Online News Sites Deliver on Audience
Posted: November 13, 2008 | 9:36 ET by Tessa Wegert
Canadian newspapers are increasingly attracting more readers. They're diversifying their content options and features to further appeal to consumers, and producing additional advertising opportunities in the process. But those aren't even the primary reasons you should be advertising on newspaper sites. An effort to sing the praises of a newspaper media buy wouldn't be complete without a nod to the nature of their audience.
We've long known that newspaper readers are a highly engaged group, and generally more educated and affluent than the typical Internet user. This makes the readers of online news sites attractive to countless types of advertisers, and a relevant target audience segment for innumerable online marketing campaigns. There's no shortage of studies profiling this consumer group, and recent research is finding that, above all else, these users are a pretty fine bunch as far as demographic profile and online behaviour is concerned.
Anatomy of an Online Newspaper ReaderSpring 2008 data from research firm Nielsen Online's @Plan media--a media planning tool for profiling online audiences--revealed some interesting information about newspaper site users:
- Newspaper site users are "more politically engaged" than the online audience overall.
- They are 31 per cent more likely to hold a professional or managerial position.
- They're 46 per cent more likely to have a post-graduate degree, and 27 per cent more likely to earn in excess of $100,000 annually (USD).
- They are more multimedia-savvy than the online audience as a whole, with 76 per cent being more likely to have downloaded a video or audio clip "yesterday."
- They're also twice as likely to have searched the Web on their wireless handheld devices and watched streaming video "yesterday."
Blogging for a Better AudienceAll of this aside, there's reader loyalty at the core of any online newspaper media buy that can positively influence advertisers' campaigns. Local news properties, with their manageable and relevant lifestyle and community content, have long benefited from consumer affinity to their brands. Thanks to new content features like blogs, national papers are now seeing the same returns.
Any strategist will tell you that blogs promote reader engagement, and when incorporated into a larger content site, can strengthen site loyalty. They're especially appropriate for news and reference sites as they allow consumers to participate in the news cycle and weigh their opinions against journalists and their peers. This loyalty, affinity, and engagement all enhance an already attractive audience, and make for a great environment within which to promote a product or service.
The relationship between newspaper sites and their audience is directly dependent on the nature of the site content. In an effort to better connect with consumers and keep their readers coming back for more newspapers have spent recent years enhancing their content, and consumers are responding by becoming even more involved.
So in addition to being right for marketers "on paper"--where demographics, psychographics, and behaviour make their case--we also stand to profit from our products' proximity to content that incites excitement and fosters dedication on the part of its readers. Those readers, as a result, are all the more representative of our ideal customer base.
As online placement opportunity and ad formats evolve, it's nice to see this mainstay of the Internet landscape continue to produce a quality consumer base and the content to match. They may not be the newest trend, but newspaper sites have much to offer in the way of reliability and convenience that ensures our potential customers won't abandon them any time soon. Your search for intelligent, educated, opinionated, and technology-savvy Internet users needn't be limited to the latest political blog or high-end tech gadget review.
Look to newspaper sites. They really deliver.
Tessa Wegert is a veteran Internet media strategist and writer covering interactive marketing and technology. For links to her past articles and columns visit tessawegert.com, or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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Tessa Wegert is a veteran media strategist with a background in media planning and buying, content development, ad copywriting, and campaign management. As a prominent industry writer she has been covering digital marketing and technology for leading newspapers and trade publications for over a decade. Connect with her on Twitter (@tessawegert) and LinkedIn.