CASE STUDY: La Opinión and La Opinión Digital
Ignacio E. Lozano founded La Opinión on September 16, 1926. Today, Lozano's vision, carried on by his children and grandchildren, has not only made La Opinión the leading Spanish language newspaper in the U.S., but also one of the top 100 daily newspapers in the nation.
During its early years, the editorial content of La Opinión consisted primarily of news from Mexico, since most of its readers had recently emigrated from that country. While the Hispanic population was largely composed of Mexicans in La Opinión's early years, in the last quarter century there has been an influx of Central and South Americans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans. To address the needs of Los Angeles' ever-changing Latino population and better serve its core markets, La Opinión has devoted increased attention in reporting on issues relevant to this wide variety of Hispanics. Since the mid-eighties, La Opinión's editorial staff has doubled in size to almost 100 staff members today. The paper now operates bureaus in Sacramento, Washington, DC and Mexico City and has an extensive network of freelancers and stringers throughout Latin America, allowing for direct coverage of news affecting the Latino community in the United States and abroad. Today, La Opinión is a major metropolitan daily dedicated to providing news, commentary and perspective to the important issues of Los Angeles, the nation and the world.
As the Hispanic population grew, so did La Opinión. In the early 1980's, LLa Opinión's circulation stood at approximately 35,000. By the end of the 90's, circulation had climbed to over 100,000. Today, La Opinión is the second most widely read newspaper in Southern California, averaging almost 700,000 readers per day.
With the advent of the Internet, La Opinión began to closely monitor computer and Internet usage through both proprietary and secondary research. In 1996, La Opinión created an Internet site with general company information. During that time, many newspapers had begun to invest heavily in Internet sites offering news and classifieds. There was great external pressure on La Opinión to join other newspapers on the web, yet our data indicated that there was not a sufficient number of Hispanics online to support an Internet site. Hispanic portals were cropping up almost daily. Many portals such as Que Pasa, El Sitio, and StarMedia received generous venture funding and enjoyed successful IPO's.laopinion.com
In the Spring of 1999, La Opinión saw that the number of Hispanics online was growing at an accelerated pace and began laying the groundwork for an Internet site. La Opinión wanted to create a site which was as efficient as possible and therefore invested in a highly automated, database driven site. The strategy was to lay a solid foundation which leveraged the assets of the newspaper. The site, laopinion.com, launched on March 31, 2000 by offering the contents of the newspaper online. Since that time we have continuously added features and enhanced our content areas. Significant milestones include the addition of:
laopinion.com's primary target is Southern California online Hispanics. Its secondary target is US online Hispanics.
To reach Southern California Hispanics, laopinion.com runs ads in its print products, La Opinión and La Opinión Direct. To reach online Hispanics throughout the US, laopinion.com has forged partnerships with holahoy.com, website of the New York daily newspaper, Hoy, and elherald.com, website of the Miami daily newspaper, El Nuevo Herald and Yahoo! en espańol, a property of Yahoo! Inc., featuring Spanish-language Web programming. laopinion.com will continue to develop partnerships with other online companies that are complementary and have long-term sustainability.Objective
To be a premier destination for online US Hispanics and a premier advertising vehicle for companies targeting US Hispanics.Innovative Marketing Programs
laopinion.com is trusted by both users and advertisers. Clients know that they will deliver on their promises. For many clients, interactive advertising is new. This inexperience provides both challenges and opportunities. laopinion.com works to develop comprehensive, innovative programs that meet advertisers objectives.
As an example, HealthNet, a western regional HMO, was launching its site in Spanish. They sought to gain both brand awareness and traffic. laopinion.com developed an online health channel that leveraged our strong service journalism in health related topics and added content unique to the website. HealthNet "owns' the channel through permanent logo placement and text links in every page. HealthNet also wanted to associate with La Opinión's highly regarded brand in the community. To that end, we developed in-paper ads, online ads and POS materials that promoted the health channel and included the line "sponsored by HealthNet." To further strengthen the association and ensure fresh content on HealthNet's site, laopinion.com provides articles that are posted on HealthNet's site and HealthNet has links back to laopinion.com/salud.
Another example of working closely with an advertiser is the development of "Bebe BeechNut del Mes" In conjunction with the client and its advertising agency, LatinWorks, La Opinión and laopinion.com created an innovative promotion. Leveraging the strengths of print and online, Hispanics were encouraged to submit photos of their babies and vote online for their favorite baby. To provide an educational element, advertorials were published in-paper and were posted online. Although at the time of printing the promotion had just begun, the response has been tremendous.Key Results and Findings
Since January 2001, laopinion.com has seen traffic grow by month-over-month averages of 23% for both unique visitors and page views. The amount of page views per user has also grown, as well as time spent per user (stickiness). Consistently, top trafficked areas within the site in order are: homepage, sports, employment, classifieds, main news, city and entertainment. A study conducted by Cultural Access Group found that laopinion.com users are affluent, 38% with HH incomes of $40,000 or more, educated, 60% have attended college, and young, 52% are between 18-34 years old.
While many Spanish-language websites have fallen, laopinion.com continues to grow and flourish and is seen as a strong, long-term player. laopinion.com believes its success is due to its strong knowledge of the market, its commitment to provide value to both advertisers and users, and its strategy of moving forward on a foundation of sound business principals.La Opinion, www.laopinion.com