Everything You Need to Know About Print Advertising

Digital advertising gets a lot of attention these days, but don’t assume print advertising is not alive and well. Studies repeatedly show print ads are more effective at building trust, making good impressionsfostering engagement and other key metrics.

In fact, statistics suggest it’s as important as ever to keep print in your advertising budget.

As Don Potochny notes in SF Gate, “[ad] investments have gone digital mostly because the Internet provides businesses with an affordable way to promote products and services. However, online marketing needs the complementary power of print advertising to seal the advertising deal.”

Four reasons to keep print advertising

What are the most compelling reasons to keep print in your arsenal? Potochny boils it right down.

  • Print Ad Conversion: Print ads convert better. “Nearly 80% of consumers act on direct mail advertisements compared to 45% of consumers that act on electronic advertisements,” Potochny says.
  • Print Ad Targetability: Print ads are highly targetable. Perfectly targeted digital ads are a properly-busted myth, but this kind of Marketing 101 targeting is possible in print. “For example, dog lovers that want to purchase healthy food for their canine friends are more likely to find the right brand via a publication such as Dog Fancy than by receiving an email blast from an online marketing agency,” he notes.
  • Print Boosts Digital Campaigns: “Savvy business owners know that implementing both digital and print advertising campaigns produces higher customer conversion rates,” he notes. In a multi-channel shopping environment, print adds a significant improvement to overall campaign success.
  • Print Ads Are Effective: Consumers often feel more comfortable buying from print. This age of impulse buying might have us believe that online is the only way to shop, but in reality, print ads continue to perform well in purchase intent.

Conversion, targeting, ROI boost and purchase intent – these four principles remind us of why print ads are effective.

How to Make a Print Ad Successful

How do you make a print ad? If you’re incorporating print ads in your marketing budget, you want to make the most of your investment. Effective print advertisements have certain elements in common:

  • Enticing Headlines: You need to grab the reader’s attention, and the headline is where that begins. Without a compelling headline, you aren’t giving your potential customer reason to read more.
  • Target Audience: If you know exactly who you want to speak with, you’ll know exactly what you want to say. People are inundated with messaging today, but a concise, direct approach that answers “what’s in it for me,” will still engage audiences. To do that, you need to know a little about your target. What do they want? Why are they motivated? How do they behave? Developing buyer personas can help you define your audiences and then serve as a basis for copy development.
  • Consistent Message: In order to have an effective print ad campaign, you’ll want to ensure your message is consistent across all advertisements.
  • Call to Action: Make sure your readers know what to do next. Don’t forget to add a call to action, so they will easily be able to take the next step in the buyer’s journey.

These are just a few key characteristics of the best print ads. If you follow these perimeters, and couple them with good design, you’ll be well on your way to advertising success.

Bottom line: if you haven’t already, it’s still a good idea to incorporate print ads into your advertising budget.