This document is contains a list of best practices put together by College Media Network to assist your staff with managing and monetizing your website.
1) Monitoring Your Traffic - Google Analytics
The number one goal of your site is to drive traffic and increase pageviews. Increasing pageviews allows more opportunities to sell and monetize your site. You should be checking your traffic daily to see what pages are most viewed and to work with your editorial staff to produce content that drives traffic to your site. To manage your traffic contact College Media Network with a gmail address, and we will give you access to your papers universal statistics located in google analytics.
2) Know Your Sales & Monetization Opportunities
Now that you have traffic, it is time to monetize it. Know what opportunities you have to monetize your site by staying in touch with the CMN staff, we are constantly working on new revenue streams that your staff can get involved with. Also, review the CMN sales packet, and let us know when you have questions. Generally you have sponsorships you can sell anywhere on the site. You have banner ads, email edition ads, a local business guide opportunities, "perks" which are a Groupon style feature, and Matchbin pages. There are also many third party opportunities you should look into like: photo reprint sales, classifieds, calendars, flyerboard, and many other tools continuing to emerge in the market.
3) Send Out Breaking News Alerts and Email Editions
Make sure the online staff is sending out the email edition everyday. Even if you print weekly, you can still send our your newsletter everyday. Monday = News, Tuesday = Sports, Wednesday = Opinion, Thursday = Editorial, Friday = Events Around Campus for the Weekend, Sat = A&E, Sunday = Letters to the Editor. Ideally, newsletters are sent out as content is relevant, not just the same day your print edition is published. These newsletters and breaking news alerts are your number one traffic driver and should be sent out consistently and at the same time every day.
4) Marketing: Online, Print, Alumni, Parents & Social Media
Marketing is an important component to driving traffic. Make sure that your print paper is marketing the ability for students to register for breaking news alerts on your website. This should be promoted in the print masthead area. Similarly you should market on the website when and where the next print edition can be picked up on campus. Parents and alumni are some of the biggest traffic drivers to your site, because they are not on campus and are unable to pickup a print paper. Your website is their vehicle to stay in touch with everything on campus. Work with Alumni Relations and Freshman Orientation directors to get people registered for your site. Additionally, connect with your audience via twitter, facebook, linkedin, and other social media tools, this is a great way to engage your readers and promote your online publication.
5) Local Business Marketing & Branding
Branding and marketing is important. Make sure the local businesses, campus groups, and student body know you are. Develop marketing flyers for your paper to have local business post in their windows. This will increase brand awareness, and make it easier when it comes time to sell ads to these local businesses. Also, consider distributing your newspapers at to local business who purchase ads with you. This will allow them to see the ads and see students reading your paper.
6) Contact Page & Ad Kit