Newspaper Advertising: Will We Ever See the End of Newsprint?

Recently, the Washington Post  announced its impending sale to Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, for $250-million – in cash.

This is a good thing—isn’t it?

It means that a corporate giant like Amazon sees the value in the newspaper industry. It means that the Washington Post, at least, has a future in the electronic marketplace. It means that Amazon will more than likely be making new strides into the “art” of newspaper advertising; but does it mean that the actual physical paper will continue?

So many human habits occur around the daily newspaper. From reading the funnies on Sundays to enjoying the latest news with a cup of coffee in the morning, reading the newspaper is a time-honored tradition. But is it one that will stay?

More and more newspapers are switching from copy that blackens the fingertips to being accessible at your fingertips, as there are mobile apps for Android and Apple devices, plus of course the Kindle and Kobo. But as new strides are made in technology, does this mean the end of newsprint; or just a new revival?

Take newspaper advertising for example. It is obvious that people are still reading the newspaper, whether it is on a tablet, smart phone or at the kitchen table with their cup of joe. Therefore, advertising in the newspaper is still an excellent way to spend money—especially when you’re smart about it.

QR codes – codes that when scanned with a smart phone or device, bring up a dedicated mobile website – are more and more commonplace. Other apps like Layar, that allow for interactive content to show up over top of the text, are also available. Simply put, newspapers are here to stay; but not necessarily in the form we’re used to.

Advertising is the key to generating a revenue stream, which in turn allows you to post a profit to your bottom line. Ideally you should create an advertising process that is usable on all platforms; from newsprint to TV, from social media to your website. The point is to cross-promote; mention your new website during your radio commercial, make sure to mention “follow us on Facebook” in your newspaper ad. The times of getting away with one single advertising media are definitely gone; most TV commercials now are ignored, or are never seen because of the fast forward button. Radio commercials aren’t the answer either, as many people listen to commercial-free broadcasting or pay-per-month subscriptions.

Newspapers can be an extremely important part of your advertising strategy, but you need to encompass all of the potential revenue markets out there rather than one. Invest in a QR code, or a new technology that allows your customers to quickly get to your website. And while you’re at it—ensure your website is easy to navigate, with good quality content that speaks to readers. Try new things; if you aren’t on social media, definitely start at least a Facebook page.

So yes, newspapers and newsprint is here to stay … but the black fingers, perhaps not.

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