“Newspapers today have these really big audiences on Facebook to follow the news, but in general they’re doing a terrible job of monetizing the audiences they build,” said Derek Price, owner of Green Shoot Media and the creator of Ad Supercharger. “This is a way to help advertisers reach that audience, and to help shoppers find deals at the same time.”A new app for Ad Supercharger (a newspaper ad platform) puts newspaper display ads on Facebook where readers can browse them to find local deals and share them with friends. The ads are typically daily-deal sales and coupons. The app is available at no extra charge for papers that use the Ad Supercharger platform.
As Price described Ad Supercharger to us, “It takes newspaper print ads with daily deals in them already and sends them out via email. Shoppers have been trained for a long time that if they want to know what’s on sale, to turn to print to see coupons. Online shoppers go to other places like newspaper websites for news, and shopping websites for shopping. With Supercharger, I’d like to retrain them that they can get the deals and coupons digitally, just like in print.”
The Facebook app enables a newspaper to push its ads to its Facebook presence, but also make the ads sharable on Facebook and Twitter by readers; and to print the ads (and coupons) on home printers. “And it’s optimized for mobile devices, so someone can get the email or see the Facebook ad and click an ad that’s formatted for that screen."
At present, Green Shoot Media has a handful of clients among small regional papers in Texas, new Mexico, Missouri and Ohio, every one of which is attempting to boost its value to advertisers.To make money, publishers upsell their display advertising customers who want to reach a digital audience. Ad Supercharger charges a flat fee to process each ad, and newspapers set their own rates to make a profit. "You can tell your customers, 'For an extra $10 — or whatever rate you decide to set — we'll send your ad out to our e-mail list and make it sharable on Facebook and Twitter,'" said Price.
And revenue is the key value to those papers, which are laboring under the print-to-digital transition. Smaller papers cannot put up the paywalls of, for example, the New York Times or Washington Journal, but they can squeeze more out of the localized print ads that are keeping them afloat. “It’s good to see the newspapers thinking forward, and outside of the traditional box or products," said Price.