Modernize your Classified section by adding more to read

Apr 1, 2019

How can you modernize your Classifieds beyond a great design? It is by giving your precious readers what they want — MORE TO READ! Adding quality editorial to your classified categories is the next step in growing your Classified revenue. Editorial draws readers; more readers mean more results for advertisers and so becomes a fierce selling feature for your brand. And of course, advertisers who get more results keep coming back.

For many years, newspaper Auto Sections included quality auto stories either locally written or from quality syndicates or vendors like GreenShootMedia.com that has over 140 auto stories ready for publication. Readers who are either car lovers or car buyers enjoy these quality stories usually about new cars. Happy readers will also create more results for your auto advertisers.

Editorial content increases the visibility and value of your classifieds and that just makes them so much easier to sell! Here are three examples, all using different methods of bringing in quality editorial content to their classified pages.

SERVICE DIRECTORY
Green Valley News, Green Valley, Arizona
Brand: SouthernArizonaServices.com

In all my years, I have never seen such a successful and stylish service directory section as within the Green Valley News, one of my current customers. Shown here is one of three pages of their directory that also has a branded online site, SouthernArizonaServices.com.

Green Valley now sells three levels of directory ads: 1) The business card size you see here, which takes a 52-week commitment. It comes with a custom editorial about their business, which runs every other month; 2) regular classified service directory line ads; 3) 2x2 classified directory ads without stories for shorter time periods. Basically, something for every business.

This two-day community paper earns more revenue from their service directory than seven-day papers I have worked with. Giving the advertisers a choice of style, commitment and price is what does it. This is now my GO TO when helping papers grow their service directory; it is revenue that just sticks month after month and year after year.

TOP AGENT
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
BRAND: ColoradoMountainRealtors.com

Promoting Realtors has become a nice addition to newspaper real estate pages, and many of my customers are encouraged to dive into this new revenue stream. In Glenwood Springs, the brilliant classified director, Christine Schrock, created this beautiful page, which will rotate stories about the Realtors who sign on to the program, which includes a modern website by Wehaa.com at www.ColoradoMountainRealtors.com.

No doubt — having that print and online synergy is the way to modernize your classifieds. Adding the Realtors editorial promotion gives your readers a reason to turn to classifieds every week, if not every day. This is a winner for both the newspaper and the Realtors, who are investing their precious advertising dollars with you. Please contact me to show you HOW EASY it is to build this new revenue.

EMPLOYMENT
Colorado Community Media
BRAND: ColoradoCommunityCareers.com

Working with publisher Jerry Healey at this group of papers is always an exciting journey as he is more than open to new ideas that will take his 18 weekly papers to the next level. After hiring a talented employment advertising rep, Ann Marie jumped into my 12-month custom program of career category specials.

Using a professional leads list of all companies with 20-plus employees from lead list giant InfoUSA.com drives her outbound calling. (FYI: sometimes your local library will have it free and will get the leads for you; ask if they have Reference USA). These lead lists have everything you need to sell employment, including the companies' latest Dunn & Bradstreet credit rating, all contact info, sales volume, etc.

Editorial for the jobs section is bountiful. Local advertisers can write local hiring news and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has free editorial about every job title in the country. Anyone can use these resources!

Please contact me and I will walk you through how to find the editorial you need for your jobs sections.

BOTTOM LINE

Getting back your classified revenue also takes getting back your classified readers. Local stories help; they help a lot!

You can fill your merchandise classifieds with stories on local antique stores, your rental section with stories on apartment living, or create new and fun local stories by interviewing new car buyers (Why I Love My New Car) or having a Meet the Dealer story, much like the Realtor profiles shown here.

I have customers who find that local realtors would love to write a Q&A about home buying and selling each week. Yes, it takes a little more work and sometimes is out of our comfort zone, but it is worth it. Make your Classified pages more than just one ad after another by flushing it out with stories about that category, and you are on your way to building the perfect Classified section for 2019 and beyond.

Questions? Here is my personal email; please send me your questions. Janetdegeorge@aol.com. © Janet DeGeorge 2019. All rights reserved.

Janet DeGeorge has been president of Classified Executive Training & Consulting LLC for over 19 years. She has worked with over 400 newspapers around the world growing their Classified Revenues in print, online and social media. Call her at (602) 717-7473.