LONDON: Newspapers may have their problems regarding falling print circulation, but newsbrands still command extensive reach via digital platforms, offer a trusted environment for brands and can significantly boost ROI, an industry figure argues.

In a Warc Best Practice paper, How to plan an effective newspaper campaign, Ian Gibbs of independent data consultancy Data Stories and previously head of the insight team at The Guardian, outlines the rationale for including newspapers – and their digital versions – in a media plan and highlights key considerations.

"There is a world of significant opportunity for planners and marketers to tap into when considering campaign goals at both ends of the branding funnel," he says.

In addition to reach, trust and ROI, newsbrands offer an unparalleled breadth and depth of audiences – reaching 96% of UK millennials each month for example – while delivering the valuable focused attention of readers.

The Financial Times has even gone so far as to offer advertisers a cost per hour metric for its digital products, guaranteeing viewable impressions for a set period of time delivered against a high-end business audience.

Regular readers also demonstrate high levels of engagement, trust and personal identification with their newsbrand of choice, says Gibbs, so creating a significant newsbrand context effect across all platforms.

They are "primed" to respond more favourably to advertising due to the existing relationship they have with their newsbrand. And the context effect of a multi-platform newsbrand campaign has been quantified as +21% for brand love, +31% for brand buzz and +68% for brand consideration.

Further, there is a strong relationship between advertising exposure on a digital news platform and advocacy across specific product categories, he notes. 

And of course, newsbrands play an influential role in terms of how they shape their readers' views and opinions of the world around them, and also in their predisposition towards brands and products.

"Newsbrands offer multiple roles in each stage of the purchase journey from providing product detail to confirming brand and product relevance and reducing levels of consumer worry," Gibbs states.

The future will increasingly be about harnessing the power of real-time data to assess what content, themes and topics of interest resonate best with specific audiences. This "can pay positive dividends when applied to the planning of branded content and display campaigns with newsbrands", he advises.

Partnerships and collaborations between publishers are also making it simpler for brands to buy across titles and to target groups as diverse as global influencers or hyper-local audiences.

Data sourced from Warc