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Online Marketing: The Way Of The Now

Updated: Oct 2, 2018

Written By: Jill Shalk

Certain members of today's society are AVID newspaper readers. Its a ritual for them. Having the fresh day's air hit them when they walk out to the mailbox. Sitting with their morning coffee, and hearing the pages turn as they read up on current events. The smell of the fresh print, and the feel of its thin stature between their fingers.


To be quite honest with you, it doesn't turn my crank.

I grew up in a household where my parents were subscribed to a daily and our local weekly published newspaper. Reading the newspaper is something both of my parents would do every day. When I was younger, I would read the articles that looked like they might interest me, but growing up in today's technological world, if it was substantial enough, I had already heard about it through social media. Though I hate to be lumped into the stereotype that all of the "kids these days" are addicted to their mobile devices and social media, it is somewhat true in this scenario.


I can remember one instance so clearly about finding out a newsworthy story before it had hit the newsstands. In 2011, an offshore underwater earthquake had caused a Tsunami wave to hit the east coast of Japan and cause damage to a Nuclear Plant in Fukushima. I remember seeing posts on Facebook about it before I had heard something on the hourly news report on the radio, or read it in the newspaper. The story would be on the cover of every newspaper, but not until the following day. For someone like my grandparents who are also avid newspaper readers, and are not online, would not have heard about the story until it came onto the hourly news report on the radio or the evening news on television.

Social media platforms or even online news websites are so accessible and so much more up to date, compared to print newspapers. Even with the online newspaper websites, you still get up to date, RELIABLE information regarding worldly events, but in a much more reasonable time frame.


Canada is home to the oldest surviving newspaper in North America, which is pretty impressive. The Montreal Gazette is the oldest continually published daily in Canada, dating back to 1778! And to boot, Canada has some of the best newspaper reader statistics out there.


On average 8 out of every 10 adults read a physical print copy or visit a newspaper website each week (75% being a print copy). Currently, the online readership for online newspapers is anywhere from 29-39%. And to boot, all of the dailies and almost all of the 1000 community papers have an online site and or a mobile app.


However, when we look at how our population is changing, we can predict that this will soon teeter off and we will have a greater percentage reading an online version, or not at all.


We've all heard it before and can see it first hand, our population is evolving. The shape of our population pyramids is changing completely. We are for the first time seeing a shift, from a typical pyramid, to what experts in the field are calling a barrel shape. The sizes of families are changing. Parents aren't having numerous children anymore. The typical "nuclear family" consists of 2 parents and 2 children. With the baby boomer generation aging, and the newer generation of parents coming into the world our population pyramid is starting to look like this. These two population pyramids are 50 years apart. Notice in the 1965 pyramid, the largest sum of people was in the 0-4 and 5-9 age range? Then 50 years later where are we seeing our largest bulk of people? 50-54 and 55-59. The lack of large families is causing that shift to the "barrel" shape.

When we look at the statistics, 8 out of every 10 Canadian Adults either read a physical newspaper or visit a news website each week. What the statistics don't show us is the major drop we're seeing. What the experts don't want to show is that readership in youth is dropping DRASTICALLY. In 2015, nearly 50% of newspaper readership in Ontario was people aged 35-49, and those aged 65+, that of people aged 18-24 was just under 11%. Because youth aged under 18 cannot participate in these studies, one can only imagine what those statistics would look like.



So now you're probably asking yourself, okay Jill, why does any of this matter? Well, if you don't have a readership, the ROI of an ad that you put in the paper is going to stagnate and eventually do nothing or very little for your business. Sure you can run the ad for the week, but how do you know if it's bringing you any business?


If we take a look at online advertising on Facebook for example, you can post the same information in a Facebook ad, spend that same $60, but target it to a specific niche, and actually see the analytics of how many people it reached, age groups, geographic locations, how many people clicked onto your landing page within your ad, etc.



Ad Performance On The Above Video Facebook Ad


When those kids in the 5-9 and 10-14 age range start to become active adults in our society, joining the workforce, buying a house, or a car, where we advertise to target them, is key. You won't find an Off The Lens Media ad in the newspaper, because they simply don't have the ROI. Why? Because we know that the effectiveness of newspaper ads, even now, don't have enough ROI to make them worthwhile. Readership rates and other statistics can be boring, I get that. Who wants to sit and look at numbers all day that very well could mean absolutely nothing to you? I know you can't see it, but my hand is raised way up. I hate numbers and have always hated math. Until I learned that certain numbers matter, and sometimes they aren't all boring. Knowing where your target niche is, is important. If their not in the newspapers, then neither should your ads!


Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "BURN THE NEWSPAPERS, WE DON'T NEED 'EM ANYMORE!", but what I am saying, is that as business owners, we need to be adaptive. Adaptive to our changing culture, adaptive to the changing marketing tactics, adaptive to the changing world we live in. Give a Facebook Ad a try. Facebook has so many different tabs that allow you to tailor your ad to exactly who you want. You can target areas (Like Listowel), you can target certain age groups, people who have certain interests, or are listed under a certain job title. You can decide how much money you want to put into an ad, which might I remind you is not an option when you're placing a print ad in the newspaper! Start with a one-week ad, and see what it can do for your business. If you're not getting the results you want, you're maybe missing something! And that's where we can help you!


Social media can be so time-consuming, and as a business owner, you have to delegate, so let us help you, and save you precious time! Again, like we always say, if this seems overwhelming, or you don't know where to begin, shoot us an email. We want to help business owners like you!

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