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What Matters Most With Newspaper Advertising?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 @ 10:38 AM

Ask any real estate agent what’s the most important thing when selling a piece of property and they will tell you without blinking an eye: “Location, location, location.” Ask a shop owner what’s the key to getting to the most foot traffic and they will quickly respond, “Location, location, location.”

So it shouldn’t be shocking to find out that when it comes to newspaper advertising, location, or in print advertising’s case – position – is the most important thing.

You Can’t Sell It If They Don’t See It

If you’ve ever placed an ad in your local newspaper and got a dismal response, chances are your audience simply didn’t see it. Even local newspapers are fairly large, and national newspapers… forget about it… some are over 400 pages long. It’s entirely too easy to get lost in there.

Now, think about how people read the newspaper. Before they start reading it, they deconstruct it, kind of like how some people eat an Oreo cookie. They divide the newspaper up into its sections and only read what they want. You Can't Sell It If They Don't See ItWomen may head to the inserts to begin making their weekly grocery list; men might grab the sports section; a college kid might grab the entertainment section while a budding entrepreneur might zero in on the business section.

The point here is, nobody ever reads the entire paper. Nobody. Generally people focus on one to three sections. And even when they grab the section they want, they won’t read the entire thing. This is why to maximize exposure you should be advertising on the front side of a section or the back side.

Even readers who aren’t interested in a section will generally see the front or back page of each section, even if it’s just to grab it and hand it to the person sitting across from them at the breakfast table. And, when they happen to be glancing or scanning and they see an eye-catching ad with an incredibly strong headline, they may actually pause and read your offer.

So, your real goal, or at least first goal, is to get people to simply see your ad. Your second goal is to get them to read it, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

As far as best position then, remember these tips:

  • Front (best) or back (second best) side of a section
  • Upper half
  • Upper right hand corner if at all possible

In the world of newspaper advertising, positioning is what matters most when it comes to getting your ad seen. When it comes to getting it read…


Make Your Ad Look Like a StoryMake Your Ad Look Like a News Story 

Here’s the second biggest tip to placing effective newspaper ads – don’t make them look like ads. Forget about using line art, embellished typeface and cute graphics. This is important – what gets the most attention in newspapers is the editorial content. So, once your ad is positioned well, make it look like a native news story.

Write a killer headline that grabs attention and announces the biggest benefit to your reader, and box and format them so they look just like a newspaper article. While everyone else’s ad will look like an ad, yours will stand out by not standing out.


Track Your Efforts

For some reason people have this idea that it’s not as important – or easy – to track offline marketing efforts as it is online efforts. But this is patently untrue. By using a dedicated 800 number or landing page, you can easily measure the success of any newspaper campaign. How will you know if the section you chose it the right one, or if the headline is working? Heck, how will you know if the newspaper itself is reaching your target demographic? You simply won’t unless you track.


Newspaper advertising is just as effective as ever. But, as with any marketing tactic, there are some definite practices that will increase your chances of success.


Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.


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Topics: newspaper advertising

What Thanksgiving Can Teach Us about Newspaper Advertising

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

The holidays are just upon us and soon millions of Americans will find themselves traveling hundreds of miles on Thanksgiving to spend it with people who force them to come. Thanksgiving is a special day, not just because that’s when we watch the Macy’s Day Parade and football with a bunch of people we like on varying levels, but because it’s a holiday that can teach us an awful lot about newspaper advertising.

Just go with it, okay.


Planning is Critical

What happens when you don’t think ahead about who should bring what to Thanksgiving dinner? You wind up with nine pounds of candied yams and no rolls. Just as careful planning is necessary for a successful meal replete with myriad side dishes plus rolls, campaign development is necessary to ensure the right message gets in front of the right people at the right time.

Take some time to determine which channels will be the most effective to reach your target demographic and craft compelling copy. Plan out all of your calls to action as well as determine which metrics you will use to determine your campaigns success.


Print and Digital are a Match Made in Heaven

Print and Digital Advertising Go TogetherAnother important facet of planning a successful Thanksgiving dinner is deciding on who will sit next to whom. You can either eat your meal in relative peace or choke down the overly-dry turkey as your cousin and brother-in-law argue about whose hybrid gets the best mileage. To eat in peace you must understand which personalities play nicely.

To completely leverage the power of newspaper advertising you must forget about the concept of “print OR digital” and understand that print and digital are the perfect pairing. Print ads support your digital campaigns and drive traffic to your landing pages. If more marketers understood this they would, without hesitation, add print to their marketing mix.


Less is More

Generally, Thanksgiving is a day to stuff our faces without abandon until we find ourselves unbuttoning our pants at four o’clock in the afternoon in someone else’s living room. The less food we eat, the less our stomachs overwhelm our pants.

Less is also more when it comes to the layout and design of your newspaper ad. Busy ads that use too many fonts and cram too much information will overwhelm your readers and make them move on. Keep your ads clean and streamlined to draw and hold attention.



Monitor your AdvertisingIf you’ve ever been in charge of cooking the bird you know firsthand how important it is to monitor its progress throughout the day. There’s the basting and the poking with temperature gauge (unless you employ the pop-up thermometer) and the removing of foil at just the right time to get the skin golden and crisp.

You won’t know how your campaign is doing unless you employ metrics to track its progress. Have you seen an increase of visitors to your landing page or through your door? Have more people signed up for your free home estimate? If your ad is not performing as well as you hoped, analyze what night be the problem and adjust accordingly.


Be Convincing

And speaking of that bird, you and your family will be eating turkey sandwiches, turkey tacos, turkey soup and turkey hash for the next week and a half. If you have kids, you know by day three they are pretty much over the turkey and want pizza and Spaghetti-o’s instead. It is your job to convince your children that old, chewy turkey is delicious and a privilege to eat.

It is also your job to convince the reader that they MUST take you up on your offer. How do you do this? By making it obvious and clear how they will benefit from your product or service. Your product will save them time and money and make them look 20 years younger all while cleaning your gutters. You get the picture. Don’t be coy, be something they can’t say no to.

While Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all we have in our lives, it can also be a reminder how powerful newspaper advertising can be for your bottom line.

 Free Local Media Analysis - Request Now!

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Topics: newspaper advertising

8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 10:55 AM

If you’re a small local business, you know the challenge of getting your brand message out there on a tight budget. The key to making your ad spend go farther is to make your newspaper ads work harder. Scratch that, the key to newspaper advertising success is to make your ads work smarter.

Here are eight newspaper advertising ideas for local businesses:

1. Advertise Like David, Not Goliath8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

So many small local businesses have ad envy; they want the budget to be able to place those huge, flashy, full page ads like their bigger competition. Stop obsessing over the size of your ad. David brought Goliath down and he didn’t do it with a huge boulder; he did it with one tiny rock.

You’d be surprised how effective multiple small ads can be as compared to one or two large ones. So, think about running four quarter page ads instead of one full-page ad, or even a few 3 column by 8 inch ads, then check your sales results. Don’t be surprised if sales have gone up.

As a side note, consumers tend to assume large ads are placed by large companies, and small ads by small companies. Since there has been a consumer shift and people are more likely to want to support their local merchants, you might be better off placing smaller ads, at least for starters.

2. Speak in Terms of Benefits

You’re paying for every single letter in your newspaper ad, so don’t throw your money away by printing your product or service features. No one really cares. Instead focus on telling your prospects what benefits you offer.

3. Keep It Simple

A clean and simple format and layout is always best. Continue this same format throughout all of your ads for brand consistency.

4. Use Thin Line or No Line Borders

Many local business owners make the mistake of selecting an ornate border to use around their ads with the (false) belief it will make their ad pop. Typically these borders just eat up expensive real estate and do little else. Go for either a thin line border or a white border which will make your ad stand out while keeping it classy.

5. Stick with One Font

The last thing you want is for your ad to come across as busy and unprofessional so select one font and use it all throughout the ad. Your logo may use another font, but keep the rest of your ad uniform.

6. Don’t Screw Up Your Headline

Spend as much time as you have to create a strong headline. What makes a strong headline? It draws the reader in, gains their full attention, and gets them to read the rest of the ad. How do you do this? By telling people exactly how your offer will improve their life.

8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

7. Don’t Assume Your Graphics Will Do the Heavy Lifting

When it comes to newspaper advertising, words sell and art supports your sales pitch. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your entire ad will be an image with one tiny little tag line. Text is powerful in print.

8. Show Your Product or Service Being Used

And speaking of images… include images of your product being used and enjoyed. No one wants to see a boring old image of your storefront. Can we please let those images rest in peace? If you sell pizza, show people eating your delicious pizza. People want to see images they can place themselves in.

Newspaper advertising can be an incredible way to reach your market and generate sales. Just remember to use these eight ideas to increase the effectiveness of your ads.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.


Topics: newspaper advertising

Newspaper Inserts vs. ROP Ads: Which Offer More Benefits?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 @ 09:17 AM

According to Nielsen’s 2013 National Cross-Media Engagement Study, newspapers took top honor when participants were asked their opinions about the most effective advertising channels, scoring higher than TV, radio, and yes, even the Internet. The study also revealed newspapers generate the most engagement with consumers compared to other media.

Digital advertising gets all the hype, yet a recent engagement survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of Goo Technologies2 revealed almost 75% of consumers totally ignore banner ads, 62% ignore social media ads, and 59% ignore search engine ads. That’s a whole lot of ignoring going on. By contrast, the study found only 35% of consumers ignore newspaper ads.

What do these figures tell us? Advertising in newspapers continues to be a highly effective way of engaging consumers, creating brand awareness and generating leads and sales, which of course is something we’ve always known. But now the question is what types of newspaper ads offer the greatest efficacy?

Newspaper Inserts vs. ROP Ads

Newspaper Inserts vs. ROP Ads: Which Offer More Benefits?First, let’s discuss exactly what Run of Press (ROP) ads and free standing inserts (FSIs) are before we delve into any advantages/disadvantages.

Run of Press ads are those placed in the actual pages of the newspaper, but the advertiser gives the publisher full choice of where they run. Basically, wherever space allows. Advertisers can request their preference of position, and many publishers will try and accommodate, but nothing is guaranteed. The main benefit of ROP ads is they can cost quite a bit less than other print ads. The disadvantage, of course, is not being in control of where your ad is placed. If you’re selling sporting equipment, getting your ad placed near wedding announcements may not give you a return on your investment, even if your investment was comparatively low.

Free standing inserts, or FSIs for short, are the bundle of colorful brochures stuck in the middle of the paper. FSIs often contain coupons, specials and information about sales for all kinds of consumer goods. Big national brands like Walmart and Target have been advertising with FSIs for many, many years because they have experienced firsthand their ability to drive budget-conscious traffic and generate sales.

Does One Channel Deliver More Benefits?

In a word, yes. While both FSIs and ROP can be an important channel in your overall campaign, in a head-to-head matchup, FSIs offer more advantages. Here are a few:

FSIs Give Consumers Exactly What They Want

At some point in your life you’ve probably sat down in front of a thick Sunday paper and immediately reached for the inserts to help you plan your weekly shopping trip. You’re not alone; many newspaper readers look forward to thumbing through the FSIs on Sundays as well as during the week because it gives them a chance to window shop and to do their weekly budgeting. In other words, advertising with FSIs means you get your offer in front of the people who are looking for it.

Highly Targeted

When placing many other types of ads, both print and digital, the only thing generally taken into account is consumer demographics. But effective ad placement must also take into account geographical data as well. When we conduct an insert buy for a client we are able to use geospatial intelligence mapping and input a single ZIP code, entire city, market or region for the most precise targeting. This allows us reach just the right consumers for our clients.

Impressive FlexibilityNewspaper Inserts vs. ROP Ads: Which Offer More Benefits?

The more flexibility advertisers have with their ads, the more able they are to deliver a highly impactful message. FSIs let advertisers choose between single sheets, catalogs or cards and also whether ads should be distributed in large or small formats, on heavy or light stock, and on whatever day of the week will best reach their target audience.

Inserts Are an Action Medium

Meaning they get consumers to take action, and that’s the whole point of any kind of advertising, isn’t it? According to the NAA’s How America Shops and Spends Survey, 44% of respondents said they brought inserts into the stores with them, and 44% also said they used inserts to make unplanned purchases.

The Bridge between Print and Digital

Like peanut butter and chocolate, print often goes better with digital, and with the emergence of QR codes and personalized URLs, there’s never been a better time to connect your print campaigns to your digital assets. FSIs are a great way to create a bridge to your online landing pages where you can further engage your audience.

There’s no question print advertising in general offers small businesses a highly effective way to reach their local market. FSIs, in particular, have the ability to drive traffic and create brand awareness while targeting a highly-focused demographic that is ready to buy.

Free eBook: How to Target Your Audience with Free Standing Inserts


Topics: newspaper advertising, newspaper inserts

6 Facts about Newspaper Advertising You Probably Didn't Know

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

There are many benefits to newspaper advertising which you may be aware of: it tends to be cheaper than other media channels; it is highly effective for repeat exposure; it offers great local market penetration and more flexibility; and consumers seek it out to help them make buying decisions.

But, here are six facts about newspaper advertising you probably didn’t know:

1. The Newspaper Industry is Quickly Evolving

Data from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) indicates that circulation revenue for U.S. newspapers experienced a second consecutive year of growth with figures increasing 3.7% to $10.87 billion in 2013. Their report stated that "this trend reflects an industry evolving its business model in a significant way, taking advantage of developments in technology, consumer behavior, and advertiser interest, to grow audience and diversify its revenue stream."

2009 reading newspaper NYC 4328271821

2. Newspapers Have More Reach Than Stretch Armstrong

Have you heard newspapers are dead? Then how do they still, hands down, offer more reach than any other advertising vehicle? According to Scarborough Research, nearly 105 million people read the newspaper in print or online on any given weekday nationally, and more than 110 million adults read the Sunday newspaper.

3. The Affluent Crowd Reads Newspapers

In an effort to determine the most effective way to engage highly affluent consumers, Shullman Luxury, Affluence and Wealth Pulse asked wealthy participants which media platforms they remembered seeing advertising in the past 30 days and their reaction to it. The results? Despite all of the attention digital media garners, affluent Americans are far more likely to engage with advertising in printed newspapers than any other media channel, followed only by online newspapers. Download our white paper: Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers.

4. Small Town Communities Love Their Local Papers

In 2013, the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) conducted a Community Newspaper Readership Study on behalf of the NAA and found that 67% of small town residents read their local paper at least once a week. 78% of respondents said newspapers were their main source for local news and information, and 71% responded that newspaper inserts helped them with their buying decisions.

5. Millennials Rely on Print for Savings

Yes, you read that right. Millennials, those digitally-savvy consumers who seem permanently connected to their mobile devices, actually look to print newspapers as their main source for coupons, promotions and deals. This information comes from the Sixth Annual RedPlum® Purse String Survey that offers insight into Americans’ shopping behaviors. According to the survey, 51% of Millennials responded that print newspapers were their go-to source for savings.

6. Newspaper Advertising Drives Action

According to an NAA study, 81% of adults took some form of action, such as clipping a coupon or visiting a store, after seeing a newspaper ad in the past 30 days, and more than half (53%) made an actual purchase because of it.

The study also revealed that newspapers ranked the highest (at 62%) as the most noted source people used to plan their shopping. Inserts scored very high, with 81% of respondents saying they took action in the past month after seeing an ad; and seven out of 10 respondents said they regularly seek out inserts.

Even those respondents who considered themselves “non-readers” said they did in fact use newspapers to clip coupons, compare prices, and check for sales in their local stores.

We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: newspaper advertising is still an extremely effective option for business owners who want to penetrate their local market, connect with their target demographic, and drive them to take some form of action.

Free eBook: The Benefits of Print Advertising


Topics: newspaper advertising

10 Reasons to Advertise on Newspaper Websites

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 @ 11:27 AM

According to a 2012 Newspaper Multiplatform Usage Study by the Newspaper Association of America, 56 percent of respondents said ads on newspaper websites made them aware of a product or store sale, 32 percent said they visited a store or another website in response to seeing an ad, 30 percent made an actual purchase, and 14 percent referred the ad to a friend or family member. These numbers indicate how beneficial it is to advertise on newspaper websites.

Here are 10 specific reasons why you should consider shifting some of your advertising budget to newspaper websites:

Newspaper Website Audiences are Growing10 Reasons to Advertise on Newspaper Websites

According to a 2010 study by Nielsen Online, nationally, online newspapers keep growing their audiences. In fact, in an average month during the first quarter of 2010, more than 74 million people visited a newspaper website, which is more than 37% of the active Internet population as a whole.

A Higher Quality Audience

Studies have shown branded content brings a higher quality audience. In fact a study done by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) showed that their audiences were far more likely to make purchases in a variety of categories, including home, financial, travel, automotive, business and entertainment.

Reach Any Demographic

Newspaper websites allow advertisers to get personal and offer relevant messaging because many are local. Beyond this benefit, newspapers also publish various niche sites geared for women, teens, movie buffs, or virtually any demographic a brand could hope to reach. And, because of online registration programs and audience segmentation software, newspapers know more than ever about their online audience.

Repetition of Messaging

Many users of newspaper websites also read the print version during any given week. This repetition increases brand awareness.

guy-on-laptop-webOnline Newspaper Users Spend More Time Online

Online newspaper website users spend more than twice as many hours surfing the web than the average user. Online newspaper users are also more likely – nearly three times as likely as general Internet users - to be online during the workday, specifically between the hours of eight and 11 a.m.  (Source: “Power Users,” 2006, MORI Research)

An Audience with More Spending Power

According to a report by NAA, 89% of newspaper website users make purchases online while only 56% of general users said they do. The report also noted 40% of online newspaper users have annual incomes higher than $75,000, and 69% own their homes. Also of interest is 18% of online newspaper users had spent more than $2,000 online in the last six months.


Online users spend a good chunk of time consuming content that pertains to sports, finance and entertainment. These categories are a mainstay on local and national newspaper websites, which means that week after week, these sites draw a large crowd.

Large Gains Generation

Online newspaper websites have the ability to generate very large gains in online ad awareness among high-level management job holders. Whether C-level managers or VP/director-level managers, and across all industries, there is generally an increase in brand awareness following exposure to an ad campaign in online newspapers. (Source: Dynamic Logic’s MarketNorms® database, 2006)

girls-with-mobile-phonesConnect with a Mobile Crowd

Newspaper website readers are more likely to own mobile devices and they are also more likely to be interested in receiving product offers through those devices. (Source: “Power Users,” 2006, MORI Research)

A Powerful Mix

When integrated into a campaign that includes a traditional media mix, ads placed on newspaper websites offer brands a chance to elaborate on their message. Advertising in both print and digital newspapers gives advertisers a high penetration rate with a desirable audience.

Newspapers have always been a powerful resource for advertisers. By having a presence on a newspaper’s website, companies are able to create brand awareness and capture the attention of an ever-growing audience that has real spending power.

Download the CMO's Guide to Media Buying



Topics: newspaper advertising

National vs. Local Newspaper Advertising: Which Is Best?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

Newspaper advertising is the oldest form of advertising and is still used widely today by many businesses for a very specific reason: newspapers are a chosen media purchased by the reader. In other words, advertising in newspapers puts you in front of a very special group of consumers: those who value and are immensely receptive to the information (and ads) they find inside. When your message appears in newspapers, readers believe the editorial content adds credibility and legitimacy to your brand and offer.

national-local-newspaper-advertisingMany businesses already recognize the power of newspaper advertising, but many more are often confused as to whether they should spend their budget on local or national papers. First, let’s take a look at the benefits both national and local newspapers offer advertisers.

An Audience that Wants to Hear from You

Newspaper readers don’t find print ads intrusive (like they do online, radio and television ads) because they are in control of when (and if) they read them. Beyond this, readers actively seek advertising that alerts them to deals and coupons.

A Targeted Audience

Besides getting your ads placed in the sections of the paper with similar content, newspapers (particularly local ones) can target audiences in other ways by using events such as holidays, or using specific geographic locations such as neighborhoods and streets, and even focusing on specific individuals like parents or ethnic groups.

A Quality Audience

According to the State of the News Media 2013, newspaper readership correlates with higher income levels of $100,000 or more as well as higher education levels.

Leveraged Trust

Newspaper publishers work diligently to create solid relationships with readers and build a loyal customer base. In a sense, newspapers become like a print version of friends and family. Just as friends and family “won’t steer ya wrong,” readers feel the same about their beloved print publications. Consumers believe publishers only do business with solid companies that can be trusted. Advertising within a trusted newspaper that has a loyal customer base means a brand can build a positive reputation in a short amount of time.


One of the greatest benefits of print is readers can easily keep content close by for future reference. Try saving a radio or television ad or cutting it out and putting it on your refrigerator. Print ads also have a way of “going viral” in that a newspaper can wind up in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and the ads inside will be viewed by many, many people over the course of the week.

Great Flexibility

With newspaper ads you can choose the type of ad and position (classified or feature-section) that will most effectively put your message in front of your target audience. You have great flexibility on the size of your ad, the format, and color so you can achieve the desired impact.

Why Local Newspapers Edge National Papers Outhomepage-image-web

Local newspapers provide a special kind of connection with consumers. While national papers provide a window to a broader world, local papers connect residents to their community and to each other.

According to the 2013 Community Newspaper Readership Study conducted by The Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) on behalf of National Newspaper Association (NNA), about two-thirds or 67% of residents in small U.S. communities read their local paper from one to seven days per week. The study concluded that local newspapers continue to be the primary source of information for consumers living in small towns and cities across the country.

Looking further into the numbers, 94% of responders agreed their local paper was informative; 80% said they and their families looked forward to reading the newspaper; 78% said they relied on their local papers for local news and information; and 72% said the newspapers entertained them. The findings of this study suggest the perceived value of local newspapers and the important role they play in community members’ lives is a true asset to advertisers.

Sure, national ads offer more exposure, more eyeballs on your ad (possibly) but that exposure and those eyeballs may not mean a hill of beans if you don’t get a return on your initial investment. The truth is most small businesses’ ad spend would be much better served in local papers.

Another benefit of local newspaper advertising is the rapid turnaround on production changes. If you need to make last-minute changes to your ad (and it’s bound to happen at some point in your campaign), the newspaper’s advertising department can usually get the job done quickly and not throw you any shade in the process.

As you know, we’re big fans of advertising in the newspaper and know firsthand the benefits print ads bring to our clients. Whether you choose to go national or local, we believe newspaper advertising should be the cornerstone of any campaign.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.


Topics: newspaper advertising, local newspaper advertising

Newspaper Advertising vs. Radio Advertising – And the Winner is....

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:33 AM

In any economy, especially one that continues to limp along, advertisers are looking for solid results in exchange for their ad spend. Many local business owners have recognized that digital media isn’t necessarily the holy grail of advertising, and that tried-and-true marketing channels such as radio and print are still very viable and effective at getting their message in front of an audience.

But, between newspaper and radio, which channel offers the most advantages? We’re glad you asked.

Radio Advertising

When meeting with a salesperson for your local radio station you will no doubt find their pitch to be creative and enthusiastic. They may even play a spec ad on tape and show you graphs of listener demographics and maps that show how far their signal reaches. It is all very convincing and will most likely raise your expectations enough to hand over your allotted budget.

But let’s look a little closer at the limitations of radio advertising.

What is the actual market share offered?

If you sit in your car and tune in all the FM and AM stations in your local area, you will find that, even in small markets, there will be 20 or more radio stations with a listening audience. This means the market share is split up into small numbers for market penetration even for the biggest radio station. There may be 50,000 households in your market, but the station you are working with may only reach 1,000 of them.

Radio-NewspaperWhy is the radio on?

Why do people listen to the radio? They either listen to be entertained or simply to have background noise while driving or doing household chores. For those who listen to be entertained, advertising is considered an interruption. For those who have the radio on simply for background noise, the advertisement goes completely unnoticed.

Satellite radio has taken off in the last five years because people are willing to pay extra to avoid the dreaded commercials. Many new cars, in fact, have satellite radio built right in.

The radio industry itself recognizes listeners don’t want to have their music interrupted by advertising, which is why many stations promote themselves as the station that “plays more music, less commercials.”

More competition drives up ad prices

The peak time for radio listening is obviously during the morning and evening commute. So, though there may be 24 hours in a day, there are really only about four to six hours where your ads might possibly be heard. Consider the fact there may be 20 – 30 local businesses all vying for the same airtime and you quickly realize why radio advertising can be so expensive.

Who makes up your audience?

Radio stations often throw numbers around and claim 75% of households are listening during the day, but who is making up this listening audience? Are you sure it’s the demographic you’re trying to reach? Many stations’ core audience is made up of 13 – 21 year olds – are these the customers you’re trying to sell to?

How much lasting power do radio ads have?A radio ad plays for 30 seconds and then it is gone

A radio ad plays for 30 seconds and then it is gone, never to be thought of again. And forget including a phone number or email address in the ad; unless you expect your audience to pull over on the side of the road and jot down your contact information, chances are they’ll never remember (that’s if they actually listened to the commercial and didn’t hit the TUNE or SCAN button first).

Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers have had their fair share of ups and downs since the emergence of digital media, but despite this, they have steadily maintained their local readership base and strength for local marketing.

Let’s take a look at the many advantages of newspaper advertising:

  1. Advertising in a newspaper is not seen as an interruption. In fact, numerous surveys have shown one of the reasons people buy newspapers is to view the ads for their local stores and businesses. Consumers do want and need to be exposed to advertising; they simply want ads on their own terms.

  2. A newspaper ad can be cut out and saved for later. This means your coupon or contact information can and usually will land on someone’s refrigerator or in their wallet or purse.

  3. Unlike radio, whose market share is often far less than first calculated, local newspapers consistently deliver to 50% or more of households. And they do it 365 days out of the year.

  4. Unlike radio, which is often playing in the background and not really heard, newspapers can deliver true consumer engagement. When a person reads an advertisement it’s because they choose to do so. They give their full attention to your message and will remember you when they need your product or service.

  5. You’ve probably heard newspaper subscriptions and readership have dropped in the last five years or so, and that’s somewhat true, but not to the extent that many would like you to believe. The other side of that coin is, the readership of the online versions of newspapers is growing rapidly, much faster than the 7% or so losses in the physical subscriptions.

You can see why many advertisers are steering away from radio advertising and back into traditional print media. Ideally, newspapers shouldn’t be your only medium of advertising, as a mix of channels always works best, but print media is a solid foundation on which you can build an effective marketing plan that will give you the greatest return on your investment.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.


Topics: newspaper advertising

How to Place Newspaper Ads like a Pro

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Jun 04, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

Despite what you may have heard in recent years, advertising in the newspaper is still a highly effective way to get your message in front of your target demographic. In fact, in a 2013 online survey conducted by Nielsen, on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), it was revealed that American adults rate newspapers – both the print and online versions – as the most effective advertising source How to Place Newspaper Ads like a Probeating radio, television, and yes, even the holy grail: the Internet. The survey specifically pointed out that local newspaper advertising topped the ratings for likelihood to notice ads and make a purchasing decision.

So great, newspaper ads still work. But if you’re like a lot of CMOs and small business owners, you don’t know the ins and outs of the newspaper advertising world. You also don’t have an unlimited advertising budget. When you buy ads, you’ve got to make sure you see a return on that investment.

With those two points in mind, here are some things you should consider so you can place newspaper ads like a pro:

How Exactly Will You Buy Your Ad?

To get the most out of your budget you’ll need to decide how you’ll buy your ads. There are essentially two ways to buy newspaper ad space: you can either commit to spending a specified dollar amount over a period of time (typically one year), or pay according to how frequently your ad appears in the paper.

NOTE: The first option allows you to set a yearly advertising budget and use it as you see fit. The more you commit to, the lower your ad space will cost. The savings may turn out to be only $0.25 per ad, but that can really add up over a year’s time.

How Will Your Ad Actually Look?

When you decide to move forward and buy ad space you’ll be shown your “proof,” which is typically just your ad on a piece of white paper. Sure, it looks great on that piece of paper, but how will it actually look in the newspaper surrounded by other ads and news stories?

Here’s what you do – cut the proofed ad out of that white piece of paper and paste it over an existing ad of the same size in a recent issue of the paper. How does it look? Is it easy to read? Does it stand out from the crowd? Is it too big? Too small? Often your ad will look great as a proof, but you’ll find it looks horrible when it actually gets printed. This step will save you the pain of learning that too late.

To Color or Not to Color?

splash-of-redIs it worth it to invest in color? Industry estimates vary, but color can improve response rate quite a bit. And it doesn’t have to be a full color ad; just a splash of blue or red can draw the reader’s eye to it. So, if your budget allows, play with color and see for yourself if you don’t get a higher response.

Consider Using a Media Buying Agency

Placing advertising has become such a complex endeavor that hiring a professional media buyer is often the smartest and most cost-effective choice. It takes quite a bit of thought and time to make the right media placement decisions, and an expert will know how to spend your valuable advertising dollars judiciously.

Another reason to consider using a media buyer is because even the most well-researched and effectively created campaigns, placed correctly, and at the lowest possible cost may not always generate the desired response. When this happens you need to have a system in place that can precisely gauge what went wrong on the most granular level. A good media buyer knows how to hold the media accountable for results and isn’t shy about doing so on your behalf.

Buying ad space in the newspaper can be a challenge as well as a gamble if not done properly. Hopefully these tips give you some insight so you can purchase newspaper ads like a pro.

Download Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers


Topics: newspaper advertising, newspaper ads

How to Reach Your Target Audience through Newspaper Advertising

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, May 06, 2014 @ 11:03 AM

Determining the best strategy to reach the company’s target audience is part of every CMO’s job. The cost of missing your target can be astronomical, not to mention embarrassing. That’s why you need to focus your time and energy on getting to know those consumers so you can select the advertising vehicles with the highest likelihood of reaching them.

Let’s focus on reaching your target audience through newspaper advertising. It still works or we would have zero clients on our roster and be forced to close up shop this afternoon. In an effort to more effectively reach your target audience through newspaper advertising, ask yourself the following questions.

Is your target audience reading the newspaper in print or online?

First things first, you need to figure out how your target audience consumes the news. Reading habits vary from demographic to demographic. According to this infographic, 10% of the New York Times’ print How to Reach Your Target Audience through Newspaper Advertisingsubscribers are 18-24 years old, whereas 71% of that same demographic reads online newspaper content in an average month. On the other hand, 65% of Americans 35 or older read a print newspaper during the past week.

While newspapers aren’t as popular as they once were, it doesn’t mean they should be overlooked or ignored. Chances are your target audience is reading newspaper content in some form, based on this data. When it comes to newspaper advertising, you have a few options. You can advertise in print, on newspaper websites or a combination of the two. Newspapers and newspaper websites continually rank at the top of the list when it comes to credibility. That being said, an ad aligned with credible editorial is going to be perceived in a similar fashion.

If reading in print, is your target audience more likely to respond to ROP or inserts?

Some people subscribe to the newspaper for its editorial content while others subscribe for the insert section. Believe me, there are people who subscribe just for the latter. ‘Who?,’ you might ask. Extreme couponers, that’s who. Knowing this information will help determine if you should advertise your product or service within the physical pages of the newspaper or as a separate insert. There are pros and cons of each, so you’ll want to look into that before making your selection.

Is your newspaper ad targeted to the right consumer group?

The best newspaper campaign (print or digital) isn’t going to drive results if it isn’t targeted to the right people. Your target audience may be elusive, but that doesn’t mean you should give up or pick another demographic. Make sure your ad is relevant and appealing to them. Does the copy speak to their pain How to Reach Your Target Audience through Newspaper Advertisingpoints and concerns? Is it attention-grabbing? Obviously newspapers are a static medium, but that doesn’t mean your ad has to be dull and boring. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this kitchen ad that ran in a Colombian newspaper. It draws the reader in while showcasing the product in a unique way. And it’s targeted toward those looking to attract attention with a kitchen remodel. The company has proven itself as a leading remodeling and construction company in Colombia, but it might consider remodeling newspaper advertisements as a new business opportunity.

Remember this: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Your newspaper advertising campaign can help attract consumers, but it’s the benefits and value you have to offer that will ultimately drive them to make a purchase.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.


  1. The Beginner's Guide to Newspaper Advertising
  2. Why Are Companies Still Advertising in the Newspaper?
  3. Top Newspaper Advertising Posts of 2013
  4. Four Reasons Newspaper Advertising Still Matters to Your Business
  5. The ABCs of Local Newspaper Advertising

Photo of old and new media by Gregory Gruber used under a Creative Commons license.

Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: newspaper advertising