If you publish a newspaper or work in broadcast media, you may wonder how valuable local and neighborhood news coverage is. The answer is that it is very valuable. Upon buying The Roanoke Times, investor Warren Buffet said, “If you want to know what’s going on in your town – whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football – there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job.” There are countless places online where readers can learn about stock markets, political news, and national or international current events, but it’s not always easy to find out news that’s important on a local scale, like school sports scores, or neighborhood happenings that don’t draw attention outside the local area.
Local advertising is expected to experience healthy growth in coming years as more local businesses get up to speed on new local advertising options. Among adults, newspapers are still one of the most important mediums for a range of topics, according to a 2011 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Of those surveyed, 79 percent declared the internet “the first or second most important source for 15 of the 16 local topics examined.” Most US journalism is local, including online sources, print newspapers, and local television news broadcasts. During 2011, local digital advertising grew at 12 percent to $15.5 billion. Mobile and local advertising are believed to be key factors for Facebook’s revenue growth strategy in coming years. There are numerous benefits to targeting local audiences. Here are 5 benefits of going local.
1. You Can Develop Targeted, Loyal Audiences
When you give towns and neighborhoods information they want that they have a hard time finding otherwise, you can build a loyal local audience that can play a key role in your publication’s revenue strategy through subscriptions or premium features. Special sections and news releases for local audiences often address unmet local informational needs.
2. It’s an Opportunity to Build an Excellent Reputation
Many local areas are underserved by news coverage, and this gives newspapers the opportunity to step in and provide coverage that can attract traffic and advertisers and build the newspaper’s brand and its reputation.
3. You Can Expand Your Advertising Base
Bringing in new neighborhoods or towns with news coverage local to them gives local businesses a plum opportunity to advertise to these targeted audiences. It’s not always easy to accurately target Facebook or Google ads, but advertising with local news providers that have targeted audiences is perfect for local businesses.
4. It’s a Great Opportunity to Build a Strong Online Community
Local coverage gives local readers more topics around which they can coalesce, discussing local issues with people who understand because they live there, too. A strong online community is a big plus with local business advertisers.
5. You Can Attract More Local Job Listings
If your online newspaper includes a job board, having a loyal local audience can prompt many more local employers to list on your job board. Knowing that they’re reaching people in the local community is a big factor in choosing to list jobs on a targeted job board over a general jobs aggregator.
When a newspaper, digital or print, chooses to focus on small town or neighborhood coverage, they can build an appreciative, loyal audience that is very valuable to advertisers. A custom job board targeting local and regional jobs can be an important part of an audience development strategy, and can add to the benefits of going local. At RealMatch, we offer recruitment advertising solutions to media companies and digital publishers that assist audience development while also developing a healthy new revenue stream.