In recent months the content industry has seen a big push toward hyperlocal news. Companies like AOL and Gannett have made serving local markets a big part of the companies' individual content strategies. Examiner.com-a site dedicated to providing users with local information, news, and discussions-has been at the forefront of the local content farm movement. On February 9, Examiner announced a partnership with LivingSocial to take it one step further and provide its readers with local "daily deal" discounts. LivingSocial is an online source for people to find discounts of up to 90% on handpicked services and experiences.
Through Examiner's new partnership with LivingSocial's, these local deals are now readily available to existing Examiner users on everything from restaurants to spas, Valentine's Day deals to offerings for scenic railroad tours. "The market is wide open, and the passion and expertise of our contributors lend itself to having adjacent offerings to a wide variety of niche topics," says Rick Blair, CEO of Examiner.com.
According to Blair, while the partnership provides Examiner users with yet "another reason" to visit the site, it is beneficial to both companies involved. "We have so much local information, and now we'll be aggregating hundreds of deals in each market. You will be able to get your local information, news, and deals all in one place, without having to sift through your inbox," says Blair. "Our 70,000 contributors already have a built-in audience of engaged and loyal readers, and having offers from LivingSocial only expands the offering. Plus, with our 25 million monthly visitors, LivingSocial gains a very strong local visibility."
While other daily deal sites may promote a set handful of deals per day, the LivingSocial coupons are specific to each user based on his or her location. This is, in fact, the reason Blair indicates Examiner chose LivingSocial as its "daily deal" provider.
"LivingSocial's commitment to truly offering specials that echo the needs of the community aligned with our own mission to provide a one stop shop for everything local," he says. "It really came down to a great set of offers, their strong and calculated expansion, and their great understanding of our business."
On top of the relationship between the two companies, Blair also cites Examiner's contributors, called "examiners," as the key to promoting the deals that are truly important for their readers. "Our Examiners who are in town and in tune with their communities, will be key in promoting and surfacing LivingSocial's best and most locally-relevant offers to the top," he says.
Despite having just announced the partnership, there are already plans for future development and growth between the two companies. In March, Examiner plans on launching "Insider Deals," which will "provide the enhanced editorial and the expansion of the Examiner expertise," says Blair.
Blair also notes that the "natural progression" of the concept of specializing discounts for users based on location is to eventually allow them to receive deals specific to their individual interests. For example, if a reader is visiting a local "Pet Examiner," she will receive pet store discount offers; if they are interested in gardening, they will receive discount offers for gardening stores, and so on and so forth.
Blair is also confident the partnership will allow each company to help the other to grow in the future. "So far we have been able to accommodate every market LivingSocial has launched in," he says. "We are currently in 241 markets in the U.S. and Canada with more on the way, so we are confident our growth efforts will continue to mirror and support each other."