Going local is good for advertising

by | Aug 26, 2016 | Marketing, Online News, Traditional Media

You probably know of a lot of people “going local” when shopping for produce and household goods, but did you know that many are also now “going local” for information about products and services?

A recent survey by AMG Parade revealed that consumers across all generations rely on local sources to provide them with community news and information. The study found that over 70% of those surveyed regularly visit community newspaper websites or these newspaper’s media-branded social media sites for information.

But what’s more, these visitors appreciate these sources for how they approach the advertising of products and services: while many found radio commercials and ads on non-media social pages annoying, 47% found ads in printed newspaper sources to actually be useful.

In a list of service areas ranging from apparel to sporting events, individuals identified newspapers as the “single most relied on” advertising platform. Many said that they “often” make purchases because of newspaper inserts (53%) or ads in printed newspapers (39%).

Newspapers Canada made a similar discovery, finding that 9 out of 10 new car buyers accessed newspaper content prior to buying.

As a marketer or provider of these products and services, it may be time to consider going local. While newspaper advertising may seem outdated, putting ads in your local paper could have big payoffs.

And if you’re used to making your pitches digitally, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that many of the best practices are the same for newspaper advertising.

Grab attention with your headline

As with any and all content, you want to draw people in. A headline that catches the attention of your target audience and communicates your message is the best way to do this. The Newspaper Association of America reports that the average reader looks at a newspaper page for 5 to 10 seconds before turning the page and reading on. With only 5-10 seconds to draw in your audience, the headline has a vital job to do.

Illustration is key

Images are not just for the digital world; it is important to make your advertisement stand out with graphics. If you lack design skills, Business Insider recommends you never leave it to the newspapers designers. Instead, it advises hiring your own designer and, above all, being clear about what you want from the design. This design can then be modified slightly for future advertisements, allowing readers to recognize your brand and saving you money.

Offer an incentive

Those reading newspapers or viewing them online aren’t necessary in the vicinity of your product or service. Give your viewer some extra incentive to go out and make a purchase. Incentives can be promotions, contests, or even QR codes. Make sure that you also provide viewers with basic information like where to find your product or service.

Placement matters

Not everyone reads through all sections of a paper, so make sure your ad is placed in the right section. You want the placement of your ad to be relevant to your product or service. Those who are reading from the fashion section will be more interested in an apparel shop than a car dealership.

Research and monitor

Prior to placing your advertisement, you want to research your market. Know who your target audience is and any competitors who may appear in your ad space. Having this information can help you make decisions about where you want to place your ad. But once the ad is placed, your research isn’t finished. Continue to monitor how well your advertisement is doing and if it is receiving the feedback you want.
So go local! Buy advertising space in a local newspaper and transfer some digital best practices to your offline ads. You might just be surprised.

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Chantelle Brule
After receiving her Master's in Communications from Carleton University, Chantelle brought her research experience to Agility's Media Insights team as a data analyst. She's particularly good at what she does.