Using Archives To Build Audiences

There’s a great article in today’s Editor and Publisher Daily called “10 Newspapers That Do It Right 2016: Finding Success with Audience, Digital and New Revenue Ideas.”  Writers Adreana Young and Nu Yang profile ten newspapers and how they’re staying ahead of the pack. There are fantastic ideas including one from the StarNews in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The profile on the StarNews says, “The paper’s digital initiatives also helped them remain true to their mission of being community minded. They developed shareable programs centered on community interests and audience involvement. These include contests, voting on photos of the month, polls and quizzes.  The newspaper also utilizes its own archives as a way to build audiences. Strategies, such as #tbt photos and a section on the homepage called StarNews Flashback, where old news stories and advertisements are shared, are among the site’s most popular features.”

That second part is what caught our attention since that is exactly the driver of our program, Discover America’s Story. Your archive content is in high demand and it has endless potential when it comes to engaging your community – including those who have moved away but want to connect to their hometown or the town where their parents lived as children.  Consider the size of the audience interested – your town’s current and past residents.

Because, as the article says, the archive related features “are among the site’s most popular”, local businesses and organizations will want to be a part of your effort to put your archive online. Ask them to sponsor the scanning of bound volume archives and showcase their support. The revenue you generate from sponsorships can more than cover the cost of scanning.  It’s a win-win.

We help newspapers with the scanning of archive content and we can provide easy online hosting for those who would like it. Imagine being able to quickly search and pull a #TBT item to push on social media? Or a local business can search your coverage of the day they opened a facility in your town?

Want to get started? Just contact us today – email karen@smalltownpapers.com or call us at (360) 427-6300.   Ask us about how we can help you secure sponsors for your archive scanning.

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