Advertising in newspapers and/or magazines can be effective, but also expensive. Here are some top tips:
1. Choose where you place adverts carefully. Which ones do your customers read? Where do your competitors advertise?
2. Think about your message. To stand out, your advert needs to be memorable, it has to engage your target market and show how your product or service will help them. It also has to clearly communicate your brand and values to stand out from the competition.
3. Think about what you want the reader to do and make sure the call to action is clear. Your advert may be just to raise awareness, or to encourage enquiries – either way, have your end purpose in sight as you design it!
4. Plan a campaign – not just one advert. Often, campaigns start with building interest and awareness, then move to giving information that will encourage enquiries. Think of it like a sales funnel – you want the reader to move from awareness through consideration to purchase.
5. Use an effective headline to grab their attention. People come into contact with so many advertisements each day that they can’t possibly read each one. On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.
6. Have an offer. Demonstrate the value you offer – this could be an unbeatable price, a free trial, free postage or a bundled package.
7. Put a time limit on your offer – create urgency so people will not want to miss out.
8. Place some adverts as “advertorials” – adverts that look like news articles. They are more expensive as they use more space, but people are seven times more likely to read a news article than an advertisement.
9. Use testimonial quotes from customers – build trust in your business, its products and services by showing that others in the past have been pleased with their decision to buy from or work with you.
10. Use exciting graphics – people are primarily visual, so your graphic will be a key element of any advert.
Some examples of great campaigns:
Red Bull have the “Gives you wings” campaign. This is all built around the product benefits – better concentration, increased alertness and more energy. All the images and words are carefully selected to demonstrate and support the benefits of the product.
Dove had a “campaign for real beauty”. They stood out from their competition by using real women rather than models. This meant their target market could relate to the adverts much more than those of their competitors. It made them memorable – and also created a significant amount of free PR!
Don’t expect great results from your first advert. Create a press strategy using a series of adverts to first raise awareness, then provide information and finally ask for commitment. For each element, develop a number of different adverts. Mix up the words and imagery and use a test and learn process, spending small amounts on several versions, tracking the impact of each and gradually refining your message using the more successful versions.