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The Durand Now Network: State of the Sites

Why Local Businesses Should Make the Switch from Advertising on Facebook to Our Network of Local News Websites

Posted by Durand Now at 4:40pm 6/6/18

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It's been a minute since we did a little bragging.  Don't worry, we're not trying to take credit for anything -- we want to do some bragging on YOU.

YOU continue to help grow this platform of local news websites that now super-serves multiple Shiawassee County communities with hyper-local news and even reaches into Clinton, Ingham and Eaton counties as well.

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Serving Durand, Bancroft, Lennon, Byron, Gaines, Swartz Creek and Railfans everywhere since 2012!

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Serving Corunna and Vernon since 2014!

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Uplifting Shiawassee County since 2014!

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Serving Perry, Morrice, Shaftsburg and Laingsburg since 2015!

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Serving Owosso since 2016!

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Serving Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties since 2017!

I Put My Thing Down, Flip It and Reverse It

It all began in 2012 with the September 1st launch of DurandNow.com.  Today, almost six years later, the site is viewed by more than 16,000 people each month on average, based on 2017 data.  Last month was the best May for DurandNow.com since 2015, with nearly 22,400 page views.

Across a full year, DurandNow.com is traditionally the traffic leader of all the sites, but with the creation of the Shiawassee A-LIST hosted by Uplift Shiawassee (UpShia.com) last year, voting in the contest at UpShia.com generated exponentially more traffic this year than ever before on any of the sites, topping 300,000 page views in the month of March 2018 alone.  While, unfortunately, some of that traffic can be attributed to bots -- a problem we will fix in 2019 -- the site showed a dramatic increase in traffic in first quarter 2017 with no voting impropriety detected.

These weren't the only two sites to mark achievements.  PerryPulse.com, launched in 2015, saw its best February and best May on record in 2018, and OwossoNow.com, launched in 2016, showed an average 57% increase in traffic over the past five months of this year versus the same period last year.  And next to DurandNow.com, our second site; the site that officially created the network, CorunnaNow.com has the second greatest social reach of all the sites, and it continues to grow.

Across all sites, in the first five months of 2018 there was an average of 97,857 page views per month.  Set the A-LIST impact aside and we estimate an average of 29,887 page views -- that's still significant growth, and it's all thanks to YOU!

Between April and May we transitioned all the sites over to the brand new Mobirise platform, offering a fully responsive and mobile-friendly experience.  We're stoked about the new look, feel and function of the sites, and we're hopeful this serious upgrade will encourage you to check out the sites even MORE.

One of the best parts about the new platform is that the process of getting stories posted is a LOT more efficient, which means, there will be more reasons for you to check back frequently.

We Have More Fans On More Social Platforms Than Any Other Local News Outlet

We have the GREATEST social reach of ANY news media whose home is Shiawassee County.  Across all social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and our FREE direct-to-inbox newspaper, The Email Express, we reach out to nearly 25,000 people on a daily basis.

While social media is great, we encourage you to sign up for The Email Express.  Did you know that Facebook only shows any given post to a small percentage of followers of that page?  But with The Email Express, YOU decide whether you want to see what we have to say.  (A couple more quick side notes: we don't constantly blow up your inbox with stuff you don't care about... we average a delivery once every couple weeks... and unsubscribing is easy, in case you decide it's not for you.)

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE EMAIL EXPRESS.

Advertising In 2018: Why It's Time to Make the Switch

It started out as an investment into the local community, but the return on that investment has continued to grow over the years.

Durand Now LLC closed out 2017 with a net revenue increase of 48%.

We still do it because we love our towns, and we think that's a big part of the reason more and more local business owners want to be part of it.

An increasing number of Shiawassee County's leading business people are utilizing the powerful advertising mechanism of linking their brands to the local community by connecting their brands to local news and information online via our sites, and some have been doing it for YEARS, because it works!

And while we've seen more and more local businesses and organizations interested in advertising on our sites, we're still making this powerful advertising tool available at a fraction of what other local media asks; right now, less than $2,000 for an annual investment that translates to nearly 30,000 impressions every month!

Advertising on Facebook doesn't get you that kind of reach, and by the way, here are a few MORE reasons to move your advertising from Facebook to The Durand Now Network of local news websites:

AdStage says Facebook's organic reach is "basically zero."  In the first six months of 2017, the average cost per 1,000 impressions on Facebook increased 171 percent and the average cost per click increased 136 percent!

The IAB and Pivotal Research says once you get those new fans on Facebook, you can only reach 1 to 2% of them without giving Facebook MORE money.

Not only is it a LOT more expensive to get fans via Facebook, now you have to KEEP paying to keep engaging!

How much have you spent advertising on Facebook over the course of a year?  Spend a fraction of that with Durand Now and continue to reach the people that matter most to your business!  

By the way, you can change your messaging at NO COST at any time throughout your campaign.  So, say you want to run some generic branding for a few months but then you want to plug a big sale for a few months and then after that you want to tell people about a new product or service you offer.  

All good, no cost to update art.  Oh, and if you don't have someone to make the art, we'll create it at no cost.

(This is why we keep growing.)

One final new development to share is our recent partnership with the Smile FM Radio Network, with more than 30 stations across the state and beyond, and streaming live worldwide at Smile.FM, playing Michigan's Positive Hits.

Founder and Publisher of The Durand Now Network, Josh Strickland, is the new morning drive personality across the entire network, on the air each weekday from 5am to 10am.  

Smile FM is a non-profit ministry which means the stations don't sell commercial advertisements, but local businesses can underwrite programming and, as a supporter of the non-profit ministry, receive on air mentions.  If this sounds like something that would be of interest to your business or non-profit organization, CONTACT US and we'll get things rolling for you. 

We're so excited to share with you news of good things happening, and again, want to say THANK YOU for getting your local news from The Durand Now Network of local news websites, and to the local businesses that support our hyper-local news coverage, THANK YOU for helping us keep our local communities connected, inspired, excited and informed.

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Our Statement of Purpose

On January 1st 2013, just four short months after DurandNow.com went live, we decided to create a mission statement, and that "Statement of Purpose" has remained unchanged since.

To deliver community news and information, to support and build up the community and to improve the perception of others about our community.

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More Durand Now content follows these sponsor messages:

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TOP STORY

Orphan Train Brings Help to Local Farmers, Merchants

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Posted by Durand Now at 6:46pm 5/30/18

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