Business Tips

Stop wasting VPA! This is why buyers aren’t seeing your print ads

Claire McHardy
September 4, 2020
 - 
3
 min read

Print newspaper circulation has been declining rapidly for years. While it’s true that 15.5 million Aussies read the news every week, that number is the culmination of print, web and app readership. Actual print news readership hovers somewhere around 28% of our population (or one in three people over the age of 14) — and that’s for the entire newspaper. In fact, readership is steadily declining.

As for the real estate inserts? Well… it gets worse. Readership of the Domain insert has dropped from 3.5% in 2019 to a new low of 3.2% in 2020— a fraction of Australia’s population.

“But the older buyers we want to target still read the Saturday paper!” you cry.

We get it. The Baby Boomer demographic is a lucrative market. They’re more asset rich than younger generations, and they’re likely the ones looking to sell the family-friendly home and buy an adults-only retreat — complete with Miele appliances and sharp corners made of imported marble. Or an investment home. Or perhaps even help their children out with their own home search.

And sure, surely some do still read the paper. However, there’s a higher chance of your listing advertisement ending up as a coffee mug coaster than actually being read. (You can’t know for sure though, because it’s impossible to track how many people actually see your print ads.)

But it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s a much better (and more affordable) way to make sure your ads get in front of the buyers most likely to pay the best price — and you can track the results of your efforts.

So, if you can’t get their attention through the paper — where can you?

The new print advertising

Older generations spend a whole lot of time on the web. In fact, they whittle away more hours browsing the web (19 hours a week) than they do watching tv (16 hours a week).

Much of this time is eaten up by social media — and they’re doing it on their fancy phones and tablets.

We always thought it was the kids!

There’s plenty of evidence that young people are into their phones. Millennials — the generation spearheading the ‘selfie culture’ — get a particularly bad rap when it comes to smartphone use.

However, despite the evidence that, yes, young people are glued to their phones for much of the day, research shows that other demographics are just as, if not more, phone-obsessed. As for taking your phone out at the dinner table, well… baby boomers are the most likely to commit this particular faux pas and, chances are, they’re checking their social media accounts.

It’s official: Facebook is for old(er) people

Older generations are increasingly flocking to Facebook to keep up with the social lives of their children and grandchildren. In fact, but the 65+ age group is the fastest growing demographic across social media. Now, 86% of them are checking into the cinema, snapping their breakfast and sharing articles that interest them.

Most baby boomers use social media daily. That gives you ample opportunity to put your listing in front of them, every single day of the week — not just on Saturdays.

Nabbing a baby boomer buyer’s attention

All this is a wake-up call to anyone who still believes Facebook and the web in general are only for the younger generations. You’ve got to advertise where the eyeballs are — and the numbers don’t lie.

Here’s how to make sure you’re using your digital ad spend wisely:

  • Target your ads

It’s easy to choose particular audience demographics to target — but everyone over the age of 55 won’t be interested in your listing, so why waste ad spend targeting them with ads?

A much better way to target is by intent. What sorts of things would these buyers be searching for online? What Facebook Pages would they be following? If you’ve got a few buyers and vendors in your Facebook list that fit the bill, go and have a look for yourself!

Intent targeting can get messy. We’ve built various buyer categories — like Investors — in to Spoke for this very reason. We know what sort of signals different types of buyers give online, and we can pinpoint them so they’ll only see the listing ads that are perfect for them.

  • Include video

Not only do older generations spend most of their social media time watching videos, they’re also more likely than youngsters to act on what they see online.

Three quarters of all baby boomers will continue to search online for more information, follow a link forward the video or take some other action after a video ends — so be sure to include it in your marketing campaign.

  • Pay attention to your reports

Spoke’s reporting centre now shows the age and location of the people who interact with your ads. Once you’ve run a listing campaign, tap into this data to check who’s been most interested in the property. You might be surprised!

You can use this information to more carefully target buyers for your next listing.

You do the math. A print ad costs hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. A 7 day Spoke campaign is just $150. What else is there to say?

Plus, on every listing ad there’s space for the listing agent’s headshot and name. It’s free branding, to a target audience of potential buyers (and ergo, your next sellers)!

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