Does your online presence drive revenue?

Regular readers will know that from time to time I use this blog to talk about new industry developments or technologies and the one I’m going to explore today may interest anyone with an online presence. After all, who wouldn’t want to know about a quick and easy way to drive revenue from their website? Before I get started however, I ought to declare an interest – Sarah Hall Consulting has in the past provided PR support to Rick Waghorn, the owner and brainchild behind Addiply, the software I’m going to talk about. Nevertheless, the offering has evolved considerably since then and it’s exciting to see what’s on offer now.

When I first met Rick, he had recognized that online advertising was, for the majority of small to medium sized business owners, both difficult and complex to implement without the help of agency support, with the biggest downside being the cost involved. Although Google Adwords was (and remains) one option, his research pointed to the fact that customer satisfaction levels were low as these were hard and time-consuming to manage to get the strongest return on investment.

At the same time, Rick was very conscious of the rise in ‘hyperlocal’ news sites – online websites providing news and updates relevant to particular postcodes, for example: http://ponteland.journallive.co.uk/. Putting the two together, he devised a piece of software, www.addiply.com, that could be dropped onto such sites that would, within 3 very simple clicks, allow local businesses to place an advert relevant to the people on their doorstep. Available at a low cost, the publisher (in this case the news owner) could set the advertising rate, keeping 90% of the advertising revenue earned, with the remaining 10% of fees split between Addiply and Paypal (the method for securing payment).

As you’ll see if you follow the Journal link above, the software worked so well. Trinity Mirror secured it for their hyper local sites, as did the Guardian and many others aware that their online presence would drive their biggest growth.

Of course, although Rick, as a former journalist and early blogger, had developed the software for the news industry, it wasn’t long before businesses soon spotted the potential for driving revenue from their own sites. The rationale being that if the website continued to attract strong traffic and featured a cost effective and easy to use advertising service, why wouldn’t other companies use it where targeting the same audiences? An easy sales job.

Since then however, things have moved on apace.  Remaining at the forefront of the digital revolution (way ahead of the rest of us) – Addiply is now adapting to suit online video content and although currently in demo form only, its adverts can be over-laid onto short videos and films. The future looks set to bring all sorts of localized TV platforms (Northamptonshire County Council is already experimenting with Northamptonshire TV) so imagine the opportunities.  There will come a day when coffee shops, hospitals and the like will offer a local TV service.  Who wouldn’t want to be first in line to reach their audiences directly through such a simple and inexpensive advertising medium?

To me, the beauty of Addiply’s advertising platforms is that they respond to the changing media world, providing new options and best of all putting the control into the hands of local business owners, to whom this type of advertising might have previously been inaccessible without advertising knowledge and a sizeable budget.  As the landscape changes, it’s hard to imagine what will come next, but you can be sure that Rick will be there, finding new uses for Addiply and enabling small to medium sized businesses to make money from their online presence.