Advertisements placed on local digital news sites are a great way to reach consumers, especially for products and services that are not nationally available. People often look first to local news outlets for their mixture of community event coverage as well as some national news. This provides advertisers on these sites with a unique, hyper-targeted audience that can be beneficial for a variety of campaign types.
However, it is important to remain cognizant of the placement of ads on digital newspapers. Recently, I was browsing a local news site and saw an article about a woman who suffered from a heart attack and received life-saving surgery. The article, meant to be a heartwarming read, was covered with ads for the services of a local funeral home. These ads were prominent throughout the article, as leaderboards, side banners, and pop-ups. Because of this placement, both the article and the advertisement felt clunky and awkward.
Just as with traditional advertising, remaining aware of content and placement is essential to a digital campaign strategy. The best way to ensure that content and ad placement are aligned is by establishing a whitelist and a blacklist. These lists can be utilized assure appropriate online placement. To get started on these lists, we recommend brainstorming key words and phrases that will either work alongside or work against your campaign. For example, a campaign for an amusement park would whitelist words or stories about family or summer, and blacklist words or stories that were gruesome or unsettling.
While the web has an almost infinite number of opportunities for advertising, it’s still important to understand the landscape where ads will be seen.