A first: Local businesses to invest more in digital media marketing than print in 2017
Local businesses will invest more of their marketing dollars in digital media than they will in community-based print and broadcast media for the first time this year, according to Borrell Associates’ recently released 15th annual Benchmarking Local Media’s Digital Revenues report.
So, how are print newspapers faring? To find out, take a look at last year’s stats.
According to the report, the average daily newspaper in the U.S. or Canada made $2,489,934 in digital ad revenue in 2016. The smallest newspapers among them averaged $193,807, while the largest averaged $16,812,209.
Meantime, the average weekly newspaper made $72,630 in digital advertising in 2016. The smallest-circulation papers averaged $11,974, compared with larger-circulation weeklies, which averaged $158,320.
“Before the Internet, communitybased media companies captured 100 percent of all locally spent advertising dollars. Five years ago, they were getting 90 percent of all the ad dollars spent. In 2016, it was down to 61 percent,” the report states. “We don’t foresee an end to this trend. Our latest survey of local advertisers indicates they will continue to spend more money on digital media — most of it with out-of-town companies — and pare those dollars from local print and broadcast media companies.”
By 2020, Borrell predicts that nearly 90 percent of digital advertising and half of all local advertising will likely be spent with national Internet pureplay companies.
While the report says this doesn’t mean local media is out of the game, small and mid-sized newspaper will continue to be among the hardest hit (alongside phone directories and some radio stations). The report predicts we’ll continue to see more small- and mid-sized pubs closing their doors. The winners right now, according to Borrell, are the companies that are transitioning more quickly than others, and making their product offerings more relevant in a digitally focused world.
Borrell’s report offers some advice “for those who wish to be survivors”:
“Determine your market share and ‘share of wallet’ for each advertiser. This extends to all advertising, not just digital. Advertisers continue to adjust the dials, making decisions today about which local companies serve them best. A decline
in market share indicates that advertisers have begun buying something you’re not selling.
“Determine where your company wants to be in terms of digital revenue as a percentage of total ad revenue. A good initial target for directories is 35 percent and for local newspapers 25 percent, but as print advertising declines, these percentages will grow (as long as digital revenues don’t decline as well). For broadcasters, a good initial target might be 20 percent.
“Do what the Internet pureplays can’t do: Spend time with the customer, listen, and serve. This means either partnering with, reselling or managing that your advertisers want to do with Google, youTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Craigslist, Pinterest, and any other digital marketing company you don’t own.
Expand digital service offerings. The larger, more successful media companies are finding that digital services are nectar that attracts the bees. Advertisers are interested in someone who can script and shoot a video infomercial and post it on youTube. They’re interested in SEO, or how Facebook advertising works. They may be more in need of that advice than they are in buying an ad in your media because they see their digital presence as their advertising. More than two-thirds of advertisers see their web or social media presence as ‘advertising,’ and many are seeking advice from sales reps on how to manage those channels.”
you can get the entire free summary, or purchase the full version of Borrell’s 15th annual Benchmarking Local Media’s Digital Revenues report here: www.borrellassociates.com/industry-papers/papers/benchmarking-local-media-sdigital-revenue-detail