Do you advertise in your local newspaper? If you run a local small business, chances are you have at least thought about it. Despite popular reports, creative use of space advertising and free standing inserts (FSIs) can indeed produce great results.
That said, the space is changing.
I stopped receiving printed newspapers years ago, and will never go back. It’s not because I don’t want or value the content, I just don’t want the papers around my home. I can get the content online without the inked-up fingers and fire hazards. Content, by the way, that I am more than willing to pay for. (The Wall Street Journal comes to mind, a product I happily pay for online access to.)
This article from Wired News (Newspapers Should Really Worry) says I’m not the only one…
From the perspective of publishers, the 18- to 34-year-old demographic is highly prized by advertisers — the people who make writing, editing and working at a newspaper or magazine a vocation, not just an avocation (like it is for most bloggers.) But there is trouble afoot. The seeds have been planted for a tremendous upheaval in the material world of publishing.
Young people just aren’t interested in reading newspapers and print magazines. In fact, according to Washington City Paper, The Washington Post organized a series of six focus groups in September to determine why the paper was having so much trouble attracting younger readers. You see, daily circulation, which had been holding firm at 770,000 subscribers for the last few years, fell more than 6 percent to about 720,100 by June 2004, with the paper losing 4,000 paying subscribers every month.
Imagine what higher-ups at the Post must have thought when focus-group participants declared they wouldn’t accept a Washington Post subscription even if it were free. The main reason (and I’m not making this up): They didn’t like the idea of old newspapers piling up in their houses.
If your buyers prefer online news, and/or if they match the 18 to 34 year old demographic, it is more important than ever to investigate other advertising options for your local small business. Including new media, like web sites and E-mail.