Newspaper have suffered steady declines in advertising for the past ten years. In a recent article the Wall Street Journal reported that the decline is now accelerating and as a result the newspaper advertising decline in 2016 will be the worst in the past eight years.
“That decline is hitting every major publisher, increasing pressure on them to boost
digital-revenue streams even faster to make up for lost revenue and, in some cases, even
reconsider the format of their print products and the types of content they publish.”
As the article states, the main strategy for making up the lost print revenue is to increase digital revenue streams. However, it also goes on to state that the strategy is not working. Below are a few reasons why the current strategies are not working.
Ground Hog Day
Many newspapers think that boosting their digital revenue streams is just about selling digital ads. They think that today is just like yesterday so they want to do the same old thing, which is to sell ads. The only twist is that now they are digital ads instead of print. There are a lot of problems with this approach, including:
No Focus on Customer Value
First the Internet changed everything, then mobile changed it again. The world is increasingly noisy which makes it harder to get noticed. Local businesses need a lot more than digital ads to stay relevant, and more than a web site. They need a digital marketing partner who can help them implement a total digital marketing strategy.
The use of mobile continues to grow, as does the use of mobile apps. The primary approach to this issue has been to focus on selling digital ads for mobile. One of the main problems in taking this approach is that there are limited options for newspapers when selling mobile ads, and they have to compete against Facebook and Google, which is a significant barrier.
To be honest, we could go on and on with the issues related to the current digital strategy of newspapers but would prefer to focus on some strategies that will actually work and dramatically increase a newspaper’s revenue.
Focus on Customer Value
This works every time, regardless of the moment in time or generation. Your customers need more than digital ads. They need an entire digital marketing strategy from a partner that can help them execute. Remember your customers are specialists in their business, not in technology. There are an enormous number of options that they don’t understand and aren’t able to do on their own. Even if they have learned one thing, like how to use Facebook, there are a hundred other things that they need help with. Not to mention the fact that they running their business takes most of their time anyway.
Here a few things to help you increase your focus on creating customer value in the digital space:
Create a full digital marketing program
This should include at least the following elements:
Essential to help attract new customers and get noticed in local search
This includes not just placing ads but things like reputation management and customer engagement.
Reviews are very important, especially for service businesses but also many other kinds. Most studies show that modern consumers almost always check reviews before trying out a new place.
Leverage mobile beyond ads
Most local businesses can benefit from having a mobile app. In fact many of them have thought about it but don’t know how to get one in a cost effective way. Mobile apps open up tremendous opportunity for your customers as well as for you.
Zuldē has developed a complete mobile solution for Newspapers to offer to their customers. Not only does it have all of the mobile marketing tools that a business needs to grow and thrive in mobile first world, it is designed to leverage the strengths of a newspaper. In addition, it provides a growing, monthly recurring revenue stream that becomes more and more substantial over time.
Click here to find out more about our solution for newspaper publishers.
Contact us to find out more how we can help you accelerate the growth of your digital revenue.