National vs Local Newspaper Advertising: Which Is Best?

News is always required so as newspapers. There are more than 100 newspaper publishers whose publication gets circulated daily. Some lead the market with very high circulation and some maintain a subtle number but the news story which is written in the newspaper is important irrespective of the publication. News stories are not something that differentiates between the newspapers, though the writing quality of a news story can. But something else that majorly differentiates between publications is the covered area by circulation. 

The newspapers that get circulated only in one city or state or maybe a very small region, is considered as a local newspaper by it’s readers. Whereas some newspapers have it’s circulation in most of the parts of the nation. Those are considered as the national newspapers by the citizens of the country. The best National newspaper that is leading the market currently is the Times of India. And some examples of regional newspapers are Anandabazar Patrika, Sambad, Gujrat Samachar, Sakshi, e.t.c.

It is really very hard to say which one is more effective. Because if National newspapers are highly circulated then local newspapers are more cost-effective. If National newspapers have specific language restrictions, then local newspapers are easier for the local people to understand because of it’s language. Both the papers are having some pros and cons. Thus, it will be really a weak way to decide on the paper considering whether it is national or regional.

The best thing is to decide the demographic and geographic requirements and then choose the paper based on that. Analyzing your ad purpose and content, and setting up feedback expectation can help you to make a better ad decision. If your requirements are high circulation or if you want to put up your ad in a language that is understandable nationwide, you should go for national newspapers.

In case your main focus is to get the message through the local people in your area, and that too in a very cost-effective way. It’s best to choose a vernacular language local newspaper.

Advertisers often prefer Local papers for Classified ads and national papers for Display Ads. But there is no such preferred rule or regular record. Classified ads also have been placed in national papers for better feedback and displays have been placed in local newspapers when based on the target group’s geographical area.

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What marketing Objectives can be addressed with Newspaper Advertising?

Every advertiser will agree that every advertisement has a purpose to fulfil which needs to be conveyed through a medium. To attain this purpose people advertise in different but suitable mediums. These purposes may be referred to as marketing objectives. Such Objectives may vary from ensuring that the target audience knows about your brand, driving people to your store or notifying the masses about events along with important public announcements.

Newspapers are considered to be the most common and preferred medium for mass communication and advertising and they help you fulfil the following objectives.

Brand Awareness

The awareness of a brand is measured by its popularity among people. The popularity of a particular product or service brand can be compared based on consumer preferences. To comprehend how Newspaper Advertising assists in creating awareness about a brand, you also need to evaluate the basic of Brand Awareness.

How to Use Newspapers for Brand Awareness

  • For creating awareness, a single ad is not enough, multiple ads explaining multiple features of the brand needs to be communicated to consumers over a long period of time
  • Strategic Positioning and a noticeable size of an advertisement are extremely crucial to ensure maximum visibility for the readers. The corner and preferred page wherein an ad is placed can do wonders for brand’s image if it is placed correctly
  • Designs and creativity are highly necessary for an advertisement to be visually attractive and engaging for the readers

The basic reason behind creating Brand Awareness is to ensure that a specific brand name associated with a product is correctly identified by the potential and existing consumers. This in turn ensures that the consumer remembers, recalls and recognises the product or service through the brand name

Brand Awareness through newspapers is most relevant for the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector. This sector refers to the products we use on a daily basis like soap, toothpaste, detergent, toothbrush, butter, spices, biscuits, cosmetics, beverages, condiments etc.

One of the best examples of a brand that has consistently kept its brand name alive in the hearts of the consumers through Newspaper Brand Awareness Campaigns is Amul (Anand Milk Union) Butter. Their ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ Ad Campaign has been going on for ages and they have never coaxed readers to come and buy the product. The brand has ever since created taglines that are in line with certain current affairs that have gained a lot of public attention. The creativity and wit in their punch lines have always held the attention of its viewers and consumers making it an unforgettable brand name.

If you have ever noticed, their advertisements are always placed in a position where the readers are bound to notice it or capture their attention. Such ads are usually associated with a big budget, investment of a quite a bit of time, planning, effort and at times the expertise of external advertisement companies.

Driving Consumer Footfalls or Sales

Driving sales is the main objective of every brand across the world and Indian brands are no exception. To achieve this purpose, one need not create awareness about the brand but concentrate more on selling the product or increasing consumer footfalls in the store. Although effective branding campaigns can increase sales, the tactics and planning associated with a sales advertisement are quite different from that of a brand awareness ad. Making profit is the first thing that occurs to every business, followed by creating brand awareness as it sets its foot in the concerned business sector.

How to Use Newspapers for Driving Sales

  • The Call to Action in your newspaper ad should be clearly mentioned. The readers and the target audience should be informed about what should be their next step after they have gone through your promotional advert
  • The Time Period or Duration of the Action must also be mentioned in the ad which refers to specifying the duration and dates of the event or sales offers that are available for the consumers
  • Another essential ingredient of Sales Promotional ad is the Address and Contact Details of the place of action so that consumers should know where is the event taking place
  • You must be careful about your Release Schedule to ensure that the advert reaches out to maximum people at the right time. The advertisement must be scheduled in a manner that it runs during the course of the action or event so as to get to as many readers as possible at the appropriate time

Sales promotional ads are more return focussed than awareness ads. The returns derived through these ads can be measured in terms of footfalls or revenue generated as against the amount spent on advertising and setting up the event.

An advertisement published for driving sales is not subject to any specific industry. Almost all industries and business invest in promotional ads in newspapers since deriving profit and return on Investment is the ultimate goal of every business sector.

An appropriate example for this would be the seasonal Pantaloons Sales ads. Pantaloons is a retail clothing and accessories chain owned by the Aditya Birla Group of Companies. During festivals such as Navaratri, Diwali, Christmas, Id etc, they have discount offers running for months. This is the time they launch their promotional ad campaigns enlisting all the festive offers, mentioning the duration of the discount offers along with the addresses of the different outlets in the concerned cities. By the end of the sale, they evaluate their profits and returns by measuring the revenue drawn during the time of the event against the amount spent on advertising in the newspaper and the investment made in getting expert help in designing the ads.

Promotional adverts vary from simple run-on line ads too expensive display ads based on the budget of the advertiser. These ads are not restricted to any particular sector as every sector thrives on making the profit for their industry or company.

Making Notifications and Announcements

Public notifications and announcements are a part and parcel everyday life and for mass communication. For such advertisements, newspapers are the only medium of advertising. The Internet has not been able to breach through this genre of advertising, simply because Newspapers are still the official medium of mass communication in India.

Starting with Government bodies, administrative systems, business tenders, legal proceedings, legal declarations, all are placed under the Announcements section of newspapers. There are 3 different types of Notifications that are most frequently conveyed to readers through newspapers.

How to Use Newspapers for Notifications

  • Tenders- Tender ads must be addressed to the concerned audience in clear words and also specified whether it is a closed tender or an open tender. Newspapers are a formal medium for communication, all businessmen, suppliers and government agents consult newspapers for any legal and business requirements.
  • Public Notices-Legal declarations, Government Public notifications consist of all the necessary details like date of effect, constitution or concerned act and regulation under which the change or notification has been made and such important announcements can only be made through newspapers
  • Personal Announcement- All lost and found items, marriage notices, change of name and change of address announcements are published in newspapers for the simple reason that they make for an official medium for communicating such issues to the masses and the concerned authorities.

Besides other factors, newspapers are a very cheap medium for such communications. It reaches out to remote areas at a very low cost, because such notifications cannot afford to spend extravagant amounts of money on television of even radio advertising. The government needs to save money and it is completely irrelevant for individual advertisers to spend hefty sums on personal announcements meant for official reasons.

An official announcement of any kind can only be authenticated and confirmed if conveyed through a newspaper.

For instance, if a Flyover in Mumbai needs to be constructed within a stipulated time and budget, then the Maharashtra State Government will publish an advertisement regarding the same inviting Road Construction Vendors or Businesses to apply for the same. This entire communication takes place through newspapers since it has the widest reach among all the other mediums and since such ads invite only a specific set of people who may or may not have access to the Internet or radio, newspapers are the best option. Tender Announcements through newspapers, portray authenticity of the tender seeker as well as the once who apply for it.

So, whenever you plan to launch an ad campaign or release a simple announcement in any newspaper, determine the objective first and then proceed with the execution.