Case Study: How El Clasificado uses its assets for revenue success
El Clasificado distributes 265,000 weekly magazines throughout Southern California, registers eight million monthly page views on its website, reaches 6,400 monthly readers through its digital magazine, and has an impressive 300,000 e-mail subscribers.
With such a remarkable presence in the Spanish-speaking community of Southern California, the Meta Branded Content Project was thrilled to have the brilliant folks from El Clasificado join our Big Branded Call in February, highlighting their recent branded content campaign success stories.
ElClasificado.com is a free classified ads website that was launched in 1996, directed to Californians who already read the print publication. Today, the site has expanded its free advertising services to all parts of the country where there are Latino communities.
El Clasificado Director of Marketing Frank Zepeda says the classified advertising site is kind of like the Spanish version of Craigslist, only nicer.
"It's evolved to where it's mostly businesses posting. You go in and you can see the different categories and people are posting these ads," he said. "Our top three categories are job opportunities, home services and apartments for rent."
The publication has been fortunate to also work with major brands, exemplified during its recent collaboration with General Mills resulting in a great partnership.
General Mills wanted to reach El Clasificado's Hispanic audience and approached the paper with a unique collaboration for last year's Las Posadas, a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between Dec. 16-24.
The General Mills team assembled several dessert recipes featuring different kinds of its most popular cereal brands that could be made and served at Las Posadas celebrations. The El Clasificado team was a little skeptical at first, but once they saw the vision, it became clear this was a winning idea that their audience would eat up.
General Mills received half-page ads in El Clasificado's magazine, promoting the fun recipes and coupons through a QR code. Readers who scanned the code received a $3 off coupon - which made most cereals half off. The team provided more ads on the digital magazine and throughout social media to amplify the campaign.
"We were trying to push the user to download these recipes and to use them. One of the things that was really helpful for us was that General Mills created a lot of great artwork. It's very in touch with the community," Zepeda said.
He appreciated how the company paid attention to what their audience would relate to through colorful images and engaging recipes while tapping into the celebratory familial feeling of Las Posadas.
El Clasificado does very well on social media, including on the image & video sharing platform Pinterest. This campaign worked perfectly to take advantage of the social media company's popularity when it comes to food and recipe sharing.
"Pinterest does really well for us. We get about 10 million monthly impressions. We knew us taking these recipes and turning them into pins would do really well for us," he said. "Based on everything we've learned here to try and use all of our assets and try to brand as much as possible with these different campaigns."
In general, infographic type of pins work well for the publication, as well as any posts that have to do with pets or food. Pinterest was utilized as part of the content campaign with General Mills and performed well through impressions.
General Mills sponsored the front cover and included more recipes inside on full-page takeovers, in addition to the back page.
"This is very fruitful for us on the revenue side, but as well as getting it out to the community. I think the community saw General Mills in a different light, because they were creating these Posadas recipes for people to celebrate with their families," Zepeda said.
The team understands that they can be even more successful by taking advantage of all of their owned and operated distribution platforms and partnerships. A brilliant move was leveraging the publication's partnership with grocery stores throughout Southern California where they have racks to distribute their magazines (and rent out space to other publications).
Ignacio Lopez, who serves as sales director at El Clasificado, said they have access to more than 160 different grocery store locations where the magazines are distributed, opening up another advertising opportunity: grocery billboards.
"We also have a little bit over 2000 additional mini-billboards throughout Southern California," Lopez said. "While they're picking up the magazine, they see what advertisers are promoting, whether it be a product or service."
This is another way El Clasificado successfully uses all of its owned and operated assets to advance branded content campaigns, something the team really took to heart after participating in one of the Meta Branded Content Project's sales bootcamps.
"During these bootcamps we got some ideas on different things, and one of the biggest takeaways for me and especially Ignacio, was that we had to use all of our assets," Zepeda said.
That includes knowing your audience. The team created a special soccer print and digital magazine in honor of this past year's World Cup, which was also highly successful for the publication. They filled the magazine with more than 120 pages of content, featuring soccer teams and tons of space for advertising. A video recapping each game had several sponsorship opportunities, garnering 7-10,000 views a day on social media.
"There would be a banner of our customer on the bottom, and then we actually inserted a commercial as well. It did really well," Zepeda said. "We started posting it mostly on Youtube, but we did really well on Facebook."
El Clasificado has been dedicated to being seen in the community, hosting several yearly live events, including Quinceanera expos, business expos, and job fairs, bringing in additional sponsorship opportunities and revenue. They produce special supplemental magazines on a variety of topics and have no plans of slowing down any time soon!
Interested in joining our Big Branded Calls so you can hear local media success stories? Or, does your. organization have a great content campaign to share? Let us know! Sign up here! We meet monthly on the third Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. EST.
The Meta Branded Content Project is designed through a strategic partnership between the Meta Journalism Project, Local Media Association and the Local Media Consortium to help facilitate additional growth, engagement, and revenue success for more publishers of all shapes and sizes.