For three years, Alex Marra, the man behind HudsonValleyWeather.com, painstakingly delivered clear and accurate weather forecasts to his Facebook page. Over the course of those three years, Hudson Valley Weather (HVW) went from 0 to over 40,000 Facebook Fans. Alex knew that it was time to leverage the momentum of his rapidly growing fan base, but didn’t know where to start.
Migrating Facebook fans to website visitors can be tricky. After three years of loyalty, the Weather Guy wanted to generate income without alienating his base.
Balance is an important element in any Web-Centric Marketing strategy, and was an integral part of the initial planning of HudsonValleyWeather.com
How to Monetize Your Facebook Fan Base
Mediastead knew the key to turning fans into dollars was “added value”. Deliver the same quality content for free as always, but create additional content with enough value to motivate readers to visit the website.
Since Husdon Valley Weather’s inception, Alex and his ability to accurately forecast the weather had been the driving force behind its phenomenal growth. The first order of business was to translate what Alex did on Facebook to HVW’s new website, giving Alex a more robust platform to do what he was good at … delivering solid information to an audience that wanted it. The second part to this process, was to reduce the depth of information made available on Facebook, giving HVW’s audience a teaser of the information they would find on the website. This balance allowed HVW’s fan-base to use Facebook as a way to be notified of the newest information available, and then link to the website to continue delving deeper.
For people who wanted to know ‘will it snow?’ everything they needed was delivered by Facebook. For those that wanted to know ‘where, why, and how much?’ had easy access to depth of information.
How much is your Facebook fan base worth?
It’s all about the numbers. Our goal was to exceed 1 million page views in the first 12 months. HudsonValleyWeather.com hit 1 million views in only 59 days!
That traffic and loyalty turned heads of advertisers. We monetized with Google AdSense initially, but as advertisers recognized the value of an avid repeat audience with a distinct local demographic, banks, radio stations and retail outlets began competing for ad space.
These advertisers paid monthly rather than pay-per-view or pay-per-click. This meant that HVW could stabilize revenue and invest in more functionality.
Real time results turns into real revenue
Mediastead helped HVW build National Weather Service feeds to automatically alert readers of dangerous weather.
Live Weather Radar added another powerful feature that would be impossible to deliver via Facebook, and opened more sponsorship opportunities.
From the beginning HVW knew that their audience was extremely mobile. Facebook, already a solid mobile platform, comprised the majority of the website visitors. Additionally, by the nature of the information, it was even more valuable to people on the go. The weather doesn’t matter sitting in front of your home PC. Weather information is critical to people traveling to work, to socialize, or to recreation venues. The Hudson Valley community in particular has a great love of the outdoors.
Building a dynamic website usable on a mobile platform means that HVW not only has a loyal, local audience, but is one of the few that can deliver advertising messages virtually anywhere.