When publishers lift their heads up from their tablets and smartphone screens, they should realize that there's not just life left in the print newspaper business model-there are opportunities to optimize print, thereby optimizing revenue.
The Inlander over the next few issues will be showcasing these ways by publishing a series of suggestions taken from "25 More Ways to Improve Your Print Products in 2017." We may even from time to time slip in some tips that came from "25 More Ways to Improve Your Print Products in 2016."
Both white papers were created by the SLP Print Solutions Team of Southern Lithoplate Inc., Creative Circle MediaSolutions, Presteligence and MW Stange LLC.
This issue's installment touches on print ads and real estate advertising and ink consumption.
You can download the books from Creative Circle's website: http://25printideas.creativecirclemedia.com/.
Do you have car dealers or other businesses in your market that have abandoned print?
Do they say that you can't give them accountable or attribution ROI for their ad dollars?
Many newspapers have found that using the customer's sales data to track sales activity against newspaper subscriber records can demonstrate performance for print advertising. This works particularly well for large ticket sellers such as car dealers.
Proven Performance Media, a division of Belo, can help. Example: A large Southeast market newspaper recently contracted with Proven Performance Media, sold 10 dealerships in six months, and are adding new non-running dealers monthly.
The process included using measured dealer sales for prior six months, determining an average sales volume, and then negotiating a price the dealer would pay per added sale above that average per month to matched subscribers ($225 to $450).
The newspaper then runs a strong print and online schedule of their creation, proving value.
Example dealership spending: Month 1-$6K, Month 2-$10K, Month 3-$18K, Month 4-$24K
With success, dealers convert to a traditional rate agreement.
The amount paid per car sold is determined using averages developed based on car make/value/market size. Proven Performance can offer guidance.
This program also works in furniture, flooring, roofers, carpet, new business, and includes call tracking.
Some insights from Richard Jones - president of Proven Performance:
• Print newspapers still work. We run campaigns and see data from clients across platforms, and the newspaper is still a top producer in many categories.
• Cross media is a must! When an advertiser runs a cross-media campaign, they improve their overall results. For example, when an advertiser runs a search campaign with a print campaign, we see a lift in call volume and site traffic. A true 1+1=3.
• Frequency matters. We know it's true in most media, but for some reason, print is expected to carry the weight of success with one ad. Over the past several years, we have seen optimal results when running three ads or more in one week. Which days are effective depends on the business.
- Mark Stange, MWStange LLC
Your newspaper no doubt has had a long history of Real Estate advertising, perhaps up and down, with some more recent shifts downward as the internet use has evolved, particularly on mobile.
If you haven't recently, your real estate market could use a refreshed strategy that can be developed in print.
Print listings of homes for sale have diminished as the internet has evolved into the preferred and most efficient search mechanism for homes. The primary advantage that print media still offers is the ability to display pictures and copy to a mass audience, beyond the destination searchers. The attractiveness of the photo displayed drives the attention, particularly in the company of other homes' photos. There is also a strong curiosity to know the home price that goes along with a photo and location. This is the content that drives audience from those interested in either selling or buying a home.
Generating content with some quality photos of homes for sale showing strong curb-appeal along with other features are often the most read features in a newspaper. Building an anchored location of that content will stimulate ad placement.
Home photo submissions from brokers should be accepted based on photo quality, and should be ideally arranged neutrally through a local Board of Realtors. Getting good photos and running them larger and in color are all important aspects of generating more energy in real estate advertising.
New home photos of models and floorplans are also immensely popular.
It's time to end the ineffective and neutralizing impact of row upon row of tiny photos crammed with agate type.
If you want to win in real estate, it's time to go for quality over quantity.
Homes should look good and invite readers to browse. Attractive interior as well as exterior photography is compelling for many reasons and can make some homes stand out, so don't be locked into an exterior view and offer options with multiple photos.
A key result is that having quality photo coverage of homes for sale will drive interest from consumers who will want their own homes featured. Adjacent photo blocks for sale can be sold to capture that opportunity.
Open houses add immediacy
Print newspapers can deliver quick mass audience for Open House advertising, particularly when combined with color photos and geographically sorted. This is a particular advantage that deserves a development plan. With a well prepared and "salted" regular anchored appearance, consumers who are selling will want to make sure that their homes are included, and shoppers will look to it as a guide.
Brainstorm the creation of a much improved color photo display with a good anchored location and day. Friday or Saturday is good for Open House planning, though some markets let tradition point to Sunday.
A Friday or Saturday can provide opportunities for a live press run, and give you a late deadline, which is also important for gathering open house ads and photos.
- Mark Stange, MWStange LLC
One way to keep print costs down is using technology to minimize ink consumption.
Ink optimization software and ink presetting are two solutions that can make that happen-drastically saving time and decreasing consumable costs (paper and ink) behind the scenes.
Ink optimization software lets you achieve significant ink savings by replacing the grey component of cyan, magenta, and yellow with equivalent amounts of black. When looking at such systems, here are some buying tips:
Software should be independent of prepress workflow and be able to integrate with any prepress system.
Ask vendors for trial period to ensure you are seeing a savings in ink costs.
Software should improve quality of printed products.
Be cognizant of on-going support fees or use SAAS model if available.
Ink presetting software automatically calculates ink density values. It saves time and money that is normally wasted at the start of each press run, waiting for a quality page to print. It utilizes the same data to make plates. When looking at such systems, here are some buying tips:
Software should be independent of workflow and be able to integrate with any prepress system.
A good system will allow you to send ink values directly to the press so there's no human intervention.