Austrian newspaper breathes new life into its classifieds, bringing in revenue and growing readership by 6% to 16.6% in classified sections.
Since February 2011, the print classifieds sections of regional newspaper Kleine Zeitung, with more than 800,000 daily readers in Austria, shine in new splendour. While most daily newspapers in Europe and the United States declare print classifieds dead, Kleine Zeitung worked hard to develop strengths that only print can provide to classifieds advertisers.
The classifieds sections for career, cars, and real estate were completely redesigned with the goal to create an emotional and entertaining “shopping centre.” Not a stone was left unturned.
We created new titles to fit our readers’ needs. We expanded the editorial content with a modular concept that leads readers through the particular supplement. We redesigned and enhanced classified ads with new features, such as: the ability to include up to three pictures; icons for the most popular features in ads — garage, patio, first-time real estate buyers, eco-friendly and low-mileage cars, full- and part-time work; and an online code that leads directly to the ad on our portal. In addition, the pricing of ads was newly developed to encourage advertisers to use more text, pictures, and features.
The ultimate ambition was to provide better orientation to prospective buyers who don´t know exactly what they’re searching for. On the other side, we believe if somebody already knows what he or she really is looking for, he or she will always find better results online. But in an earlier phase of the buying process, print is far more efficient.
We started the relaunch with a big campaign that addressed internal staff, advertising clients, and, most importantly, the readers. In addition to the usual print, radio, and online campaign, as well as direct mailings, a special edition of Kleine Zeitung (with a circulation of 5,000) was created to introduce the relaunch — a big change for the newspaper — to our advertisers and employees. There was also a 12-page cover section around the Sunday edition of Kleine Zeitung a few days before the start, introducing all the innovations to our readers. One day before the first issue, we hosted an exclusive relaunch event with partners, advertising clients, and our internal staff.
More than one year after launching the new products, the results exceed our expectations.
First, there was a “new” awareness for print classifieds within our readers, clients, and especially our internal staff. Classifieds are again an important content for the printed product and not simply as advertisements.
The yearly loss in the number of classified ads in print slowed down — especially in comparison to our main competitors, who lost twice as much as we did. The share of private advertisers in real estate rose from 23% to 25% again after going down the past years. Private and commercial advertisers now spend more money (on average, 5% to 15%) on a single ad by using more text, pictures, and additional features like icons and an online code.
But the most stunning figures show the development of our readership within the newspaper. According to our latest reader survey, the share of regular readers rose by 6% in the cars section (now nearly 40%), 8.2% in the career section (now more than 50%), and an unbelievable 16.6% in the real estate section (now 57.6%) compared to our last survey in 2009.