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Ads on local press sites ‘more trustworthy’ than nationals, claims study

1XLReaders see online adverts on regional press websites as “more trustworthy and relevant” than those on their national counterparts, new research has claimed.

The study of more than 3,000 people found advertisers appearing on regional sites were considered 17pc more relevant and 19pc more trustworthy when compared to national ones.

The research was conducted by analytics company comScore, in association with 1XL, the digital advertising platform founded last year by more than 20 regional newspaper publishers including Newsquest, Johnston Press and Local World.

Almost half of those surveyed further stated the ads on regional sites prompted them about new products and services – some 20pc higher than national newspaper sites.

Local media sites were also shown to be more effective than national newspaper sites, generating a 31pc increase in the number of people reporting they were likely to visit a store and a 27pc increase in number of people likely to purchase a product in response to viewing an ad.

The study was conducted among a representative sample of 3,300 UK consumers, with an even split between those who visit local news content and those who don’t.

Scott Gill, managing director of 1XL, said: “Intuitively it makes sense that advertising in a regional title, specifically focused on someone’s local area, would be perceived as more relevant for a typical reader than a national title.

“However, this study shows that consumers’ response to local media advertising goes far beyond this – with local ads considered significantly more trustworthy and more likely to generate a purchase than national newspaper equivalents.”

“Toby Crisp, director of data services at comScore, added: “Our research makes clear the fact that those brands which predominately focus on national advertising could be missing a trick.

“In a misguided attempt to maximise the number of people viewing their ads, it’s likely they are missing out on more trusted, more relevant and more effective advertising.”

7 comments

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  • October 9, 2015 at 10:22 am
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    All very well but until the look,quality, content and usability of regional press websites improves significantly so few people are using then as to make it a viable proposition for local businesses to advertise on.
    This survey also targets hypothetical users by the sounds of it as opposed to actual businesses who are advertising on local papers web pages and with an outcome anyone could easily assume that you’re more likely to trust a local business than a national.
    Despite the little bit of digital knowledge that most reps are armed with they tend to be relying on bold claims and assuming the customers knowledge of all things digital is minimal there’s little money to be made whilst the product ( the RP website) has almost no appeal
    This is the one of the key issues around making money from digital advertising we know the theory but making it happen is the challenge with poor traffic and no response the common reason for not advertising on line.

    It’s no different to trying to get a local business into a paper that has lost its readership and thus gets no response to the printed ad, and we all know about that don’t we

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  • October 9, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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    So, a study into local advertising, commissioned by a company which is ailing when it comes to selling local advertising, ‘surprisingly’ reveals that local advertising is more trustworthy. Why wouldn’t any of us believe that, eh?

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  • October 9, 2015 at 1:17 pm
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    ‘Erm yes, yes, yes and yes – in fact yes to everything you are asking me – as EastEnders is just starting – bye!’

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  • October 9, 2015 at 1:38 pm
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    That piece of ground breaking research will matter not one iota to local businesses who have previously tried advertising on their local papers websites if they get no response,it’s all about roi

    cutting through all the talk and hyperbole all that matters to a business is how much will it cost and how many will see it ? In order to make a rational judgement,

    At least in print you know how many people buy the paper, and can see what size ‘box’ you’re getting for your money, at least you did until the figures became so bad that every ad rep is forbidden to talk copy sake numbers (they are here anyway)

    Until people see credible return for their investment in what still is a relatively new advertising medium there will be no great rush to advertise.
    As has already been said the websites themselves need to have more appeal and be vastly improved otherwise no one in their right mind will waste money advertising on them.
    Improve your products and you might have a chance

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  • October 9, 2015 at 5:07 pm
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    With print advertising, it’s never mattered too much to local advertisers about getting people through the door immediately. On the whole, it’s been about having a regular presence in a medium which readers take their time to read and, while they are on the page, they take in the adverts too. When a reader then requires a particular service, they remember the advert they’ve seen frequently and seek out that ‘memorable’ company.

    With digital, readers dip in and out of individual stories very quickly so the same relationship with the local brands doesn’t develop.

    In fact, ComScore has done its own research around this where it has concluded that web users, on average, engage with local digital news publishers for less than five minutes PER MONTH.

    Compare this with the average time spent reading newspapers and you can instantly see why the value of digital advertising is so small and why local business owners are reluctant to spend on it. They can achieve similar engagement themselves by simply having a good social media and e-newsletter strategy and many of them now do.

    As has already been said by Juan, it’s all about ROI. If ad reps from local newspapers can actually be given the time it takes to work out what best for local business and help them to achieve that, rather than just stating pointless figures such as ‘impressions’ and ‘page views’ in order to make it look like better value for money, they might start getting somewhere with digital at a local level.

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  • October 11, 2015 at 7:35 pm
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    we need to make our websites more “user friendly” and easier to negotiate. Most, especially weeklies, are still a mess. Until that is done advertisers will cling to print.

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  • October 12, 2015 at 4:20 pm
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    I agree we need to make our digital sites more appealing and less dull but not sure where you are if advertisers still cling to print?
    I think most areas lost their grip ages ago and would see any clinging on as a sign of success

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