Print advertising is still alive and well. As a matter of fact, some people favor consuming print media more than digital media. It’s no secret that these days digital and television media have a lower standard of journalism than most print outlets do. This fact alone can leave a bitter taste in many people’s mouths, thus giving print media an edge in all areas, not just in journalism.
Here’s an interesting fact: according to a study done by MarketingSherpa, 82% of respondents said that they trusted the print ads in magazines and newspapers. It’s not hard to see why; the barrier to entry for print media ads is much higher. Whereas with online advertising, anyone with an internet connection and a credit card these days can create a website and slap an ad on it.
So not only can print ads help to build brand trust, but they can also help you reach a whole new audience of people. But how can you bridge the gap between print and digital so that your print ad will complement your digital campaign? In other words, how can you maximize the effectiveness of your printed ads?
1. Bust Up the Norms
The idea behind this technique is simple: contrast is key. If the print outlet features mostly text, you should use a highly visual ad with bold colors and images. And vice versa. For example, if it’s a magazine that features mostly photos and art, then your ad should focus on text and blank spaces.
2. Consistent Branding Is Key
One way to bridge the gap between print and digital in your advertising campaign is to make your branding recognizable on any platform. Whether it be print or digital, your campaign should be instantly identifiable. You can do this by using the same hashtag for both your print and digital campaigns.
3. Look at Your Top Posts as a Blueprint
What was your best performing social media post? In effect, an excellent social media post is just like a great print ad – it has compelling visuals combined with perfect headlines. Look at what your best performing posts have in common and use that information to design your print ad campaign. Things to look at are the headlines and visuals you used, and which audiences were they relevant for. Then you can use these insights to make your messaging relevant across different mediums.
4. Use QR Codes
Your print ad doesn’t just have to sit there and do nothing anymore. A QR code and custom mobile apps can foster interaction between consumers and your brand. By merging the real world with the digital world, you’ll be able to reach both audiences at the same time. And since QR codes are still a novel experience for many, you also have the bonus of creating a memorable experience for people. Consequently, your brand will be more memorable and motivate them to share with their family and friends.
How Does a QR Code Work?
For the uninitiated, a QR code can be scanned by a customer’s smartphone/tablet and take them to wherever you want them to go online. It’s a completely seamless way to integrate your real-world ads with your online presence.
5. Shorten Your Ad Copy
Long paragraphs aren’t exactly conducive to capturing people’s attention. Therefore you’ll want to keep your ad copy on the shorter side.
- Your headline should be eye-catching,
- Include a couple of sentences of copy
- Keep your visuals simple and clean
- Make your ad tell a cohesive story about your product or service
6. Pack Your Ad With Value
There are a few elements to a value-packed print ad:
- Include a call to action
- Include both online and offline benefits
- Make your ad stand out
If your ad has these elements, it will likely be more memorable because your audience will have a reason to keep your ad and not discard it.
7. The Rule of Seven
The rule of seven states that it takes at least 7 different exposures to a product for a customer to take action. With this rule in mind, you can try to fill in the seven blanks on your customers’ “buyer’s journey.” This journey likely includes both online and offline elements, so using print and media together to guide their journey can actually be cost-efficient and effective if the customer’s journey is straightforward.
8. Tease, Don’t Tell
Tie your print ad copy directly into an interactive element. This also entails not giving away the entire story in your print ad. Tease them, and you’ll hook them. That will be the best way to generate more traffic with your print ad.
9. Understand Your Audience
This is one of the most well known but paradoxically most overlooked tips for print advertising. Understanding your audience means learning who they are, where they live, and what they’re looking for. The best ad copy you can come up with won’t be effective if it’s put in the wrong place. If you aren’t sure, then research first. The proper research can inform you about how, where, what, who, and when to reach them.
10. Consistent Messaging Is Key
You might contemplate using different messaging across both print and digital, but this would likely be a mistake if both campaigns are meant to complement each other. Both campaigns should align on a single message. That way, your audience gets the same message across multiple touchpoints.
11. Remember the Key Components to Success
Like with digital, the key components to success include research, intelligent targeting, and backing it all up with an excellent design.
Disregarding print as an advertising method means that you’ll miss out on lots of potential business. However, before embarking on your first print media campaign, you must do your due diligence and research your target audience, as well as the best channels for your brand. You should also set up parameters in advance to help you measure analytics and calculate ROI.