What to Expect When Advertising Your Small Business in Newspapers
Is newspaper advertising still worth it? Back in the day, newspaper ads were dominant. Enter the digital age, and one wonders if they do in fact have enough of an ROI to make them advantageous. They can be costly depending on the market and type of ad. And the response rate isn’t necessarily what you get with things such as social media marketing or email marketing. So the question is…Should you invest in newspaper ads for your small business?
We’ve put together a brief overview of the ins and outs of newspaper advertising along with some frequently asked questions and answers.
Choosing a Newspaper
Think about who your audience is, where your company’s focus lies and whether or not your company is more localized. This should determine which type of paper you advertise in. Keep in mind, the larger regional and national newspapers are probably going to be quite a bit more expensive than your local papers are. So if you are a business that caters to those in a certain town or smaller region, sticking to a community paper may be your best bet. If though, your productservice appeals to a broader population it may be worth it to investigate the cost of running an ad in a paper with a much larger circulation.
What’s the Competition Doing?
If you’re considering newspaper advertisements, then perhaps your competitors are as well. If too many similar ads run in the same paper, there is a chance it will diminish how effective the ads are. Meaning, you’ve spent all this money to take out a newspaper ad and yet the fact that it’s crowded with your competitors’ ads as well, will dampen the impact of yours overall.
Creating Your Newspaper Ad
The actual ad itself is obviously going to be important in terms of how it attracts attention and thus gets you, additional customers. You, therefore, want to craft an ad that’s informative, eye-catching and drives people to your business.
Obviously, this is the first thing a reader will notice. Make it catchy. Short and to the point always works best with headlines.
This will also determine a budget to an extent. Too lengthy copy can turn readers off. But yet, you do want to make sure you hit all salient points. You want to strike that perfect balance between too long and too short.
When writing your ad, you most definitely want to address what it will do for the consumer—how will it make their lives better, address pain points? Put the focus on them—not your company. By utilizing the word “you,” you make your ad more relevant to their lives.
Here is where you want to put all pertinent contact info. You might also include information regarding how to order your productservice in your closing.
Q: What if the newspaper I approach offers to design my ad for me?
A: Yes, newspapers can sometimes have a very good art department; however, you will most likely best be served by creating your own ad. After all, no one understands your company as you do. Even if this means you have to hire a freelance graphics person or designer, it’s probably worth it, as it’ll be easier to convey to someone working directly for you how you ultimately want your ad to look and feel.
Q: Should I keep running the same ad or switch it up?
A: Especially if you’re relatively new to newspaper advertising, it is a good idea to have the same ad run for a while. This establishes an identity and a “look” for your small business. Plus, it’s going to be more cost-effective to come up with one solid design and keep running that one rather than creating a brand new ad every week or month.
Q: Should I include artwork to get noticed?
A: This may depend upon the paper with which you’re working and your budget. Photos and artwork are going to cost more to run. That said, yes, they generally do garner more attention than an ad with just copy involved. You have to weigh the pros and cons and see what works with your budget.
Q: When exactly should I run an ad?
A: This may depend more on your industry than anything else. Certain fields fare better on certain days. Whereas with some other companies, it really makes little difference when you run an ad. That said, weekend ads tend to get more looks. Some newspapers though will charge more for one day over another.
Q: Should I run an ad in my local newspaper or opt for the larger city newspaper?
A: Again, as mentioned earlier, this will depend on what your audience looks like. If you market primarily to people within a small town, the local paper will probably be a better option for you. If your scope, however, is wider than just a town or community, you’re likely going to want to think about a larger circulation metro paper.
Q: Should I try to run an ad in a free newspaper first?
A: These can be less expensive than even running an ad in a local paper. Not to mention, their circulation tends to be wider as many get mailed to an entire community. Depending on what your business offers by way of products and services, a free newspaper may be a great way to advertise!
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