Bulletin photo by Siyi Zhao

‘Advertising is about telling your story better. Not telling better stories, telling stories better.’

-- Jenny Farrell,
Regional advertising director,
GateHouse Media New England

Amid stiff competition,
ads need to stand out

By Emily McCarthy
Bulletin Staff

At the “Newspaper marketing digital services 101” workshop Friday, Feb. 19, at the New England Newspaper and Press Association winter convention, Jenny Farrell said she often tells business owners that they are in the midst of the best era of advertising they have ever experienced.

Unfortunately for those business owners, she also tells them that this is the worst era, because advertising today is extremely difficult in comparison to past years.

Farrell, regional advertising director at GateHouse Media New England, has been in the newspaper industry for 12 years. She spoke to the audience of about 35 people, some of whom were publishers, at the session about different ways newspapers can keep up with shifts in advertising dynamics.

“Advertising is about telling your story better,” Farrell said. “Not telling better stories, telling stories better.”

Farrell provided four key pieces of advice to help ensure that newspaper ads can be as engaging, interactive and impression-creating as possible: It is important to stand out amid the clutter, find a better strategy to talk to consumers, be visible, and be more compelling.

Those four goals can be accomplished by using rich media ads, or ads that include advanced elements such as moving graphics; diversifying ad portfolios to gain a competitive advantage; and targeting the audiences that visit a newspaper’s website and the behaviors of those audiences.

Farrell also suggested using traditional video ads or pre-roll ads, which are ads that play before a video that often contain content similar to the content of the actual video the consumer wanted to watch.

For example, if a newspaper posts a video from a football game, an ad for a sporting goods store could play first, Farrell said.

She said website visitors who view a video stay on the website an average of two minutes longer than those who do not view a video.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is also a valuable tool for newspapers, Farrell said.

“The keyword that one searches on is a direct window into the intent of that consumer’s online behavior at that time,” she said. “It really means nothing other than you can pay your way to the top, or optimize your way to the top.”

Bulletin photo by Siyi Zhao

An engaged audience of about 35 people attended the workshop on ‘Newspaper marketing digital services 101.’

POSTED 3/17/16


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