• Gary Potter

Local Newspaper Advertising - a powerful, targeted marketing medium!!

Updated: Jan 3, 2019



Newspaper advertising - integral part of the marketing mix

As a continuation of the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) series this article covers the pros and cons of ‘#Local #Newspaper #Advertising’, in comparison to the continuing rise and influence of ‘#Social #Media’.

As a reminder, IMC ensures that all forms of communication, as identified in the marketing wheel, are carefully linked together to convey consistent, disciplined messages across all promotional methods, so that they work together in harmony, in order to increase their effectiveness.

One of these very effective forms of communication is local press advertising, considered as being in decline, but still remains a powerful marketing tool which is successfully infiltrating specific market sectors.


Local newspapers across the UK, a good source of information and advertising

Declining regional newspaper sales, down from an average of 13.5 per cent in 2014, may make marketers think twice about taking out advertising in their local newspaper. However, regional newspaper advertising still reaches a phenominal amount of consumers for relatively little cost. For example, the paid for #Express & #Star, #Wolverhampton, has a daily circulation of around 45,000 Monday to Wednesday and over 77,000 Thursday with a quarter page advert costing around £500.00 depending on the arrangement or amount of times a company advertises.


As with most local newspapers, browsing through The Express & Star, there are plenty of advertisers and a reasonable cross-section of ‘#Business to #Consumer’ (B2C) companies and organisations advertising. As well as the property section, there are ads from local car dealers and tyre retailers, private schools, home and garden centres, double glazing companies, and advertorial spots taken by wedding fairs, local venues, restaurants and hair studios.

This is living proof that local newspaper advertising is working for these businesses. As with any marketing, success depends on getting your message targeted at the right people, such as: newly weds, who are looking to buy a new home , change their car, undertake house improvements, or visit a local #restaurant or a venue for an event.


Advertising In Local Newspapers

Using The Express & Star as an example, it is a paid for newspaper, with a large proportion of the readers over 50, with an average age of 45. We know that statistically under 35s are less likely to read a printed newspaper, instead, they get their news digitally. Therefore, it’s fair to deduct that The Express & Star’s readership is predominately approaching the 40 plus age group; consisting of families or people moving into the area, and therefore looking for new homes, DIY, schools and entertainment.


Free Papers: As an alternative to paid for papers, the #Wolverhampton #Chronicle has a circulation of around 45,000, again running adverts aimed at the property market, car sales, DIY, and entertainment. However, the main difference between a paid for and free paper is the audience profile. Paid for papers are purchased by those who specifically go out and purchase the paper, in comparison to a free paper which is pushed through letterboxes whether the household wants it or not!


Take the #circulation figures of both newspapers together, they are reaching around 100,000 households per day, which is considerable in terms of audience reach. In contrast, social media advertising would not come close to these figures in terms of targeting an audience within a specific geographical area.


#Leaflets In Sold Or #Letterbox Newspapers

Leaflets are an alternative to taking out advertising space in a local newspaper, their distribution network can be used to get leaflets or flyers out to local residents. There are pros and cons to this. On the one hand, if your target audience is the same as your chosen newspaper, it enables you to reach a specific audience, on the other it begs the question, will the target audience take any notice of the leaflet?


This can be especially true of using free letterbox newspapers to distribute leaflets. Whereas, a customer who has bought a local newspaper presumably intends to read it and therefore will see the flyer, rather than a freebie coming through the door which as a higher chance of going straight into the bin.


#Online #Newspapers

As with national newspapers, regional titles are fighting their declining print sales online through websites and social media. A good local example of this is the Get Surrey site. Part of the #Trinity #Mirror group, #GetSurrey is the online version of the #SurreyAdvertiser and has over 15,000 Facebook “likes” and 35K + Twitter followers.


Both social media channels are active with discussions and user interactions, as well as links to stories on the main website. According to Trinity Mirror Southern the user profile is 53% female, and 51% of users are between the ages of 15-44.


So when we think about local newspapers, the printed version is only part of the picture, advertising online is also an option and one that might be a better choice for those businesses wanting to target a younger local audience.


Tips For Advertising In The Local Press

Here are a few ideas for weighing up whether local newspaper advertising is right for your business, and if so how to make the most of it:


Choose a good Media Buyer: First and foremost, choose a good, honest and knowledgeable #media #buying agent, this is key. If you are a design or advertising agency and you need to use an external media buying agency, protect your business by ensuring the media buying agent does not approach your customers without your knoweldge. If you are an end user dealing direct with the media buyer, ensure they have the right experience to choose the right newspaper to reach your target market.


Research: Ask the media buyer about distribution and user profiles to get a clear idea of whether the publication or online site is the right place for your business. Case studies are especially useful and, where possible, dig deep and get a firsthand opinion. If you see a comparable business advertising in your local paper, why not contact them and ask how successful it was for them?


Target your ad:

Having established that the newspaper targets the right people for your business, make sure your advert is targeted at them. Speak to your local customers, not to a generic national audience. This might involve referencing local landmarks, events or even something topical in the local news.


Request a right hand page: #Right #hand #pages, positioned early in the newspaper are more likely to be read than a left hand advert placed at the back of the paper, so as part of the deal, insist an early right hand page.


Be focused: What do you want to say? Concentrate on one message rather than listing every product or service your business provides. Keep the advert clean and uncluttered to make it easy to read.


#Clear #simple #design:

Use a lot of heavy black areas, with white out text. If there’s a large number of adverts on the page, you will want your advert to stand out amongst the rest. Blocks of black will help your advert achieve this.


Include an #incentive:

Special offers and promotions are a good way to advertise and encourage readers to buy from you within a short timeframe. Exclusive offers within a specific timeframe is a good tactic and will help measure the success of an ad.


Add a #coupon:

Coupons with offers will encourage call to action, and provide an incentive for customers to call you or visit your premises.


#Call #to #action:

Remember to tell readers what you want them to do next; “call now for a free quote…”, “book now and get your first appointment half price…”, “visit our showroom at…” etc. Don’t forget to include premise address and contact details; I’ve seen local ads with no details at all!


Measure your success:

If you want to know whether something is working you’ll need a method to measure results. Ask new customers where they heard about you, use exclusive offers / codes, or use a different phone number on your ads so you can see where inquiries are coming from.


Hope the article is of interest, for further information call: 0121 569 7785, or complete the contact form on this website.

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