Local advertising has gone through a bit of a change in the last few years. The steady decline of local newspapers like the now-defunct Cardiff Post has left local businesses without a platform to reach their audience.
During the mid 2000s however, residents began taking matters into their own hands. ‘Hyperlocal’ became a phrase that was used to describe news platforms that focused on a small geographical area, like us here in North Cardiff. Franchises like the Community Times popped up all over the UK, allowing local people the chance to create their own magazines and provide their community with relevant news – and a place for local businesses to advertise themselves.
Sadly, the Community Times went into liquidation in 2009 but many of those who had acquired the experience and skills necessary to run a local magazine decided to set up on their own.
Here are Living Magazines Cardiff, we decided not to go down the franchise route. Instead, we started from zero and had the challenge of raising funds to launch our own. But that’s another story.
The last few years have seen many local magazines emerging and doing very well for themselves and the reason for this is because it provides the local businesses with a platform on which to promote themselves.
So why does local advertising work so well?
- Those who run and work for local magazines are often part of the community that they serve. People really do buy people and having a familiar face looking after you builds a relationship built on trust. Our advertisers see us out and about, hand-delivering our magazines at all times of the day – they know that we are working hard on their behalf.
- Local magazines are relevant to the area. Advertisers who appear in local magazines are often a few streets away from their potential customers. Advertisers benefit from getting business on their doorstep (think of the fuel saved!) and customers get the benefit of dealing with someone who they can call on without having to go through international call centres.
- We live in the areas we serve. We personally deliver our magazines door-to-door and to our public distribution network. If our magazine stand is empty, we don’t wait two weeks for someone from head office to stock up. Our magazines get EVERYWHERE in the local community. Other local magazines operate on a similar basis. Adverts get seen and acted on because a lot of people see them.
- Local publications often use contributions from local readers. It’s something we’ve done to great effect over the years. 50% of our magazines are devoted to content and most of this is of local relevance. Readers want to spend time with publications where they can read about people and place in their community. Reciprocity is a powerful thing.
- Social Media. The rise of smartphones has led many local businesses to adapt to the way that they reach their audience. Local magazines can often have the same (sometimes better) expert digital marketing than large companies can offer. Here at Living Magazines, we want our communities to thrive so we do everything we can to help promote our local businesses. This includes offering our advertisers free ongoing social media promotion to over 32,000 people. Our online presence works well alongside our print-based advertising.
Local advertising works and we have testimonials to back that up. You can read them here.
You know your business better than anyone else but investing in local advertising is something that is often overlooked by some, often finding out too late that their local community was unaware of their existence.