Gannett acquires social media marketing solutions company BLiNQ Media

McLEAN, VA – Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) today acquired BLiNQ Media LLC, a leading global innovator of Social Engagement AdvertisingSM solutions for agencies and brands. Since 2008, BLiNQ has managed social media marketing campaigns for more than 600 of the world’s largest advertisers.

“With demand for social media marketing solutions continuing to grow at a rapid pace, this acquisition is part of our ongoing transformation at Gannett and positions us to be a leader in both local and global social media marketing. BLiNQ will enhance Gannett Digital Marketing Services’ ability to deliver a one-stop shop for all marketing needs, including social marketing,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO at Gannett.

“BLiNQ has the ability to deliver innovative and differentiated social media marketing solutions, especially at the local level, which is great news for businesses in our 100+ local communities, as well as for national brands that want to reach audiences in those communities.”

BLiNQ will continue to operate its core business as part of Gannett’s portfolio of brands, providing technology and media solutions for social advertising and engagement to agencies and brands. As part of Gannett’s Digital Marketing Services organization, BLiNQ will help develop innovative social marketing solutions for businesses that want to reach local consumers. Gannett Digital Marketing Services will fully leverage BLiNQ’s BAM 2.0 technology platform, which facilitates social media campaign planning, set-up, management, optimization and insights. BLiNQ will have a strong focus on delivering robust solutions for local social engagement at scale, including working closely with ShopLocal to help shape best practices and results in reaching, engaging and building loyalty with retail consumers via social media. Dave Williams, BLiNQ’s CEO, will report to Vikram Sharma, president and CEO at Gannett Digital Marketing Services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BLiNQ has had a longstanding and strong relationship with Facebook and enjoys priority access to the Facebook platform. BLiNQ was one of the first companies to gain access to the Facebook Ads API, which allows developers to create tools and services that create, buy, and manage Facebook ad campaigns. BLiNQ also is one of a small handful of companies worldwide with two Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) badges (“Ads” and “Insights”), and one of a small number of PMDs offering premium media on Facebook. PMD Badges are awarded to developers that have demonstrated value-added capabilities that help marketers scale and achieve efficiency, and extend beyond the functionality of Facebook’s native tools. BLiNQ will continue to drive innovation across current, new and emerging social platforms, including the rapidly emerging mobile social advertising space and its industry-leading LiFT (Likes. Interests. & Fan TargetsTM.) planning tool.

BLiNQ’s headquarters will remain at TechSpace in New York City and its technology, finance and marketing groups will remain based in Atlanta. BLiNQ’s sales and support offices will continue in London, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

About Gannett
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international media and marketing solutions company that informs and engages more than 100 million people every month through its powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. Our portfolio of trusted brands offers marketers unmatched local-to-national reach and customizable, innovative marketing solutions across any platform. Gannett is committed to connecting people – and the companies who want to reach them – with their interests and communities. For more information, visitwww.gannett.com.

For media inquiries, contact:
Jeremy Gaines
Vice President, Corporate Communications
703-854-6049
jmgaines@gannett.com

For investor inquiries, contact:
Jeffrey Heinz
Vice President, Investor Relations
703-854-6917
jheinz@gannett.com

BLiNQ Media Acquires Charles Lumpkin + Partners

Acquisition Enhances Performance-based Social Engagement Advertising Offering

ATLANTA / June 8, 2010 – BLiNQ Media, a Social Engagement AdvertisingSM company and the pioneer of performance-driving CPSASM (Cost per Social ActionSM), announced today the acquisition of Atlanta-based Charles Lumpkin + Partners, an online media planning and buying company specializing in search marketing, performance display, mobile and social media advertising. Charles Lumpkin, founder of Charles Lumpkin + Partners, will take on the role of Vice President of Media at BLiNQ Media.

Lumpkin will oversee all media services for BLiNQ Media and help lead the strategic development of the BAM (BLiNQ Ad Manager) system. His technology background and experience working with fast-growth entrepreneurial ventures and Fortune 500 companies will be an asset to BLiNQ Media and its customers. A noted expert in search marketing and performance-based media, Lumpkin has managed “multi-million dollar search marketing and cost-per-acquisition budgets for companies who demand disciplined, intelligent and measureable Internet advertising.”

Lumpkin’s associate, Josh West, will take on the role of Senior Media Manager, and will provide day-to-day management and optimization for BLiNQ Media client campaigns using the BAM system. West also brings significant search marketing and performance-based media buying experience to the team from past work with companies such as Staples and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). Both Lumpkin and West have degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“Charles Lumpkin + Partners blends a compelling combination of technology, analytics and performance-based online media which will help us maximize social media advertising results for our customers as well as contribute to the ongoing development of our BAM technology,” commented Dave Williams, CEO, President and Co-founder of BLiNQ Media. “Together, our companies will provide superior social engagement advertising solutions to brand marketers and agencies.”

About Charles Lumpkin + Partners, LLC
Charles Lumpkin + Partners, an Atlanta-based firm led by noted expert Charles Lumpkin, provides counsel and advisory services in the areas of search marketing, performance display, mobile and social media advertising. Charles Lumpkin + Partners helps brands and agencies improve the ROI of their campaigns through campaign planning, optimization, landing page testing, and improving Web site conversion rates. Prior customers include leading brands such as The Home Depot, Brink’s Home Security, Liberty Medical, and FootSmart, among others.

About BLiNQ Media
BLiNQ Media, a Social Engagement AdvertisingSM company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, makes it easy for big brands to deliver break-through results in social networks like Facebook. BLiNQ Media is pioneering CPSASM (Cost Per Social ActionSM) and Social Engagement Advertising to drive up social ad performance while keeping costs down. BLiNQ Media fundamentally changes the way brands message, target and engage consumers in social networks with a strategy-based approach underpinning powerful media management technology, performance-based pricing and unparalleled quantitative analysis. BLiNQ Media’s family of innovative and powerful technology solutions, anchored by BAM (BLiNQ Ad Manager), was created with the Facebook Ads API to enable rapid and scalable management and optimization of performance-based social media campaigns. BLiNQ Media is a member of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and can be found on the Web at www.blinqmedia.com, as well as on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Buying Sites: Site Valuation Formula

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. Today I want to talk to you about something that I’ve been working on for quite some time, and it’s really powerful. This is the valuation formula that I’ve derived, so that you can understand—before you get into a transaction—exactly what’s there. It will allow you to pick apart the constituent pieces and parts of an online business. So that you make sure you acquire a site, and that you’re not going to get dealt with.

So, let’s get into the formula. Here’s the whole thing. Now, let’s get into the constituent pieces and parts. Essentially we’ve got the domain value, and the rest of this formula is about the cash flow and understanding the cash flow. Cash flow as you very well know is revenue minus cost. Profit. Then below each of the “Domain Value” and the “Cash Flow” we have the “Discount Value.”

Now we’re going to get into the deeper parts of these, each piece, in later videos, so stay tuned, but I do want to talk very quickly about the time value of money. You probably already know this, but a dollar today is worth more than a year from now. I can take a dollar today and invest it at 10% and have a dollar and ten cents a year from now.

So, understanding this, a dollar and ten cents a year from now is worth a dollar today. When we’re looking at a series of cash flows into the future that a business produces, we have to discount those by a certain rate and take them into present value. This entire formula is a discounted cash flow analysis of a business.

Stay tuned for the rest of the pieces and parts. This is exciting stuff. I love this stuff.

Again, my name is Charles Lumpkin and you can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com Thank you.

Buying Sites: Site Acquisitions

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. Today I want to talk to you about acquiring sites. What I mean by this is how and why you should acquire your competition to increase your market share in the search space and really, REALLY crush it and dominate it online.

This is not for the faint of heart. There’s a couple of ways that you can go about an acquisition strategy. You’ve got one way, which is doing site acquisitions from an investment perspective, but what we’re going to talk about right now is site acquisitions from a marketing perspective. So, gathering more and more market share.

Now, this is not for the faint of heart. You need to have been in paid search, run your tests, gone into SEO, and you’re dominating it there. Now you just want MORE. This is an extremely effective technique at this. Now hopefully over the course of however long you’ve been running your business, you’ve also been running tests on conversion (your shopping cart or your lead funnel process or whatever it is. So that your conversion is better than your competition. So that whenever you take that site and evaluate it (we’re going to talk about ways of evaluating sites in future videos) and you take that traffic and rehab it into something that’s really effective. Then you loop this back around, you get more shelf space on the engines.

So, think about this as a technique. We’ve got some interesting stuff coming ahead.

Again, my name is Charles Lumpkin. You can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com Thank you.

Paid Search: The Relevancy Spectrum

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. Today we’re going to talk about the Relevancy Spectrum.

The example that I use is with paintings. First, a lot of people just put a bunch of keywords that they think are related into an ad group. Then they’re disappointed with the performance. This is why you should be concerned with the relevancy spectrum.

The example I use all the time is this. You’re trying to sell a painting by Monet. So you may have this specific painting’s name. Then you may have “Paintings by Monet” or “Monet Paintings.” Then you have a little further out, you have “painter” maybe it’s “Monet.” A little further out you have “paint.” Ok, so it’s “paint,” “painter,” “painting,” “Monet painting,” and the specific painting name.

Now the question is, how relevant are each of these things to you. The further out that you get, the less and less relevant it gets. Then, a lot of times you see stuff that’s completely irrelevant out there. It just completely erodes the results of your particular campaign.

When you’re constructing your campaign, if you’re just starting out, you probably want to stay pretty tight around the relevancy spectrum. Just around the product or services that you’re looking for. Then you can start to go a little further out and a little further out testing into them. In fact, the better your conversion gets, the more you can come out in the relevancy spectrum. The more you can eat your competitors’ lunch. Think about the relevancy spectrum and how it applies to you.

My name is Charles Lumpkin. You can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com. Thank you.

Paid Search: Shelf Space Theory

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. I appreciate you spending some time with me today. Today we’re going to talk about shelf space theory.

Ken Robbins, the president of Response Mine, where I used to work, used to always say this: “It’s like you walk into a grocery store. You go down the cereal isle, and there you have all these different cereals. Unbeknownst to you, yes, they look like all these different cereals, but half of them are owned by General Mills.” That’s Shelf Space Theory in the grocery store.

Now let’s talk about that as it relates to the search page. So, the anatomy of the search page, as you know, is that on the left hand side you have all these natural search listings. Across the top and on the right you have the paid listings. The simplest form of shelf spacing is when you know the particular term is very profitable for you, and you’ve been running it in paid search. Now you’re going to optimize for it in SEO, so you have two spaces there on the page. What we’re talking about is taking up more and more screen real estate.

There are more things you can do to improve and get more and more shelf space. Things like down lining deals to affiliates. There’s a whole variety of different ways.

So shelf space theory is that if you have a particularly good pot of gold, mine it more aggressively.

Again, my name is Charles Lumpkin, and you can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com Thank you.

Paid Search: Microsoft Bing PPC

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. Today we’re going to talk about Microsoft Bing. I LOVE ME SOME BING.

Bing is one of the most efficient platforms out there right now. It’s so much cheaper than Google. In fact, I want to go so far as to say that, yes, you should start your search marketing efforts with paid search, but you should start your search marketing efforts with Microsoft Bing instead of Google.

Here’s why. Google is crazy expensive these days. I can hardly find a $0.25 click on the whole of Google. You can on Bing, and you can find them in mass in the right campaigns.

So, start your search marketing efforts with Bing. It can be an order of magnitude cheaper. 10x cheaper or 20x cheaper, and a lot of the regulations aren’t so locked down against the advertiser. It’s a great platform to start your efforts with, and I highly recommend Microsoft Bing. If you haven’t opened an account, go there right now and start your search marketing efforts.

Again, I’m Charles Lumpkin, and you can find more of me at charleslumpkin.com. Thanks for your time.

Paid Search: Match Type Strategies For All The Search Engines

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. Today we’re talking about “Match Typing.” Match typing is a further segmentation. Believe it or not, a keyword is not the end all be all. There are different ways to split it up.

The three common match types on both Google and MSN are “broad,” “phrase,” and “exact” match types. “Broad” means that if you advertise on a keyword like “photo” it will show up for stuff like “photo umbrellas,” “blue photo” “red photo” and “photo of a girl.” Then you have “phrase matching. Phrase matching is denoted with double quotes. So if you have “photo umbrella” what it’s looking for is the phrase “photo umbrella” anywhere contiguously in the search. You might show up for a key term like “The little girl carried a photo umbrella” and that would be awesome. You wouldn’t show up for just “photo” and you certainly wouldn’t show up for “black umbrella.” The third type is an “exact match” and is denoted with brackets around it. This says show me only when someone searches for “photo umbrella” and nothing else. Not “red photo umbrella” not “blue photo umbrella” and not “umbrella photo” only “photo umbrella” exactly.

On Google you can choose which of these you’d like to show up on. You can do the same on MSN as well. On Google what you should actually do is that it allows you to put in a destination URL in for each match type for each particular keyword. What that allows you to do is actually optimize not just on the keyword level, but on the match type level. You can get tremendous efficiency out of this. So, if you’re only advertising on one match type, what I encourage you to try is to go out and advertise on all three match types, track them separately, and bid each to its wherewithal to provide conversion to your site. Ok, that’s Google. Now let’s talk about Yahoo.

Yahoo’s match types are “Standard” and “Advanced.” You can think of it as advanced is sort of like broad, and standard is sort of like exact. On Yahoo, you have to pick either one or the other. I start off with “standard” matches and if the keyword is performing pretty well for me, then I’ll flip that keyword onto “advanced” match. Now let’s move on to MSN.

On MSN again you have “broad” “phrase” and “exact.” Here on MSN you don’t have the ability to split out the traffic and segment it further. You can bid on one of them for a particular keyword, but you only get one destination URL for that keyword. So it’s not destination URL at the match type. It’s destination URL at the keyword. So what I generally do is turn on all three match types and put the destination URL in there. Then you’re copasetic.

I hope that helps you out. Again my name is Charles Lumpkin. You can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com Thank you.

Paid Search: Common Landing Page Test Types

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. I appreciate you spending some time with me today. We’re going to talk about common landing page test types. Now, why even test landing pages? What we’re talking about is trying to get the conversion rate up on our pages. More conversion equals more money in the bank, which is what we’re looking for in online marketing.

So, what are the common landing page test types? The two most common are split testing and multi-variant testing. I’m going to get deep into split testing right now and save multi-variant testing for a later video.

In a split test, you have two or more versions of a particular landing page. When you’re initially starting out with a new campaign or a new test you want to make sure that these different variations are as different as possible, as they can be from one another. You really want to go as far out as you can with different ideas. So brainstorm and think of some really cool stuff, but when you put them out there, what you’re going to do is run half the traffic through each lander.

One of those is going to produce results that are better than the others. Again, you need to be tracking this stuff and have the proper analytics in place. At the end of the day, one is going to work better than the other. From that point on, that becomes your control. Then if you want to continue to do more split tests, you bring in more variations. Does this control continue to win? Who knows, you’ve got to do the tests.

Thanks for spending some time with me today. Again, my name is Charles Lumpkin. You can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com. Thank you.

Conversion Science: Social Proof and Social Easing

Transcript:
Hey folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. Today we’re talking about social proof and social easing, but before we get started, there are some plumbers that have been watching the videos. They’ve told me that my “Google Toilet Bowl Plumb” is in fact the “Google Toilet Ball Float.” So to be precise and correct, that’s what it is. I appreciate that, guys.

Now, let’s talk about social proof and social easing. First, “social proof” is one of the most effective things to improve conversion that you can possibly do. Social proof is stuff like testimonials. So it gives… You have great products and services, and you have people who will want to be evangelists for you. They do it sometimes without you knowing, and they’ll be happy to give you testimonials. These kinds of testimonials give people an anchor point through which they can relate to your products and services. “Hey, this guy is just like me. Has the same problems, and hopefully this is the right solution for me. He says so, and I believe him.” So it’s not just coming from you, but it’s coming from a third party who likes your products and services, rightfully so.

Now, social easing is taking social proof and massaging it in a different way. Social easing has to do with taking people from social networks and getting them into a conversion mindset. So, if you’ve got someone who is on a social network—We’ll talk in later videos about using Facebook PPC and other media platforms. If you take someone form a social network then they’re in a social mindset. Someone on a search engine is not always, but they’re definitely more inclined to be in a commercial mindset, ready to buy something.

If you’re going to take someone from a social network, you’ve got to take them and convert them from a social mindset into a commercial mindset, and you do that through a process I call “social easing.”

You see this done a lot in the affiliate world. It’s taking someone and putting them on a page that is laden with social proof about your particular product. You want this to be valid stuff from your valid customers. You take it and you show them “Hey, it’s not me saying it. It’s my customers.” When you present that in that type of mind frame, it’s that process of easing someone from a social-mindset into a commercial-mindset. It can be a powerful aid to conversion.

So again, my name is Charles Lumpkin. You can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com. Thanks for your time.