Avenue for newspapers to gain competitive edge

  • Business
  • Saturday, 05 Dec 2015

Ho: ‘We have to close the gap and integrate both marketing and editorial teams to be inclined towards content marketing in the form of editorial-sponsored posts.’

EDITORIAL-SPONSORED posts are the new age avenue for newspapers to gain a competitive edge and get more results-based advertising revenue, according to Navigator Business Academy founder and principal trainer David Ho.

This is against the traditional promotional-based advertisements via dedicated space in newspapers.

An editorial sponsored post is different from an advertorial where it is in line with improved literacy and education levels of consumers who demand more “realistic”, reviewed and editorial-based advertisements.

“We have to close the gap and integrate both the marketing and editorial teams to be inclined towards content marketing in the form of editorial-sponsored posts.

“The marketing team of a publisher or newspaper company has to do a lot research in finding out what the readers want. In essence, the sponsored post must have a level of integrity as opposed to the traditional and blatant promotional advertising space.

“Additionally, newspapers could also make use of their loyal readers to review certain products or services so the more ‘educated’ readers could make an informed decision” he tells StarBizWeek.

Ho advises newspaper companies to move away from traditional advertising revenue that still commands two-third of sales of newspaper publishers in Malaysia, compared with the ideal global average of 50:50.

The newspaper industry still holds the upperhand as consumers are still placing a higher trust in newspaper advertising, regardless of platforms, than online marketing.

This is endorsed by Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising which surveyed 30,000 respondents from over 60 countries.

And it is actually not true that the newspaper industry is declinging as over the last five years, Ho points out that print circulation sales worth US$620mil grew at 3.6% while its digital counterpart, with US$20mil sales, is still comparatively small.

However, it has a higher growth rate of 9.5%.

In terms of consumer-based revenue, Ho says content quality is the key to higher subscription for paywall portals.

“Actually, vernaculars newspapers in Malay, Chinese or even English could use more of their local content to gain extra revenue which mostly is not available online.

“Take Maharaja Lawak by Astro for example, the huge turnout at a live event is simply overwhelming,” he says.

Last but not the least, Ho says the newspaper industry needs to know its readers and their demands and the data of readers and feedbacks are important. According to him, this could not be effectively collected via print but could be done via websites and e-papers through tablets and mobile phones.

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