Canadian Contractor

Brynna Leslie   

Why renovators can pick up so much business from community newspapers

Canadian Contractor Marketing & Sales Business

You'd be hard pressed to find another advertising medium that reaches 75 per cent of your potential clients.

If you’re a renovations company wondering where to put your ad dollars, consider this: Seventy-four per cent of Canadian adults read a community newspaper weekly. Believe it or not, this is consistent across all age groups.

According to a multi-year study that tracks media consumption and advertising, for one-third of Canadians that free rag that comes to the door weekly is often the only newspaper they read.

But here’s why you should really care: Between 30 and 40 per cent of readers are specifically looking for advertising and flyers.

“Almost half of readers indicate there are days when they read the community newspaper as much for the ads as for the news,” write the authors of the Canadian Media Directors Council digest for 2012/2013.


How can you tap into this as a business owner?

First, you can place ads in these spaces. While radio and television have breadth and social media offers the ability to target a specific audience, the community newspaper is evidently a gold mine. You’d be hard-pressed to find another medium, in fact, that reaches 75 per cent of your potential clients.

But check this out. More than 80 per cent of community newspaper readers are looking for local news articles. Most of them spend 40 minutes per week perusing the paper.

What are the rest of readers looking for? Ads? No. They’re looking for interesting content, a good read.

This a great opportunity for business owners like you to position yourselves as experts in your local markets. Talk to the publishers of your community paper about advertorial opportunities. Many have in-house staff that write custom content (for a fee) to run alongside news items.

If you’re really ambitious, offer up a weekly column to your local paper featuring your expertise and pay a freelance journalist to ghostwrite it for you.

If you look at community newspaper consumption by the numbers (summarized below), there is no way you can overlook this amazing marketing opportunity.

Community newspapers – By the numbers
• 74% of Canadians read a community newspaper weekly
• 82% are looking for local news
• 30-40% look to their community newspapers specifically for ads or flyer inserts
• For one-third of Canadians, the community newspaper is the only paper they read. These same people are light television and radio consumers.

If you want to include community newspaper ads or articles as part of your marketing plan, now’s the best time of year to book a regular cycle of ads for 2014.



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2 Comments » for Why renovators can pick up so much business from community newspapers
  1. Ian MacNeil says:

    Can’t argue with the stats. Although, I think the impact of community newspapers is greater in smaller communities that don’t have as many sources of information and news.

    It’s also important to differentiate between the different types of community newspapers. Some are run by local community associations and have guidelines on the ratios of content to advertising (for example, I know the paper run by my community association allows no more than 30% to be taken up by advertising). Others run by big companies like Metroland have far more ads than content making it harder for a particular ad to stand out unless your willing to pay for a 1/2 or full page..

  2. Does read mean read or does it mean “flipped through” the community newspaper, speed reading, glancing, nor more than a 5 minute read cover to cover?
    Our recent and direct experience with advertising in community newspapers saw very little impact. Minimal results! My personal view is that the “best by” date for print media has come and gone, especially since “google” gets about 50% of all advertising dollars spent.
    Research shows that a consumer checks over 10 information sources before buying a good or service. In fact the best advertising comes from doing good work and then referrals based on those testimonials. Referrals are far more trustworthy than outright advertising.
    The best advertising – most effective and cheapest – is the ratings and reviews that many online/web services provide. All contractors need do is post pictures to show case their work and then ask their clients to write reviews.
    As a homeowner who would be your “go-to” contractor? One who had a full page ad in a community newspaper or the one who had 50 reviews and a 4 out of 5 star rating? By the way, the latter is also much cheaper. Bonus!

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