Tag Archives: FSI college newspaper

How to advertise in college newspapers

Campus Newspaper Advertising
Source: Patrick Smith Blog

No matter what you hear about newspapers in general, campus newspapers specifically are still an integral part of the college environment. Did you know that nearly 1,800-plus college newspapers are still publishing? Did you know that advertising in college newspapers means reaching millions of students every year?

College marketers want to know the best newspapers in which to advertise, the best times to advertise, the best ad size to use, which colors work best, what to say, how to say it, and more. Here are a few guidelines:

Tip #1: Be consistent. One ad won’t cut it. Whether you’re interested in community colleges, four-year schools, or business school newspapers, always think in terms of building your brand over the semester. This is especially true if you are a new company entering the college space with little to no name recognition. Planning out all of your advertising for the school year in one buy will also allow us to negotiate frequency discounts and better rates.

Tip #2: Certain days work better depending on what you are advertising. A lot of college newspapers publish on a weekly or twice-weekly schedule, but many are still publishing daily. If this is the case, some days might be better than others for advertising certain things. For example:

  • Monday is good if you are looking to reach college males. Weekend sports are usually summarized on Monday, especially during the college football season.
  • Tuesday is a great day for classified ads, especially financial or business-related classified ads.
  • Wednesday is popular for food and restaurant specials, coupons, and inserts.
  • Thursday & Friday are good days if your business picks up on the weekends. Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, concert venues, and other types of weekend entertainment do well on these days.

Campus Newspaper Advertising
Source: Leigh Valley Live

Tip #3: Use color. You should also inquire about adding one color. The use of color will make your ad pop from the sea of black and white on the page. Use of color might also allow you to run a smaller, more economically sized ad while still pulling in readers. Some say the use of color can nearly double your response rate on offers. We do know that use of color often results in premium page placement (i.e., page 2, back page).

Tip #4: Position your ad. Most college newspapers will consider ad positioning requests. There is no guarantee that they will accommodate the request, but it never hurts to ask. To gain maximum exposure, request that your ad run in the popular sections of the paper (i.e., Sports, Crossword, Sudoku, or front half of the paper.  At a minimum, ask that your ad be positioned above the fold.

Tip #5: Test your call to action. Have a clear call to action and a reliable way to track it. Test your message in multiple papers over time to see how it compares with other methods or other papers in which you are running ads.

Tip #6: Keep it simple. Don’t try to say too much in your ad. Most people skim and will glance over your ad quickly. Stay focused on your goal for the ad, and make sure it clearly shows the product/service being offered. Make sure your offer is front and center, and clear state what students should do to buy it or learn more.

Tip #7: Ask about unique advertising options. Many college newspapers are open to unique ad sizes or custom sponsorships. Things like small front-page ads, stickers, flat insert samples, or sponsoring the Sudoku puzzle are possible. This method of advertising can be refreshing and can position your brand in a new light on campus.

Tip #8: Special issues. Dig into the campus a bit by looking at the school calendar, upcoming athletic events, annual traditions, career fairs, holiday parties, etc. Many college newspapers have “special issues” scheduled for these types of traditions and holidays. These issues tend to be well read, so space fills quickly.

If you are interested in advertising in college newspapers, Campus Media can help. We have been helping companies and advertising agencies plan and buy advertising in campus publications for more than a decade. Contact us today to build a plan that works.

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College Newspaper Advertising Tips

College Newspaper Advertising Info
Campus Media Group placed ads in college newspapers

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.

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