The question of the value, if any, that still remains in print advertising in general is a big question but it is even more of an issue when it comes to local magazines and newspapers.
Today’s News..Tomorrow’s Chip Paper – Local Newspaper Ads
In my, not so humble, opinion the local newspaper is a dead format for advertsing. This may seem harsh but bare with me. The local paper itself may still provide a solid medium but it will be online and not in print. Newspapers are declining nationally and this is only going to be magnified when it comes to the good old fashion local rag. I am not trying to pour negativity on an industry that was once a great source of jobs but it is a fact. If, however, they are savvy enough to move online and offer something really useful, engaging, easy to use and truley local then they will survive. Just as the internal combustion engine will be used less and less but will not kill off the car so the newspaper will move away from paper but still survive.
So to recap – If you were to ask me if it was worth spending £200 on a local newspaper advert I would say no. I do know of companies that swear they do OK out of a bit of regular local newspaper display spend but I think they are in the minority.
Glossy Local Lifestyle Magazines
The local lifestyle magazine is perhaps something that really still carries some weight. It has to be a good one, so this is not an overarching statement about everything printed on glossy paper. However, a high quality, well written, well balanced edit to ad ratio’d magazine will still be worth considering. The reason why this could still work is because of 2 main reasons. The first is the quality, people still like having nice magazines around, they leave them on coffee tables for guests to flick through, they find there way into all sorts of waiting rooms, spas, hotels etc too! So spending on a really good magazine could leave your advert out there for anything up to a year or even more. The second reason is design and copy, if you get a good position you have a platform to really create a beautiful ad and this, for some businesses, could be really worth while.
Remember, glossy is not for everyone. Some businesses will be convinced to spend money on an advert with the sales rep knowing full well they are the wrong product for the readership so do your homework and dont be sold too!
How To Buy Print Adverts
I know some of my old friends who are still in print will hate me for this but there is a right and wrong way to buy print advertising. The really cost effective way to go is to have some ads pre designed in the specs of each magazine you like the look of. You then make yourself known to an ad rep but do not buy when they call you. You simply ask when the magazine goes to print; they will then tell you a date, Add a week onto this date and wait for them to start chasing you. They will give you all sorts of reasons to book now, deadlines, running out of space, best positions and more. Ignore them all, they will not run out of space in this day and age, and the deadline will always be later than they say. Simply hold your ground and say its too much money. When they sound really desperate you can simply state your desired price and see what happens. Tell them you have copy ready to go and I promise you will end up with a advert at about half the price if not a quarter!
Of course, in some cases you will miss out on space in a specific feature if they only have 1 or 2 pages in it, so if you feel it is really important you are in a specific part of the magazine then dial this approach back a little. However, never acceot the rate card; if you don’t like haggling get someone else to do it for you because you will save a lot of money.
If you woujld like to discuss any of this further drop me a line. 427 are very happy to help you choose the right magazine, the right time of year, the right features and even do the deals for you.