At Brightcom, we have been focusing our efforts on the American local news sector for the past few years. In this article, we’ll explore the unique characteristic of this community. We’ll also discuss the advantages this sector holds for advertisers.
When we think about the term “local news,” proximity to one’s community comes to mind. Being “a local” means to know the area, speak the lingo and have an insider’s view of what’s going on. In contrast to national or international news, local news focuses more on localized issues, familiar businesses of geographic relevance, and human-interest stories. By watching local news, viewers understand how big issues affect them personally.
Why local news is so important? Trust
In this rapidly changing world, we get tons of news from tons of news platforms, and many of them are fake. This begs the question: How can we recognize fake news and differentiate it from news we can trust?
In 2019, millions of American news consumers chose to stick closer to home and put their trust in local news.
In addition, a 2018 Pew Research survey found that “accurate reporting” was named by about two-thirds (65%) of respondents, as one of the two functions they value most in local media.
The Covid-19 crisis will only further strengthen the trend of trust in local news outlets
The Covid-19 pandemic can potentially lead to the end of globalization as we know it. Governments everywhere adopted emergency measures to manage the ongoing health crisis. In America, these measures have strengthened each state, reinforcing localization. They are forcing people to remain even closer to their homes and, in turn, to their communities.
“IN THE CURRENT EPIDEMIC, 4x MORE PEOPLE TRUST ADS ON NEWS SITES, MORE THAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA.” source
A sense of community
In US culture, local news is considered and expected to be part of the community. Americans place a high value on maintaining a close connection to their community. Thus, they value local news as it covers relevant businesses that they care about.
When people support local businesses, more jobs are created in their town. When local news is seen promoting local businesses, it’s a boon to the economy and community morale. So, the bond with local news is an emotional one with immediate effect.
The move online
Local news used to be about our town papers and local TV channels. However, “nearly as many Americans today prefer to get their local news online as from their TV set.” (Pew Research)
Demand-side is gaining trust when publishing on local news sources
In marketing, one of the most important values is to be perceived as trustworthy. In this context, brand messages are met with less suspicion. When potential customers trust you, they are more likely to become your clients. When you have their trust, your lifetime value for each customer will grow higher.
Election year – news year
The importance of local news becomes even greater in an election year, given how toxic social media has become, and how suspicious people are of big media. During an election year, people need familiar ground from which to learn how campaign promises directly relate to their lives.
And this is exactly why we launched B-local in 2019
Brightcom’s B-local is a local news audience exchange providing demand partners with direct access to people’s everyday lives. With Brightcom’s unparalleled 20-year industry experience, and an award-winning AI platform at its heart, B-local offers advertisers an alternative to the programmatic “faceless masses” approach. B-local does so by re-incorporating brands into a local, familiar community that viewers can recognize and trust.