Elkhart Truth's Flavor 574 cooks up success
A resource about the food and drink culture in northern Indiana is expanding.
By Catherine Payne, NAA content producer
Want the scoop on what's cooking in northern Indiana? Get a taste of Flavor 574.
Flavor 574 is a content product that celebrates the food and drink culture in the 574 area code, which includes Elkhart and St. Joseph counties in northern Indiana. The resource is a part of The Elkhart Truth, a daily newspaper serving Elkhart County.
Flavor 574 uses a digital-first website as the hub and pushes content via digital magazines, e-newsletters and social media. The website launched on March 31. The first digital magazine for tablets (Android, Apple and Kindle) was released June 1.
"Everyone has to eat," Brandon Erlacher, publisher of The Elkhart Truth, said via e-mail. "Flavor is designed to be a resource for that need in all of us and is structured with three sections: Eat, Drink and Make."
| The homepage highlights the Eat, Drink and Make sections.
Flavor 574 features a restaurant guide, and an event calendar, which has categories ranging from benefits to festivals. It showcases a collection of recipes, such as how to make cheese and how to make tomato bisque soup. It has columnists and bloggers who are foodies, not paid journalists.
Flavor 574 kicked off a contest for a six-word restaurant review. The winners, to be picked Wednesday, will get tickets to a local summer barbecue.
The brand appeals to readers as well as advertisers. "Our booked revenue for 2014 has already covered the cost of website creation and staff directly attached to the product," Erlacher said. "It is continuing to grow."
Flavor 574 has display advertising (magazine, newsletters and website) and content marketing, Erlacher added.
Flavor 574 and The Elkhart Truth, a member of Truth Publishing Company, work together. "The Elkhart Truth links to all stories in Flavor to help with SEO and to help build the brand," Erlacher said. "Content from Flavor can be reverse-published into the newspaper. Social shares are provided both ways by Flavor and the Elkhart Truth."
Flavor 574 leverages the power of The Elkhart Truth brand and its journalists. "It allows us to report and advertise outside of the core marketing area of the newspaper (area code vs. county)," Erlacher said. "It provides a niche audience to advertisers and a content marketing product that also provides SEO lift through the connections to the Flavor and Elkhart Truth websites."
| The digital magazine has lush visuals.
Audience growth has been steady, Erlacher said. "First-edition digital publication downloads are higher than expected with no real promotion yet. Engagement is growing on social media beyond likes. The audience is asking questions and providing tips."
In addition to being on Facebook and Twitter, Flavor 574 offers a kaleidoscopic view of foods and beverages on Pinterest. Its board is a feast for the eyes with photos of Crock-Pot creations, crumble bars and more.
Expanding its reach, Flavor 574 does segments on Truth Radio WTRC. Flavor aims to have segments with local chefs and cooks.
If what you've read so far has whet your appetite, then you'll want to stay tuned for other initiatives.
- Flavor 574 collected additional domains with the Flavor xxx designation for future growth.
- It is a sponsor of the Celebrate Elkhart block party, scheduled for Aug. 9 in downtown Elkhart.
- It will launch a video series and a hosted cooking show.
- It is working on new recipe engine functionality on the website. The component will be more than a database for searching, saving, commenting and favoriting. It also will allow for submissions from local users and easy viewing on a tablet so that you can cook with your device on the counter. Recipes may include how-to infographics.
By mixing passion with innovation and adding a dash of local flair, Flavor 574 created its own recipe for success.
First Published: June 16, 2014
About the Author
Catherine Payne is a content producer at NAA. She previously worked at the Pacific Daily News on Guam, Detroit Free Press and USA Today.
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