OVB24 is a digital-only local news publisher operating a group of local news portals in southern Germany. In September 2017, we started our new project, rosenheimsbeste.de, to reinvent the concept of yellow pages and guides for the local market by leveraging social networking mechanics.

Our rosenheimsbeste.de provides not only listings, but also rankings of businesses for a whole variety of categories. The ranking is solely determined by our users with a Facebook “Like” voting mechanic on rosenheimsbeste.de.

The site earned instant credibility and very fast audience growth, in turn enabling us to successfully upsell subscription premium entries, even though they have no influence on the ranking.

When digital-only OVB24 launched its city guide, they strategically incorporated social media voting for a dynamic listing that ranks favorite businesses.
When digital-only OVB24 launched its city guide, they strategically incorporated social media voting for a dynamic listing that ranks favorite businesses.

As a digital local news publisher, we have learned several lessons through the process of creating a modern local guide that everyone in and around the city knows and talks about:

  • Create true audience value by giving listings credibility through a simple way of user voting.

  • Use a corresponding news portal to reach people in and around the city to promote the listings and motivate people to vote.

  • Leverage social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram to promote listings in hope of creating viral effects in terms of voting appeals from businesses and users personally involved in those businesses.

  • Create and grow a new audience on the Web site to be attractive enough for the business owners to pay for premium entries.

  • Create a new profit centre with significant long-term contribution to your bottom line.

  • Create value for the news portal and social media accounts by distributing relevant content for the users as a side effect.

Every week we pushed one list through promotion on the corresponding Facebook and Instagram accounts and on the news portal. As the Facebook posts created lots of engagement, the post reach was quite high. Also, every week we saw businesses and individuals posting on Facebook asking their friends and fans to vote for them.

A few months after launching the site, we saw the audience was growing by each listing we added. Once the site was known within the city, more businesses became interested in listing and getting a premium entry.

By steadily adding new listings and receiving additional votes, the quality of this site will further increase over time, creating evermore value for advertisers and audiences alike in a virtuous cycle. Thus, we are optimistic about the long-term potential of the subscription-based, premium-entry business model. We even get customer requests for premium entries before the listing is promoted. We are on track to creating a new profit centre with significant long-term contribution to our bottom line.

What we have also seen is that rosenheimsbeste.de is a perfect fit for our corresponding news portal and social accounts, as we are able to leverage reach to create a truly valuable local service.