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Hot off the press

How advert positioning can boost your response.

What’s your best position? A good advert position is more than just being “front half” or getting an “early right hand page”.  These “upfront” positions are assumed to get the best standout, reach the reader early and are traditionally the most sought after in the book.  It naturally follows that they will attract a price premium.  However, if you think a little more creatively you can place your ads in attention grabbing slots at a price that works for you. 

It’s not just about display

First of all, let’s look at display vs classified. The rule of thumb is that only 40% of the readership read classified. Sounds low but you also need to factor in the price premium charged for display. If you want an early display spot you are often competing with big brands who don’t worry about ROI. Even though you have potentially lost 60% of readers by the time you get to classified the ones that remain are generally actively looking for information. The beauty of classified is that is used as a directory. Readers know what to expect in the classified section and they scour it to find what they are interested in. Also, whilst they may be searching for a mobility company that doesn’t mean a well priced sweater won’t catch their eye.

Classified is more than just pages of ads, there is plenty of editorial content at the back of the book. A good media agency will know how to get your classified advert near relevant and engaging articles. Given all this you can see why a £15,000 display half page starts to look less attractive than a £4k classified half that’s under editorial that talks specifically about your sector.

Be a cover star

Cover sites are great because their impact is not dependent on environment or editorial. An ad on a cover site means you aren’t fighting to be seen. It’s a numbers game and covers deliver the most exposure; they are seen by every reader. Front covers get the most attention, followed by outside back but don’t underestimate the power of the inside front and inside back.

In addition to this it helps if you can keep the reader on the page for as long as possible. For example, the OBC of the Telegraph is a particularly good space because it contains weather and puzzles which increases the dwell time. The longer your ad is in view, the more likely it is to elicit a response.

Premium sites will always command a premium price but that doesn’t mean a deal can’t be made. Cover sites and editorial facing spots with high dwell time are often for sale at “short term” prices. In particular, we get good results from our clients by booking the covers of supplements. The supps have similar impact to the main paper yet are much cheaper. Ultimately everyone sees them regardless of whether they open the supplement and read what’s inside.

David Salisbury, Outside Back Cover,  Daily Telegraph

Seek out advertising positions near relevant editorial

A good media planner knows the titles inside out. They know what editorial runs when and what positions work for direct response advertisers. Good relationships with the press mean an early “heads up” when relevant articles are planned. A knowledgeable media buyer who is in regular contact with the publishers will make a significant difference to your results.

Advertising positions adjacent to relevant copy or in a contextually appropriate environment are particularly valuable. This helps to target an engaged reader who is already interested in the subject/product, the relevant article keeps them on the page and stops them flicking by and missing the ad.

Editorial input – We work closely with press titles to produce editorial for specific products which we can position our clients adverts alongside. We have done this for many clients who see for themselves the benefits of associated editorial increasing response. 

Henchman, RHS The Garden July 2020

One of our most successful ads was a DPS in The Garden for ladder specialist Henchman. We worked with the title to include strong editorial content supported by an impressive call to action. This is a great example of creative and media working closely together to generate the best value from spend. Henchman were keen to gain editorial content in their favourite titles and we suggested an advertorial to do this. We worked closely with our client and The Garden to create a piece that matches the magazine’s style while still incorporating the style and content required by Henchman.  Both parties are very happy with the finished piece with the title moving the piece further forward at no extra cost.

The AJ approach to advert positioning

We never take a “one size fits all” approach. At AJ we know that solid strategy is always going to be more important that meeting arbitrary targets. Our media buyers take each and every advert and ensure it works as hard as it can to deliver responses and sales. We’ve got lots of things in our toolbox and making sure the advert position works at the rate the client pays is just one of them. If you’d like to find out more about us and our approach to press advertising planning click here.

Read more about press advertising and why it could be essential to your marketing strategy.

If you would like any advice or guidance on the best positions for your own products or services, please contact me: jack@aja.co.uk

Jack Gillett, Media Manager