The newspaper business is having a torrid time. Not so much due to the bad press, excuse the pun, around phone hacking and police bribes, but largely due to their income stream being choked.
The Internet is allowing anyone to report the news, Twitter is breaking more and more events before CNN or the BBC. By the time it makes it to print the next day the news is no longer, well, news quite frankly.
Like the music industry before it the web has changed the newspaper business model and the industry is finding it hard to adjust.
Are you still advertising in printed media?
The Cover Price Is Not Enough
It’s your advertising that pays to keep the newspaper in business. Whether it’s a local paper, national, magazine or supplement the cover price alone doesn’t cut it.
I’m not suggesting anyone is going out of business just yet, but traditional readership is shifting online. Traditional UK dailies circulation are down year on year across the board, and the Sunday Papers don’t fair much better, save for those benefiting from the demise of the News of the World.
Even specialist papers like the Financial Times circulation is down by 16%.
Try Online Advertising
As the newspapers see offline circulation drop they look online to supplement their income. The issue being that traditional banner advertising used by many online news websites can be quite ineffective. A report by MediaMind shows that banner ads average click through rate decline from 0.15% in 2006 to 0.09% in 2010.
Example: To get 1 sale or lead you would need your banner seen by 11,000 people, if your website has a conversion rate of 10%.
At a cost of £20 cpm (cost per thousand views), this means a banner ad would have a £220 cost per acquisition! Most advertisers would find it tough to get an ROI (return on investment) at this rate.
CPM rates vary greatly, not only by paper by also dependant on the content they are surround. We all know that the better our targeting the more effective our advertising ROI.
The newspapers know this too, which is why they adjust rates accordingly.
Target for Better Results
If targeting your ads is going to cost more and banners are getting less effective what’s the solution?
What better form of targeting than you’re own website. Yes, that’s right, advertise on your own website.
Like many businesses your website will likely contain a lot of information, mainly static (rarely changing). Not very interesting for return visitors.
Create your own fresh content in the form of industry news, product updates, demos and market opinion within your business sector. Advertise around this content for free, and drive existing site visitors into your conversion funnel.
Not only will you create your own advertising platform, the growing wealth of content on your site will make it more relevant to your prospective customers. Search engines will also pick up on the new stream of content and likely start to rank you more highly for terms within your industry, increasing traffic from natural search.
Yes there is a cost in terms of time to the content creation, but as it’s based on your products and your company this shouldn’t be too high a price to pay.
It will certainly be more cost effective in the long run.
If your current advertising is working for you please don’t turn it off. Monitor it alongside other marketing efforts and adjust accordingly.
But I suggest that all businesses give creating their own content a try. As with all new initiatives content marketing should be planned, made part of your overall business strategy and given time to deliver results.
Have you had success with content marketing? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.