There is a lot of good news for local newspapers as was shared at a recent webinar. Local advertising spending is finally on the rise for the first time since the Great Recession. There are now a total of 3.9 million more viable new businesses than in the last 30 months of pre-pandemic economy, according to Borrell & Associates.

Local media’s traditional hunting ground has changed.

While older, larger companies on the whole were struggling, the number of smaller, newer businesses exploded. The new group is smaller, less experienced in marketing, and more willing to try new things.

In fact, in this group of high-spending, new, small businesses, 75% have fewer than 10 employees, and 73% are marketing novices, mostly interested in digital services.

They are also different in other ways – most of these younger businesses are planning to try something new this year.

The good news for newspapers is that although the new generation of post-advertisers are less likely to buy traditional media, they do want digital expertise from local media.

So what does this mean for local newspapers?

It is important for local news media to have better messaging and marketing that will reach and draw in this new customer base. There were several takeaways from the webinar:

Takeaway #1: Newspapers have a lot of in-house expertise about their local market, most have knowledge on digital offerings and promotions, and many have unique community-based products. All of these are excellent bases for hosting webinars and sharing this expertise with the small local businesses. Given they are marketing novices with limited staff, SMBs will appreciate the guidance and look to their local media company for fulfillment, helping to grow revenue.

Takeaway #2: It is important to provide packages that are “right-sized” for smaller businesses—retail, professional services, home services, veterinarians, and the like—traditionally considered too small and labor-intensive to be worth the effort. Fortunately, technology now makes this possible. AdPortal automates the workflow for multi-media packages that include online display, targeted social, and programmatic along with print, video and WAZE.

Takeaway #3: The challenge will be finding and reaching this growing group of small businesses. As was discussed on the webinar, the best way to reach these new businesses is to “talk” to them in the media that they are most interested. Traditional media should advertise their own services and expertise in the digital products these advertisers want. Draw them in with compelling offers, products, and digital/marketing expertise.

Attracted by digital offers, the new generation of the businesses spending the most this year will be educated about the local news media audience, and continue to see local media as the “go to” source for innovative marketing.

That’s a win-win all around!

Source: Borrell & Associates