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6 reasons to advertise in newspapers

08 March 2015 · By Suzanne Raitt

From reader trust and influence to multi-platform effectiveness and engagement, research shows news media companies are the place to advertise.

Newspapers, both print and digital, offer key benefits to advertisers that are not delivered by other media options. They are powerful and present advertisers with the opportunity to deliver messages in a trusted, engaging environment.

Readers trust the ads: Nielsen finds that advertisements in newspapers continue to be among the most trusted forms of advertising. Newspapers provide an environment that offers clout. Both in print and digitally, newspapers are taken seriously – and so are the ads.

Readers want the ads: Consumers were asked their reasons for reading their local newspapers. The top three answers: local news, local events, and the ads (from Totum Research on behalf of Newspapers Canada, October 2013).

Newspapers are one of the few places where readers want and expect advertisements. They are part of the content. In many media, consumers go out of their way to avoid/skip ads because they don’t want them.

Influencers read newspapers: Research finds newspapers are read by influencers, a key group for advertisers as they hold sway with family, friends, and peers. From Admap’s “How Influencers Work”

“Influencers are information hounds. … These people are more heavily represented in the audiences for print media (newspapers) and online publishers (newspaper Web sites), more so than in the audiences of Facebook and Twitter. … Target influencers through the media they use.” 

Both the media and ads are engaging: Consumers were surveyed on 11 metrics for media engagement (i.e. how captivating the content and ads are). All 11 scores were added together except “it contains annoying ads,” which was subtracted (because it was a negative attribute). In some cases, this created a negative score.

On media engagement, print newspapers scored highest! Newspaper Web sites came in 34% higher than average – scoring higher than radio, magazine, Internet, and billboards.

Four metrics for advertising engagement included noticing the ads, getting useful information, annoying, and being influenced to purchase. Print newspaper ads scored almost five times higher than average! Newspaper Web site ads ranked second (39% higher than average).

Ads across devises build on one another: Research finds newspaper readers across devices are more aware of the ads and have better brand recall. Multiple interactions with an ad across platforms makes ad effectiveness grow.

Environmentally friendly: Newspapers are green. Print newspapers biodegrade in six weeks versus styrofoam cups (5,000 years) versus glass bottles (one million years), according to 2015 information from the National Parks Service. More than 80% of newsprint is recycled and the forest industry plants more trees than it takes, according to 2015 information from the Forest Industry Association and Newspaper Canada.


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The Innovative Advertising Solutions Blog looks at not only integrated advertising sales for newsmedia companies but the full spectrum of agency-level marketing solutions for advertisers: print, digital, package, and event sales; social media marketing services on behalf of advertisers; and behavioural targeting across a range of digital products.

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New Leaf Media Consulting
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Senior Vice President, Interactive Sales and Services
Affinity Express
Elgin, Illinois, USA
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USA Today Network
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New York, New York, USA
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Director of Research/Market Analysis
The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento, California, USA
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Digital Director
Norwich, United Kingdom
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