GWADS Promotional Award

2019 Award Submissions
Social Media Marketing

Bay Area News Group

Convert Political Readers to Newsletter Subscribers

City: San Jose, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 310,217
Sunday audited circulation size: 471,130

Objective

To convert readers & former subscribers interested in our political coverage into newsletter subscribers.

Strategy

During the month of October we put together an email campaign that pointed directly to our political coverage for the upcoming November midterm elections. Our strategy was to promote our Political newsletter in hopes to convert fomers into subscribers. We had lots of coverage including endorsements on ballot measures, State Assembly, U.S. Sentates and more.

Response Method

Formers would need to sign up for our newsletter or subscribe via the subscription panel.

Target Goal

We didn’t put a target goal to how many subscriptions or newsletter signups we wanted as this was more experimental since it was pointed at such a direct topic. We knew the main purpose of this campaign was to gain newsletter sign-ups which would get the users moving down the purchase funnel.

Timelines

We started the campaign on 10/11 and it ended on 11/1.

Channels used for promotion

We used emails and digital banner ads.

Results

Our Facebook group has 1,429 members with 73 percent considered to be active over the last 60 days. An analysis of group names last September found that of our roughly 1,000 members, nearly 100 were subscribers. We viewed this optimistically as a chance to grow a relationship with our readers and show them the value of a subscription to the Bay Area News Group. In honor of our one year anniversary, we are extending a special subscription offer to thank members for their contributions to the channel and for their support of local journalism. Our number of Full House newsletter subscribers is 643, nearly a month after launching the product.

Bay Area News Group

Increase Newsletter Subscribers via Facebook

City: San Jose, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 310,217
Sunday audited circulation size: 471,130

Objective

To increase the number of newsletter subscribers.

Strategy

Response Method

Full House: Inside the Bay Area housing shortage was established as a Facebook group so that we could have a two-way conversation with residents in the region. All of our existing brand pages across social platforms focus more on distributing content, with limited features for monitoring comments and facilitating discussions. With our Facebook group, we're able to listen and engage more personally with people who want to ask questions, share their concerns, and find the latest housing news and resources. To join, we ask prospective members to answer two questions: What part of the Bay Are do you live in and what is your biggest concern for the housing market? Their responses help us identify information needs and inform our approach to sharing stories in this space. On occasion, housing reporters will also appeal to members for sourcing. Elevating their voices in our coverage is one of our main goals with this group and we believe it's helped to strengthen our reporting on the depth and breadth of the housing crisis.

Target Goal

We did not set hard goals for membership size, but consistent growth and participation is important to us. As Facebook's major overhaul in 2018 proved, clicks and consumerism are not nearly as important as community and conversation. Our focus has always been to cultivate a safe and engaging space with diverse backgrounds and point of views. Through our screening process, group discussions, and a pinned “roll call” we posted in the channel a year ago, we've learned a lot about the people who join our forum. Many are contractors, landlords, engineers, college students, stay-at-home parents, elected officials, and community organizers, among other professions.

Results

Our Facebook group has 1,429 members with 73 percent considered to be active over the last 60 days. An analysis of group names last September found that of our roughly 1,000 members, nearly 100 were subscribers. We viewed this optimistically as a chance to grow a relationship with our readers and show them the value of a subscription to the Bay Area News Group. In honor of our one year anniversary, we are extending a special subscription offer to thank members for their contributions to the channel and for their support of local journalism. Our number of Full House newsletter subscribers is 643, nearly a month after launching the product.

The Fresno Bee

Facebook Giveaways

City: Fresno, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 54,813
Sunday audited circulation size: 90,632

Objective

Increase digital activations, Rewards registrations, engagement in Rewards.

Strategy

Promotion ran 1/23/18 – 2/27/18 in multiple markets.
To drive online engagement with our sites and Rewards, through activations and registrations, we conducted sweepstakes promotions for five $1000 Visa gift cards as sweepstakes giveaways (5 winners) plus one chance to win a 43” Samsung Ultra HD TV (specific to new digital activations.)
* All current and new Rewards members could enter the sweepstakes for five $1000 Visa Gift cards.
* All new digital activations were automatically entered into the TV giveway.

We used in-paper ads, web ads, email and Facebook to promote.
* Print ads – Wednesdays and Sundays.
* Digital – web ads – run of site through 2/27.
* Email – weekly – $1000 Giveaway emails to all active subscribers and $1000 Giveaway + bonus TV giveaway to non-activated subscribers.
* Social – Facebook: 2/21-2/23, 2/26-2/27

Results

Social Media Response

Highest performing post was the first post. All markets performed very well that day. A huge spike in two-week trials was seen on this day as well. The third and fifth post resulted in the 2nd and 3rd highest performing days. Overall, this campaign resulted in a combined total reach of 154,049 for seven markets; 1,812 reactions/shares/comments; 3,455 link clicks.
Fresno Bee results: reach of 33,938; 482 reactions/shares/comments; 549 link clicks.

Rewards Registrations Results

Fresno Bee: 668
Multiple Markets: 5,022

 

The Sacramento Bee

Google Sign-In and Facebook Audiences Incentive Digital Subscriptions

City: Sacramento, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 104,228
Sunday audited circulation size: 202,958

Objective

Drive net-new sign subscribers for our Digital Access offerings by testing "Subscribe with Google" as a means of registration.

Additionally, stress test and determine the level of effectiveness in leveraging Facebook custom audiences built through the Facebook pixel and retarget these audiences on the Facebook platform.

Strategy

Through the use of the Facebook pixel, we are able to build out several key audience segments.

#1 – People who hit the paywall and never enter the purchase flow
#2 – People who hit the paywall and enter the purchase flow but fail to finalize purchase
#3 – Former subscribers

Our strategy is to test custom offers at the Audience Segment level…see if a compelling price offer "6 Months Free" combined with the Subscribe with Google as a CTA can bring these audiences across the line.

Results

This campaign ran in Q1 (Jan to Mar) and in total drove 7,122 starts across all our properties including 5 properties in the West and Ft. Worth.

Of note, were the interesting ways in which video creative outperformed display creative from a Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) stand point at the segment level.

Cart Abandoners video CPA went down 12% (vs. display)
Former subscribers video CPA went down 17% (vs. display)
Paywall segment video CPA went up 43% (vs. display)
Lookalike Audiences CPA went up 40% (vs. display)

Given our teams meet frequently for performance and optimization review, we were able to run the test, quantify results and kill the experiments which were not meeting our ROI criteria.

We will also be building on these learnings for future campaigns.

The Arizona Republic

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Taboola and Snapchat Promotions to Increase Engagement/Subscriptions

City: Phoenix, AR
Daily audited circulation size: 161,341
Sunday audited circulation size: 256,654

Objective

Work collaboratively with our newsroom team to promote content through multiple social platforms to increase engagement ultimately leading to subscription sales.

Strategy

Build strong relationships, workstreams and communication amongst the sales and newsroom teams. This involved both teams participating in daily huddles and working side by side on long term strategy sessions outlining upcoming new stories and promotional sales plans.

Strategy for content marketing included boosting stories and promoting evergreen stories with longer shelf life through content landing pages. Multiple tools were used to recognize stories that were spiking in Facebook and Instagram. Campaigns were created to target specific audiences that were more likely to engage with the specific content type. Different types of ad (static or carousel) were tested along with placement (feed or stories).

The more extensive type of content marketing launched included the creation of content landing pages to support multiple stories with a subscription offer on one page. An example of this type of project is outlined with Sandra Day O’Connor (https://offers.azcentral.com/E-DF).

Promotional campaigns were created through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Taboola and Snapchat. The most impactful platform was through Facebook marketing.

Results

Overall, content marketing campaigns through end of April 2019 produced the following results:

Impressions: 3,708,229
Reach: 3,176,281
Clicks: 275,605
Cost per click: $.07
Click through rate: 7.43%

Print online sales are up YOY by 56%. While many of these sales are attributed to the additional efforts of social marketing, Phoenix also went through a major system conversion during this time.

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