An article this morning on The Drum discussed concerns from advertisers over digital ad viewablity.
Digital advertising has drawn a huge portion of ad dollars away from print over the past decade. Its transparency, click/conversion tracking capabilities, distribution potential as well as granular targeting have won over the minds of most marketers. But, digital advertising is not perfect, and advertisers are starting to have some serious concerns about how often their digital ads are actually seen.
In the course of this article, Robert Thompson, the CEO of News Corp. made a great point in favor of print ads –
“As I’ve said before and it’s worth emphasizing again, every print ad is 100% viewable.”
So true. Not only are print ads 100% viewable, but they’re also acted upon. From just the ads we place in print, we see thousands of phone calls a day. Print ads are less intrusive. Print ads have longevity. Print ads deserve a bigger place in the minds of marketers.
Yesterday, print ads that we ran for our MediaBids clients generated 2,000 phone calls from interested consumers. Two-thousand living, breathing people across the US studied these print ads, and made the calculated decision to pick up the phone. We see this kind of activity from newspaper and magazine ads everyday, and we’re not the only ones that still believe in print. Take a look at a few studies that show print advertising is still alive:
1.) Study Reveals Advertising With Newspaper Triples Campaign Effectiveness– This interesting study out of the UK released last week reports that “On a sector by sector basis, the research found that adding newspapers to a campaign increases effectiveness by 5.7 times for finance; three times for travel; 2.8 times for retail; 1.7 times for automotive.” Impressive numbers.
3.) Nielson Study Shows Newspaper Ads Lead in Engagement – Newspaper ads are viewed as both trustworthy and engaging. “The central focus of the study is engagement, and, in the aggregate score for eleven metrics of engagement, print or online newspapers scored 43 percent, followed by TV stations and their websites at 37 percent. Radio and Internet both received 41 percent.”
Whether you’re looking to drive traffic to a website or call center, print ads are still a useful tool in driving awareness and engagement.
At Mediabids we recently became aware of a somewhat unique insert program at the San Francisco Chronicle. They call it the ”slim jim.” It’s essentially a multi-page, double-sided pamphlet (full-color, 6 wide x 10.5 tall.) In fact, you may have seen a similar ”insert” from American Express or another lux brand in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, this got us thinking about inserts and newspapers in a slightly different way.
One unique aspect of the slim jim product is the personalization feature; the inserts are going to San Francisco Chronicle subscribers only. As such, the advertiser prints ”Exclusively For San Francisco Chronicle Subscribers” on the front and back cover. This tactic isn’t necessarily cutting-edge but it is more often used in direct mail than newspaper inserts. Furthermore, the advertiser is using a unique phone number specifically assigned for the slim jim. The calls (both inquiries and sales/reservations) are then tracked back to the paper’s subscriber list. The tracking/reporting allows the advertiser to precisely measure ROI.
A top travel brand has been running the slim jim consistently for the past year. By all accounts it has been a very successful effort. Relative to a simple newspaper display ad, the slim jim really plays to the strengths of the advertiser and newspapers. Indeed, for advertisers and publications, there’s a lot to like about this type of insert product because it is essentially ”content marketing via newspapers.”
There are several reasons why newspapers are ideal content marketing distributors – targeting and context to name two. Affluent households are readers and print is a proven, high-conversion media channel. Insert products, like the slim jim in particular, allow for engaging graphics and copy -qualities that tend to be more appreciated by affluent, print media consumers. Perhaps most important though, good content can further the duo marketing goals of brand and sales. Print display ads, on the other hand, tend to struggle to further more than one objective at a time at a time.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea of newspapers as content marketing distributors is not new. Advertorials have been a part of print publishing for generations and we are only a couple of years removed from the ”native ad” craze of the early 2010s.
We are well into the era of digital publishers being content marketers themselves and offering content marketing services to clients. Content is ”king” and print publishers are beginning to catch-up to the idea. Nevertheless, beyond the largest metro dailies, the idea that newspapers (and inserts) are a great way to distribute marketing content may not be top-of-mind in print ad sales departments around the country.
Increasingly, advertisers want marketing campaigns that are cost-effective, measureable, ideally allow for the right amount of personalization and reach qualified consumers or purchasers efficiently. The San Francisco Chronicle’s slim jim (and similar insert products) check off many of these ”must haves” of smart marketers in 2016.
A recent article in The Guardian points to the challenges newspapers face attracting advertisers and maintaining ad revenue. And yet millions of people are still picking up print editions. Though the article comments specifically on the UK market, the same could be said of the industry here in the US. But contrary to the sentiment the author suggests that “publishers must find new ways to convince advertisers that they have audiences worth targeting,” we would argue that publishers are tasked with finding alternative ways to monetize their product. Convincing advertisers of the value of their readership is not enough.
While many have looked to selling digital advertising as their saving grace, there is another option. A new revenue stream within the print property. Per-inquiry advertising. Yes, this involves publications taking on risk and shifting from their traditional model. But if they are boasting engaged readership, shouldn’t they have confidence in their ability to drive response?
Advertisers are paying per response in other mediums, so is it really that unrealistic that they expect to be able to do the same in print? They demand performance, measurability, and tracking. Advertisers need to justify spending, after all.
Print Ads Have Super High Conversion Rates. Perhaps the biggest stat that we’ve found that we want to shout from the rooftops to marketers everywhere is that PRINT AD CONVERSION RATES ARE SKY HIGH – Specifically from Phone Calls. We’ve seen from our internal data, as well as Invoca’s Call Intelligence Index, print ads with phone numbers convert at a staggering 30-50% – in comparison to just 1-2% conversion rates online. Source
Print Ads Drive High ROI. From a study from Gfk – Print advertising appears to have the highest ROI across marketing methods: 120%! “GfK’s explanation for the outstanding performance of newspaper ads: The internal pacing of print ads enables confrontation at a suitable moment. If the message is relevant, the reader can decide to take his time to examine the offer. Because reach is built within 24 hours, newspapers perform very quickly.”Source
Print Ads Provide SuperiorBranding Benefits – Brands that advertise in print magazines achieve higher brand favorability, purchase intent, and ad awareness than they do online or on TV. MPA Factbook
Print Ads Reach Influencers – Print magazines rank #1 or #2 in reaching influential consumers MPA FactBook
Newspaper Readers Take Action – According to an NNA Study, 4 out of 5 newspaper readers take action in response to an ad. Source
MediaBids makes it easy to place print ads in newspapers and magazines. To get rates or to learn how you can place ads on a pay-per-call basis, contact s today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-379-9602!
Advertisers buy ads in newspapers and magazines for a variety of reasons, and for each reason there is a corresponding way to design the ad to make the most out of the space. Here are a few of the most common reasons advertisers we work with purchase print ads, and some of the attributes of ads that we’ve seen work well.
1.) General Branding – These ads lend themselves to the most creativity. Most companies use branding ads to position themselves in the marketplace and create a memorable image in the reader’s mind. The goal is to get consumers to recognize a brand instantly, and associate certain values and ideas with the brand. For example, these companies have done an amazing job with branding over the years, and are ranked as the top brands globally according to Interbrand. So how do you craft a successful branding ad?
a.) Distinct Logo – Companies use a unique, distinct logo that they showcase in print and other mediums.
b.) Eye-Catching/Evocative Imagery – Print ads won’t work if the images are boring or easily flipped by. From beautiful photography to unbelievably creative illustrations and design, the images branding ads use must make the reader stop in their tracks and take notice.
c.) Memorable Slogan – Whether it’s Nike’s “Just Do It” or McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”, most branding ads use a short, memorable slogan that sticks with a reader.
d.) Repetition – It takes a while to drill messaging into the subconscious minds of consumers. If the goal is branding, advertisers must buy many ads over the course of time to drive home the message.
Branding Ad Sample We Like:
2.) Direct-Response – Direct-response advertising’s main purpose is straightforward – to get as many people to respond to the ad as possible, as soon as possible. Here are some direct-response ad features we’ve seen work well:
a.) Compelling Offer to Consumer – The ad either offers a deep discount or other special incentive to the consumer to respond right away.
b.) Large/Easy-To-Read Response Mechanism – Whether it’s a phone number or website, the ad has to give the reader an easy way to respond.
c.) Enough Information for Consumer to Take Action – Giving consumers bait to call to learn more is one thing, but you always want to make sure to include enough information and description about the product or service to help them make an informed decision to call/visit. This leads to a high-intent, qualified potential customer.
Direct-Response Ad Sample We Like:
3.) Event Marketing – Advertisers often use print to advertise an event they’re hosting. Here’s what to include in event ads:
a.) Clear Description of Date/Time – Make sure to include the who, what, when, where why & how in the Event Description. The more questions you leave with readers, the less likely they are to attend your event.
b.) Clear RSVP Instructions – If your event requires an RSVP, make sure you include a prominent way for readers to get in touch with you.
Event Marketing Ad Sample We Like:
4.) Classified Advertising – Classified ads are affordable text ads often found in the back of newspapers and magazines. Typically these are local ads, but sometimes national companies use them too.
a.) Clear, Concise Text – The main thing about a classified ad is you have to fit a lot of info in a little space, so copy is key. It must be short, to the point, and include a phone number.
Classified Sample We Like:
Switch to DIRECTV and get a $100 Gift Card. FREE Whole-Home Genie HD/DVR upgrade. Starting at $19.99/mo. New Customers Only. Don’t settle for cable. Call Now 1-800-XXXX
5.) Local Retail Sales – This ad type is typically for local advertisers who are looking to get the word out about sales at their brick and mortar stores in their community.
a.) Clear Description of Discount/Sale Items – This type of ad usually features a limited time sale or showcase of products that are on sale for a specific date range.
b.) Store Hours/Contact Information/Directions – Since these are local businesses, location information is very important.
Local Retail Sample Ad We Like:
Are you looking to place some print advertising? MediaBids can help. Shoot us an email at email@example.com or call 1-860-379-9602.
Print media companies are ripe for innovation. In a time where readership is moving online, media brands need to figure out new ways for readers to engage with their content on all platforms. Here’s a few examples of companies doing cool things to keep readers interested in quality journalism.
1.) Blendle – Blendle is a company that lets consumers read articles in some of the top newspapers and magazines in the US on a pay-per-article basis. No frustrating paywalls, no limitations. Readers can just pay for what they want. It’s currently in its testing phase, but it will be interesting to see how many readers sign up. Currently their site says about 22K readers have signed up – a good sign!
2.) Layar – Layar helps advertisers create interactive experiences in the print media they purchase and create. It enables consumers to interact with print media on their mobile phones – creating an “augmented reality” experience.
3.) Media Math – Media Math is a technology company that is powering Time Magazine’s programmatic print offering. They help Time create targeted ad programs that reach specific readers offline – customizing the ads readers see by their demographic info and the magazine title they are reading.
4.) Mag Cloud – Mag Cloud makes magazine publishing easy for the small publisher. They let you produce beautiful editions of print magazines along with top-not digital versions as well.
5.) Quad Graphics – This printing company is always on the cutting edge of printing technology, and recently took a big leap into virtual reality by outfitting the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition with printed virtual reality viewers.
Know of a company innovating the print media space that’s not listed above? Let us know in the comments!