10 Helpful Design Tips to Help You Design Your Ad

A magazine laying open on a table featuring different print media.

With the trend in digital going big nowadays, local business advertising has shifted from print marketing to digital advertising. However, this does not mean that print marketing is not effective anymore. 

In fact, research showed that more than 80% of consumers have acted on the call to action of magazine ads. This is better than the 45% who have responded to online advertisements, primarily because of the saturated market in digital. 

So, if you’re still maximizing the powers of print advertising, here are some tips on how you can influence your consumers’ buying decisions.

1.) Maximize The Right Hand Side


Psychologically, readers prefer reading the right-hand side of the magazine more than the left one. Most individuals skip the content on the left. Therefore, it is a great strategy to place the majority of your call to action on the more effective side of the magazine. 

 

2.) Use the Correct Color Combinations

Mixing the correct colors is one of the best techniques to captivate your readers. You just have to know which ones provide the best contrasts. When looking at the color wheel, look for those that are found opposite each other since these are the ones that complement each other. 

Remember that using too many bright, bold, or loud colors on your print ad is a no-no. This is because your readers might miss the primary messages of your ad. These bold colors have a huge tendency to overpower some areas of your messaging. So, ensure that color accents are used wisely.

 

3.) Apply the ‘ABC Rule’ With Your Cover Designs

The first touchpoint of your magazine ads is the cover. There’s no point perfecting the inside content of your magazine if your customers don’t pick it up and read it. The more eye-catching your cover is, the higher the possibility of capturing your audience’s attention and making them delve deeper into the stories inside. 

To help you make your cover stand out, make sure to apply the ABC rule. This is a strategy used by expert designers when making the covers of the biggest magazines in the world. 

So, what is the ABC rule?

First, stick to one A-heading, which is also known as the magazine title. This should be the main focus of the passers-by. Although some local business advertising titles might not be familiar to people, it’s a great start to introduce the branding to their target market. 

Second, there should be a (B) subheading (which will be the primary call to action) coupled with smaller (C) sub-headings that will support your main claim. The ABC rule is proven to promote layout balance, and almost every big magazine brand applies this.

 

4.) Apply the Right Font

Use a maximum of three fonts in your content. Connecting to the ABC rule, each part should have its assigned font wherein the title has the biggest and boldest one to make it stand out.

Once you have decided which font to utilize, make sure to use it consistently. Do not have another set of fonts for your inside content. This will only ruin your branding, and the tone will be inconsistent. 

As a starter, you may use sans serif fonts for your primary headings. The body of the text, on the other hand, may use serif fonts. This contrast will have a unique distinction between your heading and paragraph, avoiding audience confusion when reading the content.

A woman works on a computer with different print designs pulled up.

5.) Print With High Resolution

Print ads are usually printed on high-quality paper. This means that photos should also have high resolutions to make them look good. To achieve that crystal clear image, the image should at least have 300 dots per inch.

 

6.) Improve the Digital Look With Infographics

It’s a known fact that people have a short attention span when reading. They don’t like blocks of text, so it is vital to keep them engaged with different content techniques. One thing that you can utilize in your digital look is infographics. 

Experimenting with infographics is a great way to immerse your readers in your message. Although text is involved, the different arrows, dividers, and shapes delve away from the boring look of text-heavy articles. This strategy works for commentary, finance, and sports magazines. 

You may also incorporate a couple of pie charts to demonstrate data, statistics, and even maps if geography is part of the content. 

 

7.) Understand Proper Logo Placement

Yes, it is a given that your logo will be included in the mix of your content. However, avoid making the mistake of shaping it as the most important element on the page. This will only deter your audience from seeing your call to action. 

 

8.) Ensure Proper Spacing

Even if you have a large space for your cover, you don’t have to use every corner of it. Balancing the available space is a critical move if you want your audience to fully understand what you are trying to convey. 

For simple adverts, you may maximize the use of basic elements to separate the leftover space from the pictures, colors, and lettering. It could also mean applying scenery and imagery to fill up the remaining spaces.

 

9.) Stick to a Single Theme

Consistency is key if you aim to retain the attention of your readers. Your theme should be included from cover to cover since this will be your hook and hallmark for your overall content. 

The best way to go about this is to introduce various key elements on the cover, which will then be carried over to the other pages of the magazine. 

 

10.) Highlight the Call to Action

One vital technique in designing an ad is to make your audience understand what you are trying to make them do. For example, are you selling a particular product or service, or do you just want them to be part of a local community? Whatever it is, do this by highlighting the call to action. 

Although digital has taken over the world of advertising, print will never go out of style. Apply these ten designing tips, and you’ll come up with the best ones in the market. 

Why Print Media Advertising Is Still Important In 2021

Close up of row of newspapers on news stand

That classic paper feel of advertising never gets old. In the age of social media and digital advertising, is there still room for print media advertising? Print media has a straightforward approach to advertising that cannot be replicated by email or social media marketing. Print advertising provides your customers a unique brand experience that sticks like glue.

With many brands spending most of their ad budget on digital marketing or online advertisements, is print advertising still worth your buck? Considering that there are many free and paid options to advertise or promote your business online, do you still have to spend on print ads?

While online advertising does have its strengths, like how you can easily measure the effectiveness of a campaign, print advertising has enormous advantages because it provides a lasting impact on a target audience. Thus, precision is a competitive advantage with print advertising, and there are many more reasons why it remains crucial and significant in 2021.

 

High Trust Ratings

Most consumers feel more confident buying from what is advertised on print ads than other advertising channels online.  In addition, businesses advertised in magazines and newspapers or on billboards have more credibility than emails or intrusive ads that pop up on your screen while you’re socializing or browsing online.  

There’s something about the newspapers and magazines that have been around for decades that gives products and services that extra credibility factor.

 

Brand Recall

Online advertising can be highly chaotic to a normal eye. There are countless options when you browse or shop online, and you would also be taken to multiple links or calls to action when you reach a squeeze page. It’s just a dynamic interaction when you encounter online advertisements.

There is so much distraction when you shop online, but you are led to just one call-to-action with print media advertising. It reduces confusion and overwhelm.  With the newspaper or magazine in your customer’s hand, you have more control when it comes to capturing and holding their attention for a longer time.

When you browse digital content, you tend to scan the content as quickly as possible. On the other hand, with reading print ads, you get to consume or digest content slowly, leading to long-lasting brand recall and increased sales or ROI. 

Physical or print advertisements can trigger or activate more parts of your brain compared to using online ads. Brand association and brand recall become easy this way.
 
Newspaper sitting on desk with glasses sitting on top of newspaper
 

Longer Shelf Life

When you create online ads like on Facebook, it stays on, and your target buyers would have that pop up on their screens depending on their browsing behavior. However, if people pause or stop using Facebook or Google for a while, you also lose your brand visibility.

With print advertisements or traditional advertising, the content has this longer shelf life or value as long as it’s up on the billboards or the newspapers and magazines are on your desk. 

The fact that it’s a physical and tangible product means it could generate countless impressions. It would most likely stay at your home or office table and could even be passed along to other potential customers. Thus, print advertising has an audience reach that compounds over time.
 

Long-Lasting Results

With digital ads, you get to see instant or quick results. On the flip side, print ads usually take some time before you get to see results because it’s being passed on from one user to another for an extended time.

This traditional print media advertising can be seen in publications that have become household names in an area or industry. Print advertising is worth it over the long haul because its value compounds over time and does not stop with the first person who gets a hold of it.

 

Unique User Engagement

It’s an entirely different mental space when you’re consuming print ads. You can read it over and over again, and the value doesn’t diminish a bit. In addition, magazines are very interest-based in that they target a particular audience with their content (so it’s not just trying to connect with everyone).

Magazines only attract a specific niche or audience and focus on that market. In this way, magazines attract subscribers who are already interested in what they have to offer. Print advertisements also appeal to this market because the magazine aligns everything to provide the best value to their audience.

The laser-beam targeting that print ads offer is exact: there is always value upfront, even before buying. That said, subscribers would most likely read the ads because everything in the magazine is consumable and adds value.

 

Rich Visual Landscape

Print ads are visually appealing. With print advertising, you get to season the entire newspaper or magazine with a visual storyline that people would love to consume in pieces or bit by bit for hours. Rather than just a one-liner, with print ads, you get to explore and weave your ads so that it interacts with your readers in every page alongside rich content.

 

Print Media Advertising is Ageless

As more brands take the online marketing approach, this is the best time to revive the old and integrate it with your marketing strategies. After all, the good old traditional advertising has not lost its touch – not one bit. 

It’s apparent that many email advertisements are ignored and dumped into the trash bin, making print media advertising the tangible option you need to invest in.

With print advertising, less is more. As today’s generation of consumers has minimal attention spans, print advertising is too hard to ignore or skip, unlike unsolicited ads that you get in your inboxes or intrusive ads on websites.

A mix of online technology and print advertising will help your brand visibility and engagement soar. Marketing campaigns today that you can see online are more fun and interactive, but people love content that they can feel and touch – and this is where print advertising does its magic with consumers. 

 

 

5 Small Business Advertising Trends to Amplify Your Reach

Woman sitting in front of laptop with email large and open in front of her

The ideas that we’re going to discuss in this blog post have worked incredibly well for small business marketing in Kansas City. Most of these methods should be viable in helping your business grow.

However, with that being said, there is no magic bullet marketing strategy. In the end, it’s all about connecting your business’s value proposition to the correct customer base. The concept is simple but can take on many different forms.

To know which of these strategies will help you amplify your reach, you must have answers to the following questions:

  • What are the demographics of your target audience? Where do they live?
  • What places does your target audience like to congregate online?
  • What process does your target audience engage in to find products in your niche?
  • Who are the online authorities they follow when it comes to making purchasing decisions related to your product/niche?

These strategies are:

  1. Facebook Marketing
  2. Google My Business
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Social Media
  5. Email Marketing

Let’s get started with the elephant in the room – Facebook marketing!

 

1. Facebook Marketing

There is a good reason why over 2 million+ small businesses are advertising on Facebook; it’s relatively cheap and effective at marketing to almost any audience on the planet.

Facebook ads work incredibly well at advanced targeting. For example, you can target users based on their interests, sex, age, behavior online, and of course, their location.

Making a Facebook ad is very simple. All you need is a good headline, some descriptive words, an image, and a hyperlink.

Facebook Ads Manager also makes it pretty easy to test several different ad sets, which lets you discover the winning formula for yourself and become profitable, with no advanced technical skills required.

 

2. Google My Business

Ranking a Google My Business (GMB) listing is incredibly impactful for any business.

And, if you have a local business serving local clients, GMB will probably work best for you.

In many cases, when someone searches for something on Google, they will find a paid ad, followed by a few GMB listings, and then followed by the organic search results. So, as you can see, being above the organic results while not being a paid ad (which many people have learned to avoid) has plenty of potential to pull in traffic. And the best part is you won’t have to spend any money on advertising.

But just what is a Google My Business profile? Simply put, it’s a platform/central hub that combines all of your Google accounts (Google+, Google Maps, Google Reviews, data from Google Analytics/Google Insights).

Also, if your brand name is unique, you should be able to have a large display for your name in the search results.

Thanks to all of the above, your business will automatically get more visibility and credibility. If you’re a local business, getting your GMB set up should be your #1 priority.

When it comes to ranking your GMB listing, it’s really not that difficult either. It starts with making sure that your profile is optimized, and then you gather reviews and make sure to post to your GMB profile at least once a week. This helps Google see that your business is relevant and regularly updated, similar to a website.

 

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing means making and distributing good content to capture and retain your target audience, with the follow-up goal of driving profitable actions. Good content is defined as these three things: relevant, consistent, and valuable.

Content marketing emphasizes long-term results in contrast to paid advertising, which focuses on the short term. This means that the short-term payoff of content marketing tends to be lower. Still, the long-term growth of customers, visitors, and leads can make a business successful.

However, content marketing isn’t an easy thing to do, and a lot goes into it besides having a creative mind for writing content:

  • valuable content
  • topic relevance
  • SEO
  • Optimized with the target audience in mind
  • Consistency in content publishing and promotion

Content doesn’t just mean writing some blog posts and calling it a day. No, it also means videos, online classes, podcasting, and plenty of other mediums where people like to consume content.

If you’re thinking about pursuing this strategy for your business, then be sure that you have the time and money needed to keep things going with no expectations of initial ROI. Then you must actually create quality content and get it out there. Unfortunately, there’s tons of bad content out there that ends up seeing little to no payoff in both the short and long term.

 

People on smartphones with emojies around them on bus

4. Social Media

For almost any business today, having a presence on social media is pretty much mandatory.

67% of consumers get customer support from social media. And furthermore, 33% of consumers prefer to contact customer support from social media instead of through the phone. These people will look for your business on their preferred social media websites. If they can’t find you, they’ll fall into the arms of your competitors.

The question isn’t whether or not your business should be on social media. Nowadays, the important question is what platforms should you focus on, and how much money and time should you be putting into them?

For example, you may want to spend a lot on organic social media growth, depending on your business.

However, for any business, it’s key to first discover where your customers like to hang out online. Then, you should know how they want to be approached. For example, does a pushy approach work, or is a more subtle approach required? Do they follow influencers, or like being a part of a community?

 

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing still works as a reliable way of getting leads, contact information and nurturing those leads over time. This is one of the best ways to sell products, hands down, which is why it’s among the best marketing channels for conversions.

Terms that you should be familiar with if you’re into email marketing are “marketing funnel” and “lead magnet.” The marketing funnel is your email marketing process. The lead magnet is a compelling offer that the visitor will receive in exchange for their email address. Some options for lead magnets are free trials, free downloads, website membership, coupons, webinar “seats,” and so much more.

 

 

6 Local Business Print Advertising Factors You Need to Know

Man sitting at table with coffee reading the newspaper

Is it better to advertise your business in your local magazine or the newspaper? Find out the answers to these questions by learning about these 6 factors of local business advertising below.

It wasn’t too long ago that running ads in the local newspaper was the status quo of local business advertising. However, with printed newspaper readership on the decline, this type of advertising has begun to seem archaic compared to online marketing strategies. Print advertising still works great for local businesses, however. You just have to be aware of the key factors that are in play.

 1. Relevancy is Crucial

It’s first essential to understand what the secret ingredient is that makes print advertising work. The secret ingredient is ensuring that your ad gets in front of a targeted audience. That will ensure that they’re at least somewhat interested in seeing what you offer.

As anyone who reads a hobby-specific magazine can tell you, it takes longer to read through a magazine involving your favorite hobby than it does to read through a general-interest magazine. That’s because, in hobbyist magazines, people actually read the ads as well.

In contrast, in general-interest magazines, people usually skip through them. Why? Because in general interest magazines, ads aren’t targeted and are therefore irrelevant to most readers. Ads relevant to readers generally show useful items to its readers, i.e., golf clubs for golfers. This piques golfers’ interest because a golfer will want to know what new clubs or other tools are available to help them improve in their hobby.

But relevancy isn’t only about items; it can also be about geography or even content. Relevance can be achieved by showing your ad to a clearly defined group of people in a specific area.

 2. Solid Distribution is Essential

Does your community still have a vibrant local newspaper? Or how about one that’s distributed to a certain area of the city (or only to residents of a small town)?

If so, then you might try to get into the action as well and advertise to those people if that’s the area where most of your current customers are from.

But first, what do we mean by vibrant? This means that the newspaper isn’t just delivered locally but is also eagerly received.

For instance, picture this: in one neighborhood, a local newspaper is distributed to houses in the geographic footprint-free of charge. It’s tossed onto people’s driveways. Many homeowners in the area leave it on their driveway for a couple of days before finally tossing it out – it happens every time.

Now picture another scenario: in another neighborhood across that same town, a different version of that same newspaper (created by the same parent company) is delivered right into their mailboxes. Afterward, they end up in people’s living rooms and kitchens. They end up getting read, and neighbors share what they read with each other.

Now you understand why it pays to know how many people receive print media AND how they end up receiving it.

 3. Content > Ads

First, do your research into whether the publication you’re considering putting ads into actually has active readers. A good indicator is if there’s any actual content in the publication besides ads. Publications that are little more than miniature coupon books have little perceived value among consumers and often get thrown out before even being given a good look. It’s basically the same as when people fast forward past commercials on TV.

In short, if the publication has no content, then we wouldn’t usually recommend you to advertise in it.

 

Senior man sitting on bench outside reading the newspaper

 4. Relevancy + Activities for Readers

Let’s go ahead and take ads to another level. Take Coffee News KC for example. We publish 10 area editions of our paper that are focused on specific neighborhoods in towns and cities across the KC area. The writing focuses on the particular neighborhoods and content relevant to the people in those neighborhoods. In fact, many of the articles are written by people who actually live in those same neighborhoods.

Not only that, but these papers offer readers another carrot: neighborhood-specific activities that they can engage in. Every month, the paper features special events for people in the community to join in, including advertisers. It could be a movie night or a special dinner at a local restaurant. These personal events give print advertising that extra “kick” it needs to work better.

 

 5. Implement a CTA to Help Measure Success

Frequently a local business will put out an ad in the local magazine or newspaper to raise brand awareness. The issue with this approach is there’s no means of finding out if it produced the desired effect. It’s much better to create a specific CTA instead.

What you can do is announce an event on a certain day, require an RSVP (or give a unique discount that expires on a specific date). That way, you’ll be able to measure precisely what response you received from the dollars you spent on the ad.

For instance, a country club that wants to increase its number of winter diners in their restaurant could do the following. They could start by putting out ads at the beginning of fall, advertising a “Harvest Festival Dinner” or “Holiday Brunch.”

It should be made clear in the ad that reservations are required and that only a specific number of reservations can be accepted. However, placing reservations should be simple for everyone  – both phone reservations and online reservations should be taken.

And finally, always include a deadline for your CTAs.

 6. Repetition Matters!

It isn’t just a simple sales tactic being done by these publication companies; it’s a tried and true print advertising factor. Repetition of ads works to get better results. Create a series of advertisements that repeat over time for optimal results with print advertising. They can be similar but remember to change them up every so often. People will still be aware it’s advertising but will give them a look because the ads are slightly different.