How to Create Effective Print Ads

How to Create Effective Print Ads

Print advertisement has a lot going for it. It doesn’t disappear forever the moment a browser window is closed. It’s tactile, engaging most, if not all, of the senses (if it’s one of those good-smelling cologne or perfume ads.)

For these reasons and many more, 63% of consumers prefer newspaper and magazine advertisements. Only 25% of those polled report preferring digital marketing.

To help you make the most of these tendencies, we’re going to help you learn how to make effective print ads.

How to Create Effective Print Ads

Before we dive into making your own print ads, let’s take a look at the current state of the industry.

Why Print Ads Matter

For all of the talk of declining physical media in the early 21st Century, traditional marketing has held on. It’s even enjoying a bit of a renaissance, with print magazines making a healthy comeback in recent years.

A print ad is also trustworthy. As the Internet has become a shadier and less trustworthy place, customers are looking for someone credible. This creates a bond with your customers that can turn into a lifelong relationship.

Sensory data also makes much more of an impression than numbers and letters on a screen. Our senses have evolved over billions of years. Digital marketing is barely a flash-in-the-pan, by comparison.

With a print ad generating trust and building a deep, lasting connection with your audience how could you not at least try a print ad?

Now let’s take a look at how to design your own print ad.

How to Make a Print Ad

Writing and designing for print has its own rules and laws. Even if you’re a seasoned digital marketing veteran, you should still take a moment to consider the specifics of the format.

Do Your Homework

To start, take a look at some physical advertisements. Browse through a few magazines and newspapers and keep an eye out for design trends and common words and phrases. Take note of print ad copy that moves you.

Even if you’ve worked in print in the past, it’s a good idea to check the current state of the industry. Marketing’s job is to make your brand seem with-it and contemporary. An out-of-date style could end up doing more harm than good.

Consider Your Audience

Your buyer personas should never be far from your mind when creating marketing messages and advertisements. This is true of digital marketing but it’s three times more important for a print ad.

Print ads can be quite a bit more expensive than digital marketing. You’ll want to go through some extra steps to make sure your ROI is as high as it can be. Spend some time with A/B testing and market research, as well, if you have the resources to do so.

Embrace Negativity

One of the principal differences between online marketing and print ads is the usefulness of negative space. Online marketing is all about making an impact, getting in and out as quickly as possible while still communicating your brand messaging.

This lends itself to the familiar ‘inverted triangle’ format most online marketers have internalized. Print ads are a different creature entirely, however.

Having plenty of blank space in an ad helps your reader know what’s important and what isn’t. It’s a way to help guide their eyes to the important information. When used in conjunction with other design principles and techniques, negative can be a powerful tool.

Spend Some Time on Your Headline

Your headline is the hook that will snare you reader’s attention, drawing them into your advertisement with colorful words and phrases. DO NOT, under any circumstances, skimp on your headline! Dull ad copy = an uninspiring business.

You may need to write a sub-heading, as well. Don’t repeat your headline. Create a new, original thought that draws your reader into the body of your print ad.

Don’t Overcomplicate Things

It’s tempting to put everything wonderful, unique, and innovative about your company in your advertisement. Resist this temptation. Your readers will leave feeling confused and uncertain what they’re supposed to be doing.

Instead, get crystal clear on your business goals for this particular ad. Are you hoping to attract new customers? Or are you hoping to let people know about a sale?

Each of these decisions will impact every design element of your ad, including the text. Knowing your customers will also impact the aesthetic choices you make.

Use Images Tactfully

Every element needs to serve a purpose in an advertisement. They must all come together to create a seamless whole, as well.

The visual content of your ad is similar to the print ad copy. Don’t try to include too many thoughts at once or it muddies the central message. Having too many images also increases the odds of contrasting colors that will leave viewers unsettled and unclear on your message.

Don’t Make It About You

This is true of all marketing. An ad’s job is not to show off your thousand-dollar vocabulary. It’s not to showcase how ‘hip and with it’ you are, unless that’s the customers you’re trying to attract.

A print ads job is to communicate something about your company. Think about the grocery store circulars that go out with the Sunday newspaper. Most of us probably don’t think much of those ads, as we’ve seen them our entire lives.

If we were to think of them, we’d probably consider them tacky and tasteless. When you really think of them, as a marketer, you realize they’re actually rather ingenious. They fit a ton of information in a small space in a clear, understandable. They usually feature a clear CTA and entice readers to visit (and spend money).

Don’t be afraid to be ‘low-brow’ in your advertisements. It’s about your customers and your marketing message. Keep that in mind at all times.

Print ads are coming back in a big way. There has been a resistance towards the increasing digitization of our daily lives. People are remembering the joys of physical media and how it enriches our lives.

Want to Find out How a Print Ad Can Enrich Your Business?

American business owners are predicted to spend $22 billion dollars on print advertising in the next three years. Clearly, we are seeing a sea change, as we continue to adapt to the new ways of doing business.

Want to learn how effective print ads can help your business? Contact us today with any questions or to schedule a consultation.