News: Craig Nayman explains why local media continues to grow in influence for local and national brands

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Craig Nayman explains why local media continues to grow in influence for local and national brands

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According to Local Media Works, local news brands (in print and online) are among the UK’s most popular media, reaching 40 million people each month. Yet, as Archant's Chief Commercial Officer Craig Nayman explains, even with these impressive figures local media has sometimes found itself undervalued by the advertising industry.

Demonstrated by a wide-reaching portfolio of brands (there are 1,000 local newspapers and 1,700 associated websites in the UK), regional media still sits at the heart of communities up and down the country. But, in a world where attention spans are declining, trust in media is being questioned and as the news market becomes more cluttered, media owners must continue to take pride in creating content that makes a real difference to people’s lives – all driven by emotion and connection to community. We need to make sure that the right tools are in place to ensure we evolve as consumer behaviour changes and prevent threats, such as ad-blockers, becoming dominant.

Craig explains more "By really getting under the skin of a community, regional media owners are able to offer advertisers an engaged, targeted audience. Regional media hosts some of the oldest and most respected news titles - with extraordinary brand heritage that have built up trust with readers over hundreds of years. This brand loyalty has transferred to digital and, in turn, has given us regional media owners a new path to reach new audiences, with data from Local Media Works showing that local media websites attract 97 million unique users each month. This translates into action too – local media is the most effective combination for driving consumer action, according to Consumer Catalyst research."

This is just as relevant to national advertisers as local ones. A powerful example was the recent Dinner Down Memory Lane campaign in Archant's Eastern Daily Press - which was run for Marie Curie. Rather than heading out to a fancy restaurant, readers were asked to donate to the charity instead and cook up their favourite dish from years gone by. Fantastic photos were shared on the EDP's social media channels of everything from cheese fondues to bread and butter pudding, evoking plenty of memories whilst raising over £100,000 for the cause. Editorial features to drive volunteering to this hugely worthwhile organisation made for a beneficial initiative. The return investment we can offer is a scalable, niche proposition that tailors messaging to a relevant audience.

Digital has only enhanced this passion and hasn’t changed the need for great stories to be told in the most compelling way. It is this personal connection that national and local brands can tap into – using it to create meaningful engagement, both on a local level and as a scalable national proposition.

In a world where SMEs and local customers are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing strategies, Archant recently expanded their commercial offering with Go Target Display - an efficient and effective mechanism to put brands and their marketing message in front of the most relevant local audience to deliver a truly tangible return for their advertising customers.

"We’ve already seen success with clients such as the University of Suffolk, Bang & Olufsen, and the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. Our average display advertising click-through rate is a 400% improvement on the national average and a 200% increase on what we saw on our network for untargeted display in 2015. For example, we ran a campaign using GoTarget for Woodland Holiday Park, specifically focused on reaching new prospective customers in geographical areas such as North London and the Home Counties. Holiday bookings increased by 22.4% during the campaign – a testament to the effectiveness of our GoTarget product" said Craig.

Archant's offering as a regional media owner has grown to match the needs of both local and national brands. There are opportunities for both to reach a targeted and loyal audience, heightened by a boom in digital and technology. Archant is also developing further ad tech products for the future to continue to deliver valuable local audiences for advertising customers.

"We exist to make a difference to communities; and it is this unique environment, alongside the deep audience relationships, that advertisers should look to take advantage of" commented Craig.

(This article by Archant's Craig Nayman featured on Exchange Wire in January 2017)

© Archant Ltd 2013