How to Advertise in Newspapers Cost-Effectively

With all the noise surrounding the struggles of print publications, it’s important to note that newspaper advertising can still be exceedingly effective. It simply depends on the type of customer you are targeting. The fact is that approximately 40% of American still read newspapers. That means that well over 100,000 million people still open up those pages every morning.

That is a number that can’t be ignored and should be considered a sound opportunity to reach what is typically an older and more affluent audience.

Is Newspaper Advertising Worth It?

The answer is resoundingly yes. It’s particularly worth it for local businesses that want to attract customer to their stores. It’s logical to expect that proximity matters, so advertising in local newspapers—aimed at local targets—increases the chances of enticing foot traffic to your business.

Advertising in newspapers also opens you up to new consumers. If you’re depending strictly on digital advertising to attract customers, you’re potentially missing an entire demographic of shoppers. This would be a mistake, particularly if your business is one that could benefit from the type of consumers who are picking up newspapers on a weekly basis.

One thing you should pay attention to before jumping into starting a new ad is competitors. It’s possible they are also using print advertising. If so, you need to assess how they are positioning their messaging and make sure your ads are unique. If you are advertising locally, this becomes even more important. Businesses are likely in at least somewhat close proximity and differentiating your products or services is the only way customers will choose you over the other guys.

How Newspaper Advertising Rates Are Calculated

There are several factors that determine how a newspaper ad is priced. You need to understand these variables before beginning any negotiations. Cost-effective newspaper ads are prominent; it’s a matter of knowing what goes into the pricing so you can find leverage for potential discounts.

Here is how newspaper ads are priced:

Newspaper Circulation

One of the most straightforward ways of determining an advertising rate is circulation: The greater the circulation, the higher the cost of the ad. Something to keep in mind here is that some newspapers will tell you their readership figures. This number can be far greater than the circulation because it assumes everyone in the same household will be reading the same paper. Businesses looking to advertise should be charged based on the circulation and not the readership. These are two completely separate and distinct figures.

Ad Size and Color

If you want more pages, then be prepared to pay for them. The larger the ad, the more you’ll be shelling out. Another factor that can change costs significantly is whether you decide to advertise in color as opposed to black and white.

Number of Times the Ad Is Run

If you decide to run the same ad more than once, then it’s obviously going to cost more money. However, this is a good time to negotiate costs. If you are running your ad continually, you should be able to get a deal so you aren’t paying full price for each day.

Day and Section of the Newspaper

Sundays are going to be the most expensive days to run ads on because that’s presumably when the majority of people will spend time reading the paper. So, you can expect to pay a premium for that day. Another determining factor for cost is the section of the newspaper in which your ad lands. Front-page advertising is much more expensive than a page near the back, even if the size is equivalent.

Reputation of the Newspaper

It may not be made apparent on the rate cards, but it’s a safe bet that you will pay a touch more to have your ad run in The New York Times because of its prestigious reputation than you would pay to run an ad in a less-reputable publication.

More Details on Pricing

In addition to the factors we mentioned above, there are two more ways in which a print newspaper will determine a rate.

Price per Column Inch

Think of a page in a newspaper. It is separated into six columns. There is a price you pay per column inch. So, if a newspaper charges $10.00 per column inch and your ad is three columns wide and 10 inches deep, then you’ll pay $300.00 to run the ad.

Modular Pricing

A simpler way that newspapers charge is via modular pricing. This involves set rates for full page ads, half page ads, quarter page ads, and so on. This means the price of the ad will depend on how much newspaper space you want it to cover.

How to Get Discounts on Newspaper Ads

There a few ways to go about getting discounted newspaper ad space.

Advertise Multiple Times

We touched on this earlier, but it bears repeating. If you approach a newspaper with a series of ads you want to run, the publication is likely to offer you lower rates. Of course, it would depend on just how long you plan on placing those ads, but regardless, more than one ad should equal a reduction in cost.

Earned Media

These aren’t discounted rates—earned media means no rate at all. It will take some convincing to get one of the staff writers to do a story on your business, but if it works then it establishes your brand as something to be talked about. One way to go about this is to package the story together with some kind of event your business is holding. Especially when advertising in local newspapers, events are an easier pitch since they not only will promote your business but the entire community as well.

Newspaper advertising has plenty of life left in it. We at Macromark are helping many of our clients optimize their marketing by placing newspaper ads. If you are a small or midsized business that is not familiar with newspaper advertising, contact us now.