A first: Lo­cal busi­nesses to in­vest more in dig­i­tal me­dia mar­ket­ing than print in 2017

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - Front Page - ▶ News & Tech Staff Re­port

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.

Out-of-town spend­ing

“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

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