IAC's Peter Horan: Front door content drives local strategy

Can a “21st century content package” fulfill the promise of the local opportunity?Peter Horan, CEO, IAC Media & Advertising, a self-professed “guy who runs Websites for a living to sell stuff and make a profit,” believes a blending of editorial and viral components just may bridge the vast “Grand Canyon of local.

Can a “21st century content package” fulfill the promise of the local opportunity?

Peter Horan, CEO, IAC Media & Advertising, a self-professed “guy who runs Websites for a living to sell stuff and make a profit,” believes a blending of editorial and viral components just may bridge the vast “Grand Canyon of local.”

Keynoting at the Kelsey “Drilling Down on Local” Conference today, Horan made a case for why “Service Journalism” is the cornerstone for local success online because “local isn’t about reading.”

“Usefulness is the litmus test,” Horan said, for both consumers and merchants, underscoring “you can’t bore someone into buying something.”

The Web today is an intent-driven media, according to Horan. “Consumers are on a mission, they want to “Search-Find-Obtain.”

When someone arrives at a Web page, there is a five second window to attract the user, Horan indicated, “users have their finger on the back button.” Consumers want the ability to easily review information, decide and execute the transaction, Horan said:

Every page on your site is the “front door,” because most people arrive at a detail page, rather than the homepage. Consumers need a smooth click stream from question to answer.

While “specifics drive out general,” from the consumer perspective, narrow subject matter relevant to small audiences cannot be funded with editor-generated content, Horan put forth.

Broad subject matter relevant to a large audience can be cost-effectively provided for with editor-generated content, though.

A “21st century content package” integrates professionally produced content with user generated content, Horan believes.

Horan noted IAC’s Citysearch is a ten year brand powered by a 75 person editorial team with 25 million visitors a month.

Recently acquired InsiderPages, on the other hand, is a smaller, consumer reviews focused property.

InsiderPages will continue as a separate brand, as part of an IAC multi-brand strategy, Horan said. IAC’s common infrastructure will drive different, tailored communities.

All communities must provide consumers relevance, resonance and actionability, Horan underscored.

Relevance: Information tailored to the task at hand

Resonance: Advice from trusted authorities

Actionability: Ability to act on information (book a reservation, buy a ticket)

AskCity offers just such relevance, resonance and actionability for consumers making dining decisions, Horan noted:

1) Search for restaurants,

2) Map the restaurant,

3) Make a reservation with OpenTable,

4) Send to phone.

Perhaps AskCity will soon add a step 5): Review the restaurant at InsiderPages!

STAY TUNED FOR MORE COVERAGE FROM DRILLING DOWN ON LOCAL:

Nokia gets local: Mapping, navigation smart2go platform
Deal time: Partnering drives local ad sales ecosystem
Yahoo unlocks local advertising value online
Online advertising meets ‘The User Revolution’
Growing local ad spend: Top seven predictions
The future of Local Search: Report from the field

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