INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (December 8, 2009) – Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) re-launched its website, IBJ.com earlier this fall. The resulting revenue and site performance improvements have exceeded expectations while solidifying IBJ’s market leadership as the economy rebounds.
For years, Indianapolis Business Journal managed its website to complement its print journal, adding web-only features to increase traffic and drive ad sales.
While the site grew by adding new features from time to time, it had not lived up to its potential for delivering relevant targeted content and services to complement IBJ.com's print counterpart and increase brand awareness in the Midwest business community.
Challenge: Find an Effective Strategy
A blog here, video there, a new stock ticker – new features provided a lift to IBJ.com, but had not fully blended to create a complete resource for business users to adopt the site. Even more frustrating, IBJ sales staff could not always support customer requests for new ad formats and sponsorship opportunities in a timely manner. The site was growing, but key performance indicators and profitability lagged.
Response: Bring It All Together
Starting in 2007, Steve Carder, IBJ Media Corp’s Director, New Media & Technology, began strategic planning with a user survey. Instead of creating a wish list, Steve formulated a strategy with input from readers, customers and internal stakeholders: Sales, Editorial, Audience Development and Senior Management.
By mid-2008, Steve was interviewing prospective vendors, comparing each provider’s ability to meet IBJ.com’s needs cost effectively and, most importantly to demonstrate expertise in providing a complete solution.
At the end of this meticulous process, IBJ.com decided to move forward with ePublishing to redesign, develop and support their revitalized online business. The ePublishing platform, which integrates CMS, eCommerce, CRM, Circulation, Directories and Events, could support virtually all of IBJ.com’s requirements.
Result: Increased Online Revenue, Subscription Sales, Predictable Costs
Soon after relaunch, IBJ.com staff found readers readily adopted the site as a go-to news source and purchased subscriptions to premium content and the print journal. Early indicators bear out Steve’s plans:
- 312% increase in time-on-site within one month
- 62% bounce rate decrease within 6 weeks
- Historical average of 7 monthly advertisers, added 8 new advertisers within 5 weeks
With a new automated taxonomy system, IBJ staff delivers pages and search results focused on a specific topic with content related to ads, events, video and audio.
IBJ staff is now able to support new features that promise to turn into big sales channels:
- Events: create and manage events, book individuals and apply discounts for groups, manage attendee and vendor relationships
- Blogs: multiple bloggers’ content is now easily managed and searchable with other site content, creating new sponsorship revenue
- Comments: editors manage comments, which are searchable and increase page views and time on site
- New Ad Formats: sales staff can now support new formats – peel-down, flash – to maximize ad dollars
- Context Awareness: readers are now automatically presented related video, podcasts, editorial and eCommerce content in context
IBJ can now bring it all together with ePublishing’s system that integrates their workflow, advertising, eCommerce, Multi-Media, newsletters and alerts – even microsites – to leverage content and ensure ongoing profitability without paying big staffing or development fees.
To contact ePublishing: service@ePublishing.com, or call Lou Bahin, CMO at (312) 768-6868