Newspaper Readership Increases…Online.

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By John Sullivan

JGSullivan Interactive

USC’s Annual Survey by the Center for the Digital Future Finds Large Increases in the Use of Online Newspapers, which should mean something to local advertisers.

The long list of highlights all point to the demise of the printed newspaper as a good place to put your local advertising dollars. The good news is that it’s not that consumers don’t care about local news, in fact, they spend more time than ever before on local newspaper sites (53 minutes per week up from 41 minutes in 2007), they just don’t buy the printed version as much.

If life isn’t tough enough for the printed editions another reason for people not buying a paper is the environmental impact. Add in the bad economy and it’s no wonder newspapers are closing all across the country.

So as brand managers, keepers of the advertising co-op rules and influencers of how dealers, franchisees and other local outlets spend their marketing dollars it is incumbent upon us to educate our retail channel. Then we have to give them the tools they need to spend wisely.

Unfortunately, it’s not an easy task to make the shift to local online advertising. Building banner ads or telling retailers how to do that is fairly easy. The challenge is to control the landing pages or microsites that are critical to the success of any online campaign and critical to controlling the brand message.

Just like having a system for building ad slicks (best if that’s an online system) you now have to make building microsites easy, too. You need a system that allows your retailers to localize your national campaigns and promote them on local newspaper sites, online yellow pages and best of all in Google Local.

The longer you wait to take on this task, the farther behind you’ll be.

Learn more here.

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