Local Advertising

Small business owners are constantly bombarded with new articles, reports and information about the importance of having a web presence. If we want to grow our customer base and get more traffic, we need to have a Facebook Business page and a twitter account.  We gotta join LinkedIn, create a profile on Manta, upload pictures to Pinterest and add our videos to our YouTube account.   But before there was all this social media coming at us full throttle, there were the traditional media outlets; there was local advertising.

Now, we’ll find that most, if not all, of the local advertisers have also moved online, but they too have continued publishing their printed versions, and believe it or not, many people still pick them up and read them regularly.  And if people are still reading them, why aren’t we using them?  Do we not want customers that read or is that a marketing trend of the past?

Before you toss out the community paper, consider who in your target market  can reached by advertising your business in that publication.  Are your online ads generating enough business or could you stand to have a little more?

In Los Angeles, there are a few dozen local printed publications that offer, if not encourage, small businesses to advertise with them, especially if these businesses cater solely to the Greater Los Angeles  area.  Many of them offer a combination of online and printed advertising.  They also allow business owners to pick the zone or community they want your ad to run and do their best to cater to the business’ marketing needs.

It’s important to always do your homework and shop around first.  Keep in mind, you’re now the customer as you browse through these media companies that’s going to provide you with the best service to fill your small business needs.  So get a feel how they do business and decide if you want to do business with them.

There were four publications that were chosen at random and after speaking to each of the account representatives and sales agents, this was the advertisement information that was gathered, both about the service and who you might be doing business with:

  • The PennySaver – The gentlemen on the phone seemed really nice, but was really confusing in explaining how advertising and zones worked.  He wasn’t able to provide any based figures, because the figures are on based on the zones and how many people in those zones and how long you run your ad in the zones with the amount of people… and of course, the size and graphics of your ad.
  • Los Angeles Sentinel – The woman was very cordial and easily explained the different prices in ad sizes.  Because they do not have zones or communities, their ads run on a weekly schedule. Their primary sizes are one inch base ad that runs for $40 per week and then the next size up is the business card size that runs for $160 per week.  She was able to provide the information quickly, but there was no customer service and connectivity at all.
  • The Los Angeles Wave – Finding advertising information came quite easy with The Wave and they seem to offer the better deal.  Their base ad is $22 for 4 lines and each line after is an additional $5.50 per week.  Straightforward, easy figures and helpful. 
  • The Patch – Hands down, the representative at the Patch, Andreas, was the best in providing great customer service and answering all the questions asked with enthusiasm.  Now, although there is no printed version of The Patch,  everything’s online because they’ve gone “green”, they service many communities in the Los Angeles area and offer an array of advertising approaches.  And rather offering what’s their base prices, he explained the multiple pricing ranges for select services.  Prices ranged from $150 a year to be in their newsletter, $100 to sponsor news articles related to your industry, $240 for a year for a paid listing, and other options for under $100 a month.  Andreas was never asked to look into other prices ranges and affordability, but did so automatically.  He was looking for what was going to fit the needs, rather than sell the ad space of hurry someone off the phone.

There’s a lot to be gained from advertising locally.  Small business owners just need to ensure that they partner with a publication that’s going to served the needs, treat them well as customers and help extend the marketing reach.  The printed word has been powerful for many many years.  Why would it be less influential now?

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