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Community-based marketing is now saving local news

How local businesses in Ontario are powering local journalism and growing!

Everyone loves a success story. So when Google declared that Village Media, a news company founded in Sault Ste. Marie by a young entrepreneur, was one of the best local news companies in the world, it created a lot of sudden interest in an organization that had started out with a single news site in Northern Ontario and subsequently grown to more than 20.

Before long, Village Media’s leading-edge publishing platform and innovative products were being used by publishers all over the world, powering sites in more than 60 markets. Today, Village is one of the few media companies still in growth mode. Since the start of the pandemic, a time when most media companies around the world were laying off staff and closing markets, Village Media has doubled in size.

The secret, says Jeff Elgie, Village Media’s CEO, is in the company’s mandate. “Our goal is to strengthen the communities we serve,” Elgie says. “It’s not just an aspiration- it’s a business imperative. If we don’t strengthen the communities we serve, we won’t be sustainable. It’s as simple as that.”

As a result, everything Village does is done with strengthening their communities in mind. And that includes their community-based marketing programs.

The core principle of community-based marketing is that it enables businesses to support their communities while building their brands and promoting their products, services and events. The money generated from these innovative programs in turn funds community journalism and local initiatives. It’s a self-sustaining cycle that boosts the local economic base, powers local reporting, and ultimately makes the community stronger.

At the heart of Village’s community-based marketing programs is the Village Media Network, a platform that connects over 20 local news sites with millions of monthly readers, social followers and email subscribers.

For local businesses, it’s all about getting connected.

By connecting to the Village Media Network, a local business can reach tens of thousands of readers in its market through numerous channels. It can also greatly increase its search ranking, thanks to links back from the network to their site. Village provides free writing and graphics services for network content, and local ambassadors work with the local businesses to make sure they’re getting the best return on their investment, so the process couldn’t be easier.

Connected businesses pay a single low monthly rate. There are no hidden fees or secret rate changes. And businesses can cancel on 30-days notice at any time. If for any reason they do want to disconnect, their profile and any information associated with it stays on the site forever at no cost to the business.

To find out more about how you can connect your business to the Village Media Network, click here.