According to StateOfTheMedia.org, online advertising revenue has overtaken print advertising revenue on news sites for the first time ever.
Newspaper circulation has been declining slowly over the past two decades, but over the past three years, there has been a sharp drop in circulation numbers with many newspapers reporting double digit percentage drops in their daily circulation.
However, Sunday editions continue to the lone bright spot for most newspapers with circulations numbers dropping much more slowly or even rising slightly even while daily numbers continue to plummet.
What It Means To You
As a small business owner, you’re probably wondering how this will affect your business. If you’ve been highly dependent on the daily newspaper to bring in your customers over the years, it’s a good time to start looking at other sources as many newspapers are considering publishing less often and there may not be a daily edition of your local newspaper for much longer.
If you only advertising in the Sunday edition, you can expect that to stick around for years to come but don’t expect advertising to become any cheaper even if there are fewer eyeballs reading the paper.
Effective Newspaper Advertising – Best Practices
While not as effective as it used to be, newspapers can still be a good way to bring new customers into your business and with a demographic skewing older and more affluent, it’s an attractive market to target for many businesses but if you’re going to do it, you should take the time to do it right.
Here are some tips:
Your newspaper ad needs to grab attention. Almost nobody is going to pick up a copy of the newspaper hoping to find your ad running – maybe your mother or spouse, but that’s about it. For everyone else, you need your ad to grab attention.
If your only goal is to get the name out for your business, you’re going to find yourself spending far more money than necessary.
Make An Offer
When you get done creating your ad, ask yourself what reason that person has for acting right now. A newspaper is meant to be read and thrown away the next day. That means you need to give the reader a reason to either cut out your ad or pick up the phone or visit your website right away.
That means giving them a special offer that’s only available for a limited time. It doesn’t have to be a discount, it just needs to be an offer of some type that will compel the reader to act now instead of turning the page and forgetting about your ad.
Don’t pay the rate you’re quotes – ever! Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Newspapers need to sell the space in their newspapers to someone. If they have unsold spaces, it ends up being sold very cheaply as remnant space so they’d rather sell it to you even if they have to sell it at a discount.
But don’t expect to be given the discount if you don’t ask – you have to negotiate.
For media like newspapers, television, and radio, being in the regular rotation and being seen often by the same people is key. It’s often been said that people need to see your ad 7 times before they buy or pick up the phone to learn more about your products or services.
That means that running a big full page ad here and there is likely to be far less effective than a smaller Sunday ad that runs every week in the same section of the newspaper. You want to advertise in the same section every week because that will put you in front of the same people again and again. Remember that in advertising familiarity = trust.
One tip that professionals will tell you is that even when you’re advertising regularly, you need several different ads to rotate so none get stale.