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4 Ways Your Local Paper Can Help You Reach New Customers

Did you know that your local paper can easily help you reach new customers? Using your community’s top publication to spread the word of what you’ve been doing and promote your business or services can raise your company’s profile and help you reach a valuable, local audience.

74% of people trust the news and information in their local newspaper and website – the highest level of trust of any kind of publication! An effective partnership could really increase the credibility of your business.

Newspaper ads may be a cost-effective way to project your message, but there are many other ways to make use of your local paper that can be just as valuable.

The following 4 tips will help you to raise awareness of your business and reach new customers with the help of your local news provider.

1. Boost your online presence with their news site

When we think of local newspapers, we tend to think of the traditional printed paper that drops through our door or is picked up from our local newsagent each week. However, most local papers also have a website with its own massive, online readership. So if you’re booking an advert into the printed edition, it’s well worth advertising on their news site as well to extend the number of people you reach.

2. Build awareness by talking to the local community regularly

Local news sites and newspapers reach huge numbers of the local community, and the majority of their subscribers will also follow the paper digitally. If you appear regularly online or in the paper, local people will be made aware of your business. Even if they don’t currently need what you provide, they’ll be more likely to think of you next time they do, and turn to you as their first port of call. 

3. Create interest in your business by sharing your story

You might think that PR is something only big businesses need to do, but neglecting publicity can mean missing out on reaching new customers. Positive publicity on a local news site or in the paper itself can be achieved even without a budget; all you need is a story to tell and a press release to share. Think about any events you have coming up, like a milestone or a fundraiser. How could you use them to grab the attention of your potential customer? Adding a competition to the story, such as the chance to win a product or a free service, will add further incentive for readers to take action.

Remember that journalists are often very busy keeping up with current events so the easier you make it for a journalist to feature your story by creating a great press release, the more likely they are to share it. Here are some quick tips for writing an effective press release

  • Grab attention with a strong, engaging and accurate headline.
  • The who, what, where and when should all be included within your first sentence.
  • Share the most important information about your story in the first paragraph.
  • Include relevant figures that support your announcement or new product.
  • Include a quote where possible
  • Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes, as even small errors can discredit your story.
  • Always include your contact details to make it easy for the journalist to get in touch if they need to.
  • Provide them with a both a landscape and portrait orientation image.

If you submit a press release and see it accepted, it’s also very likely that the newspaper will upload it to their site as well. Getting a feature on a local news website with a large readership makes your business more likely to be seen in search results. Given 81% of consumers intend to buy after researching online for information, this could be a major boon for your sales.

Many people also follow their local newspaper on social media to stay in the loop of local news. If you become a regular, positive presence in the updates a local newspaper shares, your business will begin to stand out in potential customers’ minds, and reach a new audience across social media.

4. Advertise to the right people by targeting a local audience

Identifying websites which will carry your information to the right local audience is one of the most important steps of any marketing and PR plan. To decide whether a local online publication is right for your business, ask its advertising team about how many people visit their site or what their audience reach is. News sites can target your local audience with sophisticated methods, selecting by key markers like age, gender or interests. This means that your advert will appear in front of the audience that you want to reach, instead of one which may not have any interest in what you sell.   

Your local newspaper will have a good grasp of their readership, an understanding of your local area and a variety of ways to reach your community. Next time you plan a marketing campaign, consider these 4 points, and utilise all the potentials of your local paper to reach new customers.

Want some more ways to attract new customers? Read these articles for more ideas:

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