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Premium Pages offer local publishers new revenue and quality content

Themed pages are ideal for sponsorships, branded content sales and growing readership

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Creative Circle launched a series of syndicated, turnkey web pages on March 1. These “Premium Pages” are ideal for digital publishers who want to grow readership, sell sponsorships or launch local branded or native content sales.

The first round of six Premium Pages focuses on food, home & garden, health, money matters, pets and seniors — all high interest topics for both readers and advertisers. Ultimately, Creative Circle will provide a selection of 24 themed, quality content pages.

“Local media outlets aren’t providing enough of this ‘soft’ content, that readers crave,” says Bill Ostendorf, president of Creative Circle. "Many newspapers cut back on covering these topics years ago, but they weren’t abandoned because readers weren’t interested in them. Newspapers stopped providing this content because they didn’t have the staff or news hole to support features like food, gardening or pets.

“Our national polling after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic shows readers want more of this kind of content. Readers are stuck at home and have rediscovered cooking, working in the garden and launching home improvement projects. They are feeding the birds, adopting pets and are focused on their health. They are upgrading their homes and rethinking their investments and spending. Adding Premium Pages with this content is like upgrading your site with a series of popular, digital special sections."

"Any sales team should be able to sell sponsorships on these pages,” said Sean Finch, vice president/sales for Creative Circle. “They provide an easy, new, digital revenue option for any website. Imagine up to 24 themed pages, each ‘owned’ by a local sponsor. It’s money."

While these pages are an obvious opportunity for sponsorships or local web advertising, they can be much more.

“We’re all hearing that branded or native content is the next ‘Big Thing’ for local publishers,” said Ostendorf, adding that Creative Circle was the first media CMS vendor to offer a local branded content platform in 2010. “With our long experience with branded content, we know one of the hardest aspects of getting branded content off the ground is getting your first few clients. How do you sell the first one? How many do you need before you can go live? How do you teach marketers what ‘branded content’ looks like?

“Premium Pages give publishers launching branded content initiatives a head start, with live examples of quality branded content on themed pages that will appeal to local prospects. And you can sell just one and it won’t look out of place,” says Ostendorf. “If you want to generate branded content income, Premium Pages is your best first step.”

Several non-profit news agencies will contribute content for Premium Pages, along with top branded content providers Family Features, NAPS Featurettes, NewsUSA and Brandpoint. Future Premium Pages will cover kids & family, outdoors, agriculture, fashion, automotive, real estate, small businesses and more.

“It’s easier to sell local branded content on a themed page that is already showcasing national branded content,” said Ostendorf. "But we will also provide a host of tools to make branded content a success, including widgets to display local and national branded content throughout a website and self-service tools to solicit branded and native content submissions.”

The pages will be designed and curated by the Creative Circle team and then “pushed out” to participating websites using the network tools in Creative Circle’s dynamic web CMS. Local publishers can add their own content, advertising, news, marketing messaging or e-editions.

“Creative Circle’s delivery system relies on its dynamic web CMS, known for great design and flexibility. Each Premium Page will be built in four layers and local publishers can insert their own ads or content above or between any layer,” said Ostendorf. “So you can combine your food content or real estate coverage with ours to really energize what you deliver for readers or advertisers. I guarantee that these will be the best looking pages on your website.”

Fresh content will flow into Premium Pages daily and the layout of the pages will be updated weekly so they will always look new.

“These pages look great. They are well designed with lots of visuals and the layouts will change every week. They will be the best looking pages on your site,” said Finch.

Publishers can opt to include Creative Circle’s NativeNewsQ, which would add the ability to accept local branded through self-service submissions, allowing local businesses to post their own content to the pages and pay for it with a credit card.

The NativeNewsQ platform can also handle paid obituaries, classified advertising, paid press releases, paid calendar items and more. Publishers will be able to gather all forms of paid content into one place with one vendor. So there will be lots of opportunities to upgrade or expand paid content opportunities and manage it all on one flexible and easy to use platform.

Combined with Creative Circle’s new national programmatic advertising partners, publisher can lace these pages with national advertising for additional passive revenue.

Premium Pages also come with consulting and training support from Creative Circle, a leader in strategic consulting and training in the newspaper industry. The pages can be integrated with any website and are available to any local newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station website.

“This is just a can’t miss program for growing engagement with both readers and local businesses,” added Finch. “It’s a sure way to increase digital traffic and revenue.”

For more information, contact Bill Ostendorf, president and founder, Creative Circle Media Solutions, at bill@creativecirclemedia.com, or Sean Finch, vice president/sales, at sean@creativecirclemedia.com.

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