Thinking of starting a print media marketing campaign? At Hometown Values we know that print media is far from dead, and instead, remains a powerful and vital tool for successful marketing. In fact, according to a Pitney Bowes Survey, 76% of small businesses state that their ideal marketing strategy utilizes both printed and digital communications.
This means that print media is still a useful and vital tool in the marketing and advertising industry. It also means that the standards for print media are higher than ever!
Here are some of our tricks for creating a successful print media ad!
Trait 1: Catchy headline
In print media, a good headline is arguably the most important part of your advertisement, as it has to grab attention and draw readers into the actual content. It is your face, your message, the inspiration of their expectations for your product or service, and the source of the ‘snazzy’ in your successful print media campaign. The headline should be based on your product’s key selling points.
Tips to keep in mind while crafting a sensational headline:
A working headline—stay specific, rather than general
Accuracy—don’t set up expectations that will go unmet, or you will lose trust
Spicy—alliterations, analogies, plays on words, strong language (brilliant! worst! best! hate! love!)
Clarity—don’t make them guess
The size of the headline font should be big and powerful enough to grab the attention of the reader.
Trait 2: Killer image
Choosing images for your print media can be tricky. You want an image that will arrest the attention of the viewer, inciting curiosity to look closer. However, that same image needs to be focused around what you’re actually selling.
Ads with the best success are those with a high-definition, attention-grabbing image that is related to the product or service.
Tips on choosing sensational images:
Avoid stock photos—while some stock photo’s can be incredible, most are flat and boring and people’s eyes will naturally glaze over when they look at them.
Use bright colors—colorful images or even dramatic black and white images rely heavily on their boldness drawing attention. Be careful not to be too garish!
Never use poor quality images—no one likes looking at a blurry image.
If your image does not contain your brand name or brand message, be sure to include a caption. Research shows that captions are 300% more likely to be read than the bulk text. Keep your captions quippy and informative.
Trait 3: Clear message
Keep your message clear and concise. In a print media ad, you have a set limit of space, and you likely have a lot to say within that small area. A good way to make sure that you include all of your top priority points is to create a bullet point list or outline. Fill it in here and there, round out your corners, and voila! You suddenly have a concise piece of print media that includes everything important as well as a dash of something special, too.
Tips for keeping your message clear:
Try to avoid complex information—what might seem like relevant details to you are often too detailed or complex and won’t really spark your reader’s interest.
Cut down on onerous words—don’t expend Webster’s dictionary just to get your point across. While the word ‘rubric’ might be exactly the correct word to use, it’s more likely your audience will better comprehend the word ‘heading’.
Stories can help illustrate a point—if you have enough room to tell a short story, or even a long story that illustrates your point clearly, please include it. Stories have a way of sticking in people’s brains better than simply a mass of information.
Trait 4: Readability
Piggybacking upon the necessity of creating clear and concise content for your print media ad, it is also necessary to keep your content ‘readable’. Large blocks of text, even if relevant and important, can bog down a reader. Instead, keep your paragraphs shorter, include headings when appropriate, and choose a font that is easily read.
Tips for keeping the customers reading:
Choose tidy fonts in appropriate sizes—fonts such as Garamond, Arial, Cambria, Calibri, are good choices for body text.
Bigger is better—remember to keep your text a size suitable for easy reading. This is especially important in ads.
Bold colors—Dramatic differences between background color and text color, without being overly bright, will help the readers eyes move easily across the page.
If an image can be included to illustrate a point, do so. Images can help keep customers interested. Including captions on those images will also help communicate your message.
Trait 5: Call To Action
Drawing in a reader with an amazing headline, gripping images, and clear messages is the base of what’s really important—the call to action. Now that you have a customer interested, you have to provide a way for them to respond. Funnel them toward an action to take, such as “Sign up for our free sample package”, “Call us at 1-800-ADS-4EVR”, or “Apply now and receive a free giveaway!” will give your interested reader the information necessary to move him from curiosity, to interest, to hooked.
Tips for creating an effective call-to-action:
Make the necessary action step easy—don’t require the reader to fill out an enormous form on the back of your print ad and snail mail it in to you. Instead, consider asking them to respond on their smart phone by text or call. Or, perhaps, give them a website to visit and a way for them to submit their information. With the sheer number of online-users, your readers will probably find these option easier, and thus, be more likely to respond.
Make it relevant to your target audience and your content—if your target audience loves golf and your text was about why people should purchase your amazing golf clubs, your call to action shouldn’t be about buying scuba gear.
Use words that are exciting and motivating—you want your call to action to inspire the reader to do something about all their interest and curiosity.
At Hometown Values, we pride ourselves on creating effective ads in print media. While we know that the current trend toward online marketing has changed the landscape of how print media functions, we also know that it still remains a powerful marketing tool. Our services help businesses succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors by creating print media strategies that are effectual and successful, and you can be a part of that! Contact us for additional information on creating print media for your business!
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