A lot goes into planning a college newspaper advertising campaign. Despite what you may hear about newspaper readership in the general market, printed college newspapers are still widely read by students on campus. Why? Because the content is unique and relevant to their bubble of campus life. Go to any major campus in the U.S., and you will see students checking out the latest sports feature between classes or doing a Sudoku in lecture.
College newspaper advertising is one of the few traditional advertising channels that still work for reaching college students. Seventy-nine percent of college students have reported reading an issue of their campus newspaper in the past week.
Campus Media Group got its start in college marketing more than 10 years ago placing advertising in college newspapers for national brands and their ad agencies. We continue to help brands place multi-campus newspaper buys today. Through this experience, we have developed some good tips for you to consider when placing ads in college newspapers.
Frequency trumps school reach – You have a budget, but if you spread it across too many schools, you may not get noticed. The most successful college newspaper advertisers select a few schools on which they want to build their brand, and they advertise there regularly throughout the semester. Don’t forget, you may get a discount for running multiple times.
Timing – Check the academic calendars of the schools at which you are advertising. Avoid placing ads during busy times like midterms or during vacation weeks (i.e. Spring Break). Students may be in study mode or may not be around campus during these times.
Traditions – Look at school traditions, annual campus events and festivals, or other unique special issues the campus newspaper may be publishing. Positioning your advertising among the excitement and even tying your creative in to the campus event or school tradition will get you noticed and give you a local feel that will resonate among students.
Color – Use color whenever possible. You will pay a higher rate for color advertising, but doing so helps your ad stand out among other advertisers. Using color may even get you better positioning in the paper (i.e., page 2 or 3 or back page) due to how newspapers are printed.
Inserts – If you are looking for an alternate way to advertise in college newspapers, think about placing free standing inserts (FSI) in the paper. Not all college papers accept FSIs, but most major university newspapers will. FSIs can be anything from a single-sheet coupon circular to a multi-page brochure. Some newspapers will even allow you to insert a flat product sample. FSIs offer you a way to control your creative and produce something useful students can take with them.
If you need help placing advertising in college newspapers, contact us today. Our experienced staff can assist you in making sure you choose the right newspapers, timing your buy, and ensuring that your advertising dollars are used effectively. Call 952-854-3100.