Over the last several years newspapers have gone out of business almost as fast as salons and bars. It is crazy to see well established newspapers closing up shop and letting their websites die. One that we noticed recently was the Lehigh Valley Independent newspaper in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, this newspaper shut down and there really isn’t any trace of it on the Internet. There is a Lehigh Valley Independent bookstore that struggled to survive through 2020 and the Global Pandemic. There is the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Women but clearly this is not a newspaper.
So, how is it that a newspaper basically disappeared off the face of the Earth (Internet)? I think this is something that is going to be more and more common in the years ahead; especially after the Pandemic. Newspapers simply don’t have the correct marketing strategy. Instead of trying to get website visitors and people returning to the website to read interesting small town news, most of these newspapers put their content behind a paywall and make $5 to $10 per subscriber. Unfortunately, their subscriber base is extremely small.
If they would open up their websites and allow their content to be shared on social media and linked to by larger newspapers in Pennsylvania and even the NY Times or Washington Post they would see their ad revenue from their website increase. Being short minded and trying to make money off subscribers simply is not going to work. It is way too easy to find free news on the Internet. Facebook is used so much more than any of these small town newspapers.
Small town newspapers could show how many local visitors they receive and could get the Richmond VA dentist or orthodontist to advertise with them because they know they have friends or relatives in the area. Instead, they keep everything behind a paywall and end up having to close down. Expect to see almost all small town newspapers behind a paywall to close or merge in 2021 and 2022.