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Breaking Promos puts small business in spotlight

As part of our increased focus on affordable and innovative advertising vehicles, The Bakersfield Californian has launched Breaking Promos, a Twitterlike tool that connects our audiences directly to small-business advertisers. 

Breaking Promos launched Monday on, and we're working to roll the feature out to rest rest of our sites on The Network. 

The think Breaking Promos ticker scrolls deals across the bottom of local websites. The concept is simple: Local businesses can log into our self-serve system using their Twitter handle, buy digital tokens that can be redeemed as 140-character promotional posts, or so-called Breaking Promos. Those Breaking Promos go live in the Twitterstream but more importantly appear in a ticker that scrolls at the bottom of our websites.

Posts also appear on a landing page on Businesses can buy tokens and post their own deals in the box to the left.Unlike Twitter and Facebook, where posts are only seen by those people with some tie to the originator, we publish Breaking Promos in a prominent spot with much greater exposure.  And like Twitter, posters can add images or videos to add depth to their message.

We charge $10 for 10 posts, but that price falls as low as 50 cents with higher-volume packages. It's pricing that fits any budget. And price is important because we have limited inventory. Dated posts will fall out of rotation as newer posts are added. Want your post back up top? You'll have to pay and repost to keep your message front and center.

To start, we're offering two categories: Eat & Drink and Shopping Advertisers can easily add photos or videos to their posts. but will expand those as volume grows. And while we're still in beta you'll see a number of posts from BuyBakersfield, a Californian account set up to help promote our customers and services. As time goes on, those BB entries will be overrun by posts from local businesses.

We're the first customer for Breaking Promos, which was created by Publish2, a partner I wrote glowingly about several years ago. As Publish2 CEO Scott Karp explained in a explanatory blog post, Breaking Promos makes it incredibly easy for businesses to advertise at a low cost and reach large audiences.

"All local businesses have to do — right here in this widget, embedded on Bakersfield Californian’s site — is type a promotion into the box, add a photo that they took in their store with a phone, and BOOM, they have advertised with the simplest form of advertising anywhere on the web."

In other words, don't overthink the opportunity. 

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