Newspaper Advertising is the most traditional method of advertising followed since years. It is economical and easier to reach a large audience at once through placing advertisements in the newspapers. Hence, print media advertising is here to stay.
Prior to understanding how a newspaper advertisement is booked, it is essential to know why the medium is so popular for advertising and what are the factors that need to be considered towards planning a newspaper advertisement.
Why Newspaper Advertising? :
Newspaper advertising is the most common and popular method for advertising on account of the following reasons :
- Affordability : Newspapers, being quite cheap in terms of cost, is affordable for the target audience. The direct link between the manufacturers and ultimate consumers eliminate middlemen from in between, thereby saving on additional costs. Further, since the cost of printing newspapers all over the world is largely met by amounts paid by various advertisers, the per unit cost of newspapers are pretty low.
- Trustworthiness : Being the oldest known form of advertising, newspaper advertising is still considered to be the most trustworthy method of advertising as publishers are accountable for what they print and there are lesser chances of fraudulent ads being published. Newspapers are the most trusted paid medium for advertising followed by television, radio and online advertising respectively
- Flexibility : Newspaper advertisements can be edited and customised as per the advertiser’s needs or preferences at any time prior to getting printed. Also advertisers enjoy full control on the size, design and positioning of their ads when advertising through newspapers.
- Lesser distractions : Unlike television and radio advertisements, newspaper ads are given more attention as readers generally do not indulge in multitasking while reading, provided the advertisement is appealing enough and the readers go through the advertisement with interest without having skipped it.
- Wide reach and large audience : Newspapers are capable of approaching a large audience at a time. There are millions of newspapers published and distributed on a daily basis. Advertising in newspapers give the advertisers the opportunity to spread their message to the masses
Factors to consider for newspaper advertising :
- Advertising Budget :
The type of advertisement to be published and the appropriate newspaper is normally determined on the basis of the budget of the advertiser.
The cost of advertising in a newspaper depends upon –
- Popularity and Circulation of Newspaper : The more popularity a newspaper enjoys, the higher is its readership. Advertising in newspapers with a higher circulation implies a higher cost of advertising, as evident from the publication’s ad rates. While most publications charge on the basis of circulation, a few publications even charge on the basis of readership the newspaper enjoys.
- Frequency of Ad Run : To create an impact, it is important to repeat the advertisement a certain number of times to ensure it gets noticed and garners a proper and favourable response. Higher the frequency of advertising, higher shall be the total advertising expenditure.
- Type of Advertisement : Classified Text ads are the cheapest, Classified Display ads are a bit more expensive and Display ads are the most expensive advertisements.
- Size of Advertisement : The size of advertisement is directly proportional to the cost of advertisement. While classifieds occupy less ad space and are cheaper, display ads are quite expensive according to the space it occupies on the newspaper. A half page advertisement costs higher than a quarter page advertisement and a full page advertisement costs higher than a half page advertisement.
- Colour of Advertisement : Though monochrome advertisements are cheaper, colour ads enhance the visual appeal of the advertisements and help them stand out. Hence, coloured ads cost higher than black and white plain ads.
- Position of Advertisement : Ads placed on the front or back pages of the newspaper are more expensive than those placed on the inner pages of the issue. This is because the front or back pages are the first and last pages people tend to view, and placing the ads on such pages ensures noticeability. Similarly for some publications, ads on the right hand side pages cost more than those placed on the left side pages.
- Date/Day of Release : The cost of placing a newspaper advertisement for the weekend happens to be greater than the ads placed to publish on weekdays. Also, the ad rates tend to increase during festive occasions.
- Location and Audiences to Target :
It is important to ascertain the location and audience to be targeted through the advertisement. Choice for the appropriate newspaper is directly influenced by the following factors :
- Research on existing market : Preliminary research should be conducted to study the tastes and preferences of the end users of the products or services advertised. The entire advertising campaign should be based upon the buying patterns of the customers and how likely they are to go for competing products or services.
- Target Region (Reach) : To ensure reaching out to the desired target region, it is important to advertise in a newspaper which is widely circulated in the target region.The scale of reaching out needs to be concrete – whether to target a locality, a city, a state or the nation as a whole.
- Language and Income of the Target Audience : The message advertised can only be spread effectively if the ad is published in a language which the readers comprehend. Choice of the newspaper is also influenced by the language to be used to connect with the target audience.
- Age group, gender and profession of Target Audience : Different ads cater to different sections of the society belonging to different age groups, genders and professions. These factors must be taken into account while choosing the newspaper for advertising a particular product meant for the specific market.
- Rural, Urban or both : If the target audience belongs to the rural areas, newspapers should be selected keeping them in mind. While for those belonging to the urban areas, who are usually more educated and well to do, the advertisement should be planned accordingly. For targeting both the rural and urban areas alike, the newspaper chosen should have enough circulation and population in both these areas.
- Choice of newspaper :
For ensuring effective advertising through newspapers, the following points should be considered :
- Selection of Appropriate Newspaper : Taking into account the popularity of a newspaper in terms of daily circulation and readership as well as the demographics of the target audience, the correct newspaper should be selected for placing the advertisement in.
- Selection of Appropriate Edition and Supplements : Selection of the desired edition for the newspaper must be made for ensuring greater response. Also weekly supplements of such newspapers can be put to use, especially when it comes to advertising for lifestyle products.
- Selection of Appropriate Day for Release : Print media is always overflowing with advertisements and it may not be possible to publish an ad on the desired date causing rescheduling, which may not be as effective for the advertiser. All efforts should be made to ensure timely release of the booked advertisement. Obsolete information does not serve the purpose of advertising, which aims at informing before occurrence.
- Accuracy of Contact Details : It is important to lay stress on ensuring a call to action (response) by providing accurate contact details in the advertisement. It is meaningless to go for an advertisement without letting people know how and who to approach in case they develop an interest in the advertisement.
- Type of Advertisement :
Depending on the purpose and budget for advertising, an advertiser may choose from the following formats of newspaper advertisements :
- Classified Text : simple text ads, charged on the basis of characters, words or lines in the ad matter.
- Classified Display : small ads with text and images, being slightly costlier due to the use of enhancements for better visual appeal.
- Display : image based large advertisements usually advertised by big businesses for brand promotion and consequently the most expensive ads on account of great visual appeal and maximum impact in influencing the target audience.
- Category and Sub Category of Advertisement :
Depending on the desired ad matter, the appropriate category for the advertisement should be selected. For instance, an ad seeking a bride for a male should be booked under the category “Matrimonial” and further under the subcategory “Bride Wanted”. On similar lines, there are a variety of advertising categories to choose from, purely depending on the ad matter, like Property, Public Notice, Obituary, Change of Name, Lost and Found, etc.
- Advertisement Content :
The ad matter should be composed keeping the following factors in mind :
- Memorable Message : The advertising content must be capable of appealing to the readers’ senses and move them to action.
- Entertaining : In addition to providing basic information, the advertisement must also be entertaining enough for the audience to generate interest and register to memory.
- Attention Grabbing Design : Use of images and enhancements help make the advertisements more visually appealing and hence the ad design prominently matters.
- Good Tagline : A good tagline is just like a book’s cover – the very first thing readers notice about a newspaper ad, and helps develop the readers’ internet in the content. If not framed properly, the readers might overlook the detailed content due to lack of interest.
- Good content : The ad content should ideally be detailed yet precise and to the point, avoiding unnecessary information.
- Generates Response : The advertisement should be capable of generating response, calling the readers to action. The ad content should be able to satisfy basic queries of the customer and should highlight the pros of the product or service advertised.
- Targeting the Correct Group : All advertisements are not meant for everyone alike. The ad content should be such that should highlight the importance of the product/service advertised for the particular target audience.
- Competitor Observation :
It is important to observe how competing organisations are advertising their products so that one can plan an advertising strategy which makes them stand out from the competition in the market. The key is to be different and do better.
- Booking Options :
Once advertisers are sure about the kind of ad to be placed, how much they can spend on it, which paper and location they desire to advertise in, they need to book the advertisement.
The traditional method is to approach the respective publication directly and get the advertisement booked with them. However, with modern day advancements in place, online advertising agencies are available to help advertisers reach the publications at the convenience of their desired place and time.
The advertiser is the king, and the ball is always in his court. He can decide how to proceed with his ad booking, having considered all the factors described herein.