Letter from the Publisher: Does advertising in the Clovis Roundup work?

Donna Melchor, Owner/Publisher of the Clovis Roundup. (Clovis Roundup file photo)

When I’m out at business events, I often get asked “Does advertising in the Clovis Roundup work?” Yes, it does work – and it depends on your expectations.

First of all, you must figure out your demographic and who you’re trying to reach. Secondly, identify what type of ad suits your business best – a branding ad or a call-to-action ad? Then, you need to let people know who you are, where you are and what you offer so that when they need your product or service, your business automatically comes to mind. If you do this correctly, yes, advertising works.

Our job here at Clovis Roundup is to get your business seen by our readers and to continuously develop that readership. To increase readership, our editorial team is dedicated to covering news, entertainment and sports stories that are important and of interest to the community. Between our print and digital platforms, our total readership is over 110,000 per issue. What does that mean for advertisers? It means your ad is being seen by 110,000 readers in Clovis and surrounding communities each issue.

The client base of most small businesses is within a 5-mile radius. Advertising with community newspapers like the Clovis Roundup is a great way to reach your market. Studies and surveys show that 70 percent of an area’s population still reads the community newspaper. As daily papers struggle, community papers like us are thriving because we report the news going on in your backyard, on your city council’s dais, on your school campuses – news you rarely get from a major daily paper.

Keep in mind that you must have realistic expectations for your advertising. If you expect to do a one-time ad and get an immediate return, that’s not realistic. If that was the case, no small business would ever fail.

However, you need to keep your brand in front of potential clients in order to succeed. That is why when you apply for a small business loan, the lender requires that you include an advertising budget in your business plan.

You need to know what your market is and how to reach it in the most cost effective manner – be realistic with your budget. Running a larger ad once or twice probably isn’t going to work. You’re better off perhaps running a smaller ad continuously to build your brand. At the same time, we realize there’s a lot of small businesses that don’t have the budget like Coca Cola and Budweiser. That is why we are always coming up with innovative and effective strategies to have your business be seen by the community. What we do here at the Clovis Roundup is help you come up with a strategy while staying within your budget.

What you want to accomplish first and foremost with your campaign is establish a brand, invest in brain real estate – so when someone thinks ‘I need this or that,’ your business is the first name that pops up. If you run a solid campaign, you will gain that brain real estate from your customer base. When they see your name out there enough, your business will just automatically come to mind next time they’re shopping the market.

When you run an advertising campaign with Clovis Roundup, we guarantee your ads will be seen. But how can you measure your return on investment? Those numbers are harder to determine. This is where controlled word of mouth comes in. You may only get 10 customers in the door, but you have to consider the ripple effect. When those 10 customers have a positive experience at your business, they will tell other people, and then those people will tell others and so on.

So does advertising work? I can tell you this: if you don’t advertise now, you’ll soon be advertising your going-out-of-business sale.

Donna Melchor is the owner and publisher of the Clovis Roundup. Her love and passion for the City of Clovis and its people is the inspiration behind this publication. For her dedication, Donna Melchor has also been honored as the 2012 Business Woman of the Year and as the recipient of the 2014 Spirit of Clovis award held by the Clovis Hall of Fame.