to acquire a customer.

CPC (Cost-per-click) – cost of advertising based on the number of clicks received.

CPL (Cost-per-lead) – cost of advertising based on the number of database files (leads) received.

CPM (Cost-per-thousand) – media term describing the cost of 1,000 impressions. For example, a Web site that charges $1,500 per ad and reports 100,000 visits has a CPM of $15 ($1,500 divided by 100).

Display advertising – a form of online advertising where an advertiser’s message is shown on a destination web page, generally set off in a box at the top or bottom or to one side of the content of the page.

Floating ads – an ad or ads that appear within the main browser window on top of the Web page’s normal content, thereby appearing to “float” over the top of the page.

Fold – The line below which a user has to scroll to see content not immediately visible when a Web page loads in a browser. Ads or content displayed above the fold are visible without any end-user interaction.

Geotargeting– Displaying content based on automated or assumed knowledge of an end user’s position in the real world.

Gross exposures – the total number of times an ad is served, including duplicate downloads to the same person.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – a set of codes called markup tags in a plain text file that determine what information is retrieved and how it is rendered by a browser. There are two kinds of markup tags: anchor and format. Anchor tags determine what is retrieved, and format tags determine how it is rendered.  Browsers receive HTML pages from the Internet and use the information to display text, graphics, links and other elements as they were intended by a website’s creator.

Hybrid pricing – pricing model based on a combination of a CPM pricing model and a performance-based pricing model. See CPM pricing model and performance-based pricing model.

Impression – a measurement of responses from a Web server to a page request from the user browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to opportunity to see the page by the user.

Interactive advertising – all forms of online, wireless and interactive television advertising, including banners, sponsorships, e-mail, keyword searches, referrals, slotting fees, classified ads and interactive television commercials.

Interstitial ads – ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as transition ads, intermercial ads and splash pages.

Lead generation – fees advertisers pay to Internet advertising companies that refer qualified purchase inquiries (e.g., auto dealers which pay a fee in exchange for receiving a qualified purchase inquiry online) or provide consumer information (demographic, contact, and behavioral) where the consumer opts into being contacted by a marketer

Microsites – multipage ads accessed via click-through from initial ad. The user stays on the publisher‘s Web site, but has access to more information from the advertiser than a display ad allows.

Mouseover – the process by which a user places his/her mouse over a media object, without clicking. The mouse may need to remain still for a specified amount of time to initiate some actions.

On-demand – the ability to request video, audio, or information to be sent to the screen immediately by clicking something on the screen referring to that choice.

On-site measurement – when a server has an appropriate software program to measure and analyze traffic received on its own site.

Opt-in – refers to an individual giving a company permission to use data collected from or about the individual for a particular reason, such as to market the company’s products and services.

Opt-in e-mail – lists of Internet users who have voluntarily signed up to receive commercial e-mail about topics of interest.

Opt-out – when a company states that it plans to market its products and services to an individual unless the individual asks to be removed from the company’s mailing list.

Page impression – a measurement of responses from a Web server to a page request from the user’s browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to the opportunity to see the page by the user.

Page view – when the page is actually seen by the user. Note: this is not measurable today; the best approximation today is provided by page displays.

Pay-per-Click – an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies and/or media companies based on how many users clicked on an online ad or e-mail message. See CPC.

Pay-per-Impression – an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay based on how many users were served their ads. See CPM.

Pay-per-Lead – an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay for each “sales lead” generated. For example, an advertiser might pay for every visitor that clicked on an ad or site and successfully completed a form. See CPL.

Rich media – advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format. These advertisements can be used either singularly or in combination with various technologies, including but not limited to sound, video, or Flash, and with programming languages such as Java, Javascript, and DHTML.

RON (Run-of-Network) – the scheduling of Internet advertising whereby an ad network positions ads across the sites it represents at its own discretion, according to available inventory. The advertiser usually forgoes premium positioning in exchange for more advertising weight at a lower CPM.

ROS (Run-of-Site) – the scheduling of Internet advertising whereby ads run across an entire site, often at a lower cost to the advertiser than the purchase of specific site sub-sections.

RSS / RSS Readers- or ‘Really Simple Syndication’– is a process for publishing content on the Internet that facilitates moving that content into other environments. For example, top news stories on a newspaper website can be published as an RSS feed and pulled into and delivered via a Web portal site. RSS Readers are software programs or websites that enable users to subscribe to one or more RSS feeds, delivering content and information from multiple sources into a single user interface and environment.

Search – Fees advertisers pay Internet companies to list and/or link their company site or domain name to a specific search word or phrase (includes paid search revenues).

Search Paid listings – text links appear at the top or side of search results for specific keywords. The more a marketer pays, the higher the position it gets. Marketers only pay when a user clicks on the text link.

Contextual search – text links appear in an article based on the context of the content, instead of a user-submitted keyword. Payment only occurs when the link is clicked.

Site optimization – modifies a site to make it easier for search engines to automatically index the site and hopefully result in better placement in results.

Search engine marketing (SEM)– a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in the search engine result pages

Search engine optimization (SEO) – SEO is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” search results.

Social Bookmarking– Aggregating, rating, describing, and publishing ‘bookmarks’– links to Web pages or other online content

Social marketing – Marketing tactic that taps into the growth of social networks, encouraging users to adopt and pass along widgets or other content modules created by a brand, or to add a brand to the user’s social circle of friends.

Splash page – a preliminary page that precedes the user-requested page of a website that usually promotes a particular site feature or provides advertising. A splash page is timed to move on to the requested page after a short period of time or a click. Also known as an interstitial.

Static ad placement/Static rotation – ads that remain on a web page for a specified period of time.

Stickiness – a measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining individual users. Stickiness is usually measured by the duration of the visit.
Textual ad impressions – the delivery of a text-based advertisement to a browser. To compensate for slow Internet connections, visitors may disable “auto load images” in their graphical browser.

Third-party ad server – independent outsourced companies that specialize in managing, maintaining, serving, tracking, and analyzing the results of online ad campaigns. They deliver targeted advertising that can be tailored to consumers’ declared or predicted characteristics or preferences.

Transitional pop up – an ad that pops up in a separate ad window between content pages.

Unduplicated audience – the number of unique individuals exposed to a specified domain, page or ad in a specified time period.

Unique user -unique individual or browser which has either accessed a site (see unique visitor) or which has been served unique content and/or ads such as e-mail, newsletters,interstitials and pop-under ads. Unique users can be identified by user registration or cookies.

Unique visitor -a unique user who accesses a website within a specific time period.

— MediaScope

Decisions on tariffs expected

Newspapers asked to get behind passage of PRINT Act

The nation’s printing industries celebrated some relief from tariffs on newsprint while remaining hopeful that they will be rolled back further — or completely — later this month.

On Aug. 2, the U.S. Commerce Dept. announced tariffs on imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, which includes newsprint used by newspapers and other members of the printing and publishing industries, were being revised. The department’s determination lowers the preliminary countervailing and antidumping duties, from 8.4 percent to 20.26 percent instead of 4.4 percent to 32 percent, according to the News Media Alliance.

“While we appreciate the hard work the Commerce Department has put into this investigation and that the margins have been reduced, we believe the final determination does not solve the underlying

problem,” said NMA’s David Chavern. “These taxes on Canadian imports for newsprint, which have been collected during the preliminary phase, have already caused job losses at newspapers and resulted in less news and information being distributed in local communities.”

“These duties will still cause damage in the marketplace, so we shouldn’t let up on our efforts to convince the International Trade Commission to reverse these tariffs altogether,” added News Media Alliance’s Paul Boyle.

The ITC can eliminate the tariffs in its final determination at the conclusion of its investigation into whether imports have caused or threaten to cause material injury. The ITC vote is expected Aug. 29.

“Readers in our towns will welcome the news that their local newspapers are in a little less in jeopardy from devastating tariffs. We appreciate the Commerce Department’s more careful review of the paper markets. But this use of trade laws to weaken our economies still puts communities at risk of losing their local newspapers,” said Susan Rowell, president of National Newspaper Association and publisher of a South Carolina newspaper. “We are extremely disappointed to find that the federal government wants to permanently add a tax to our burden when so many publishers are already challenged to deliver the news to their towns.”

Meanwhile, as the industry awaits the ITC decision, work is being done to promote the PRINT Act, a piece of legislation introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate (S. 2835/H.R. 6031).

The “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018” would suspend tariffs and require the Commerce Department to review the economic health of the printing and publishing industries. Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson is a cosponsor of the act. He was one of 19 members of Congress to testify against the tariffs at a hearing with the ITC in July.

The STOPP (Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers) coalition of printing industries that organized opposition to the tariffs has initiated a new effort to win support for the PRINT Act.

Newspapers are urged to contact their congressmen to co-sponsor the act. The STOPP website (www.stopnewsprinttariffs.org) also has a “Contact Congress” section for newspaper employees and readers to send a message asking for support for the legislation. There are separate messages for representatives and senators.