Thursday, August 13, 2015

Print advertising

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     Many experts have said that print advertising is dead. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is different today, but it is no less alive.

     Print advertising is alive and well in specialty publications, local newspapers, and trade publications. Pick up any one of these and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the number of ads you see for small businesses.

     If printed ads did not work for small businesses, then business owners would not be spending money on them. Nobody watches their expenditures more closely than owners of small businesses.

     Example: Arleatha spent a year getting her yoga studio open and off the ground. She placed an ad in the local daily newspaper and waited for response. She found that she could not trace a single new client to the ad. Then she placed an inexpensive ad in a local weekly paper--the response was immediate. She then placed an ad in a regional monthly publication that promoted healthy living. Again, the response was gratifying. 

     The general public reads local weekly publications. They are less likely to read daily newspapers--the readership of The New York Times is down significantly. And the days of weekly news magazines are numbered--have you seen Time magazine lately?

     Trade publications, on the other hand, are alive and well--even in this age of the net. The Pennsylvania Fireman, for example, is published monthly. Readership includes firefighters, regulators, construction people, the general public and more. The publication runs to some 200 pages, and it is filled with information and ads. 

     Every industry has trade publications. Targeted readers include dentists, chiropractors, foodies, healthy living, auto enthusiasts and collision experts, tradespeople of all types. These publications reach specific audiences, and readers are looking for small business suppliers of goods and services.

     The reason the experts say print advertising is dead is simple. They are living their lives at the leading edge of technological change. They see everyone getting their news and information via their cell phones, smart phones and other fancy devices. 

     While the experts are mesmerized by the onslaught of technology, you can safely ignore their dire predictions. What they say is true for the big guys in business (large daily newspapers, slick monthly news magazines). But it does not apply to the circle of customers and clients who are attracted to small business. 

     Owners of small businesses have a limited budget for advertising. And a small amount of dollars can go a long way when spent with local weekly newspapers, regional monthlies, and trade publications.

     The cost of advertising in small publications is related to readership and distribution. But the audience is more targeted, giving you a better return for your ad dollars.  

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