CityVoter, the provider of a “best of” platform for broadcasters, is now in 25 cities, working with key TV station groups such as Belo, McGraw-Hill and Tribune. The five-year-old, 12-person service, which is backed by Allen & Co., has gone through a few incarnations along the way. Most significant, while it has an ongoing partnership with The San Francisco Chronicle, it has refocused on broadcaster partners. At one point, it had made an effort to launch its own destination site.
CEO and Founder Josh Walker tells us that broadcasters have really proved to be the best audience for soliciting large amounts of people in a short time, especially in an events driven context. The site’s TV partners have been very successful in garnering voters. Seattle, for instance, got 200,000 voters in just eight weeks.
But with 100 categories to populate, the challenge isn’t just to get a voter in the door, notes Walker. It is also to keep them voting. The impressive Seattle quorum, for instance, only resulted in an average of two votes per person, or 400,000 altogether.
To encourage frequency, CityVoter has broadly adopted some Fousquare-like game mechanisms. Voters, for instance, may receive a voter pin (we don’t use the term “badges”) if they complete the “fitness” category on their ballot. The company has also boosted voting via mobile phone. It had 500,000 mobile visitors in the last quarter, and more than 300,000 mobile votes. The majority of these votes coming from smartphones that utilize QR codes that can send users directly to voting pages and more information about local businesses.
CityVoter has also recently introduced self-serve voter deals for businesses. When voters go to vote for a specific business, they may be rewarded with a voucher offering a discount. “It’s a way for businesses to thank people who vote for them,” says Walker.