Have you heard of the news halo effect? Research has shown that a publication’s trust transfers to its advertisers, so readers are more likely to trust a company when it runs ads in their favorite local publication. But, that’s not the only advantage that local advertising offers over other channels.
A recent IAB survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers found that three-in-four follow the news weekly. People who identify as “executives” are slightly more likely to follow the news. Nine-in-10 members of that group said they follow national or international news at least weekly.
We know that consumers like brands more when they advertise in local news publications. According to IAB’s report, 49% of consumers find brands more relevant and 47% find them more customer-focused when they advertise in the news. Nearly half of consumers (45%) said they are more likely to visit a brand’s website after seeing the brand advertise on their favorite news outlet, and 43% would be more likely to consider buying from the brand.
These statistics aren’t just relevant to brands, though. Local publishers should be paying close attention, as well. What consumers are telling us here is that they are more likely to buy from a brand that advertises in the news publications they trust most, and time after time, what we see is that consumers trust local news outlets more than any other source.
Local publishers should be shouting these statistics from the rooftops as they court brand advertisers. They should also be evolving their advertising programs to better suit national brands with local footprints. Every media kit and advertising sales web page should tout the the “halo effect” as a reason why big brands should spend their advertising dollars with local outlets.
The findings in IAB’s report show that despite popular opinion, advertising in local news outlets is “brand safe” and it improves consumer trust for brands.
While local publishers will always have strong ties to small business advertisers in their own communities, local advertising can benefit national brands, as well. Local advertising gives national brands a way to target niche groups, and that’s a valuable opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Local advertising can lead to strong partnerships within the local communities where a national brand sells its products or services. Consider a retail brand that purchases a display advertising package from a local news website. The brand is using its financial resources to boost sales at its local store. Given their large budgets, national brands typically have more resources to create high-quality creatives for their digital campaigns. That leads to a greater ROI, which helps the brand, its local storefronts, and the publication itself.
Advertising also gives brands the opportunity to personalize or customize their campaigns in a way that wouldn’t be possible on other platforms. For example, brands can customize the language in their display advertising to account for local dialects or even just local slang. Brands can also customize the imagery they use to account for nearby landmarks. A national cycling brand could theoretically use images of local bike trails in its display advertising campaigns. That sort of hyper-local targeting just isn’t possible when running national campaigns on other channels.
The benefits of local advertising are abundant, so we’ll sum up a few of the most relevant points that local publishers should be making when pitching to national brands:
- Local advertising gives brands a better connection to the communities they serve.
- Consumers trust brands that advertise with their favorite local news outlets.
- Consumers are more likely to visit a brand after seeing an ad on a news site.
- Local advertising gives brands the opportunity to adjust their ad creatives to target certain groups.
- Brands are sure to reach consumers in a certain geographic market.
- Collaboration between local publishers can help brands purchase local ads at scale.
To learn more about implementing an effective brand outreach strategy, contact Web Publisher PRO.