5 Key Tips for Effective Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers lined up colorful print on sides

Print media advertising, especially in newspapers, has both its pros and cons. On the one hand, you can generate a lot of leads and exposure with newspaper advertising. But on the other hand, the response rate you get can be less impressive than with online advertising, for example.

But of course, when you’re just starting a brand new business or looking to make your current business even better, you should try out every advertising method. Print media advertising is still very effective for many small businesses, and it might work well for you. The key thing to remember is not going all out in one form of advertising until you’ve tested it first with a smaller investment of money.

 

1. Consider How Advertising Costs Are Calculated

How the advertising costs are calculated will influence your decision of where to advertise. For example, in newspapers, ad space is sold by the column inch. The rate you pay for that inch can also vary depending on the specific ad classification. For instance, if you’re advertising in a service directory, that should cost less per column inch than an ad in a regular editorial section.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pretty much every newspaper gives discounts for contracted advertisers. The specific discount depends on how much ad space and volume they commit to for the specified contract year.

 

2. Select the Best Newspapers

It’s usually expensive to invest in national and regional print media advertising. On the other hand, community and local newspapers are less costly. In addition, they might allow you to take a more focused approach to your advertising.

After all, if you offer a local service, then it’s definitely more logical to focus on the local community and their newspaper. That’s because the people in that community will be more likely to read their local paper than a national publication.

While many people read national print media, it’s not worth investing in unless you have a bigger budget, it’s your target audience, and you know what you’re doing.

That isn’t to say that reaching out to a large number of people is a bad thing. On the contrary, metropolitan print media advertising can work well if your product or service is exceptional enough to stand out and pull in people from that particular metro area.

 

3. Look at What Your Competition Is Doing

Your competitors are likely spending their money on some form of print media advertising. If they are also in your local newspaper, that means your advertising efforts could potentially be diminished. You’ll be competing with them for your customers’ “mind share.”

The lesson here is this: don’t put all of your advertising eggs in one basket. Instead, diversify your advertising efforts, i.e., have a presence on both print media and online. You should also have a backup plan for when the space you’re in becomes too crowded and/or less profitable.

 

4. Learn to Write Effective Copy

Now that we’ve talked about the key tips for getting started, we’ll discuss the specifics of how to create an effective ad. Of course, there’s a lot to cover in this subject, and copywriting is a skill in itself (which is why good copywriters get paid well). First, however, we’ll go over the basics here. But make no mistake, these points are crucial for success in print media advertising.

 

The Headline

The first thing to do is create an attention-grabbing headline. It could be a carefully crafted headline for what you offer or simply an eye-catching phrase. However, if you want to use phrases, avoid slang and controversial terms. And keep your headline short and sweet. A long headline will seldom grab anyone’s attention.

 

The Body Text

Now for the actual copy (body text) – it will need to be long enough to support your message, but no more than that. How do you know how long to make it? Consider what kind of business you are or the specific product that you’re offering. Suppose it’s a business product or a technical product. In that case, a longer copy works better because it will come across as more informative.

Now, the advantage of shorter copy is that it creates more room for images and graphics. This combo works well for industries involving fashion, lifestyle products, and home décor.

 

Your Messaging

This is the nitty-gritty of what your messaging will actually contain. A powerful technique that works in print media advertising is using comparative advertising phrases. These are phrases like “You’ve experienced the rest. Now try the best!” However, you need a solid product or service to back up a statement like this. Your offering should include obvious advantages over your competition (some of whom might be advertising in that very same column or section).

 

Benefits, Benefits, Benefits

Next, you need to highlight the benefits of your product or service offering. Why should they buy it now? List your reasons or product/service benefits in the body of the copy. Put the emphasis on the customer and not yourself. For example, use “you” instead of “we.” Use bullet points to mention the key attributes.

 

Get The Sale!

And now for the closing section. This simply needs to include the essential information that’s necessary for you to get the sale. I.e., your contact information, business address, phone number, website name or URL, etc. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customer to act on their purchasing decision.

 

5. Consider Free Newspaper Advertising

Finally, we’d like to wrap this up with a few closing tips.

If your product or service offering is more downscale and low-cost, then consider just advertising in a free newspaper to start out. However, if your offering is more upscale, then stick with paid print media advertising.

Even if you fit into the latter situation, you should still stick with a lower budget for your first advertising campaign. Test things out, see the results firsthand, and you’ll get a better sense of how effective your advertising actually is. If you’re inexperienced, the last thing you want to do is recklessly blow all of your ad dollars. 

 

9 Affordable Advertising Ideas for Your Small Business

Woman sitting on couch with laptop in front of her looking at a letter she received in the mail

Are you looking for affordable small business advertising ideas? If not, then you should be – there are always intelligent and cost-effective ways to advertise. But can a small-sized business get its message across in a world that has so much advertising spam and clutter? Big companies seemingly dominate when it comes to messaging. However, there are still numerous free and low-cost methods for promoting a small business. All it takes is some imagination and hustling, and you can achieve fantastic results from affordable small business advertising.

 

9 Affordable Small Business Advertising Ideas

 

 1. Get Covered for Free

There’s nothing cheaper than “free.” Therefore, one of the best ways to advertise your business is through “earned media” – aka “publicity” or “covered in the media.” This method is about getting local media, business bloggers, and news media to do stories about your business. While there isn’t really a straightforward way to make this happen (you can’t just say to them, “please come write about my business!”), you can make it happen using some subtlety and creativity.

It starts with finding a news angle that a key story from your business could fit into. For instance, let’s say that the holidays are coming soon. You could offer to appear as a guest expert who explains how small businesses are preparing for the new holiday shopping season. Another way to get free coverage is to capitalize fully on your business successes. Write up a press release covering one of your latest success stories and send it to your local news reporters or journalists who cover your industry.

 

 2. Direct Mail

Here at Coffee News, we’re big fans of print advertising methods, and direct mail fits nicely here as an affordable advertising method.

According to recent research from the Direct Mail Association, direct mail gets a higher response rate at 4.4 percent than email does at just 0.12 percent. Furthermore, direct mail marketing cost at $51.40 per order/lead is less than that of email at $55.25 and PPC at $52.58.

As you can see, this tried and true method of advertising can still achieve significant results in this digital marketing era. The best part is that it can always be cost-effective. Just consider the fact that these days, most people’s email inboxes are more cluttered than their actual mailboxes outside! Consequently, these people may respond better to a direct mail letter, brochure, or postcard rather than just another email advertisement.

 

 3. Put Your Business Information in Clever Places

Some people can get overwhelmed with the number of business cards they receive and toss them out. So, including your business information outside of a coffee mug, for example, will ensure that your potential customers frequently see your name.

 

 4. Thank-You Cards

Another great and inexpensive way to use print advertising is to send thank-you notes to your favorite clients. It’s well worth spending a bit of money to create some printed postcards or color-filled photo cards that include your photograph, business logo, or other photos from your business. That way, your thank you notes will be personalized and let people know that you are a real person they’re buying from, which will help them connect with you on a human level. This strategy is also great for creating brand loyalty!

 

 5. Customer Loyalty Programs

And speaking of loyalty, there are plenty of sophisticated online tools that offer inexpensive customer loyalty tracking programs to help you reward deserving customers. You may wonder if it’s worth the effort. It’s absolutely worth it, especially considering that existing customers are usually a great source of repeat business that is often more efficient than trying to get brand new customers.

 

 6. Referrals

After you’ve built up a solid relationship with one of your customer’s you can further capitalize on this by getting them to refer/send new customers your way. You can do a referral program in whatever way you’d like. Whether it’s informal and on an as-needed basis, or with exact targeting and scheduling.

Whichever approach you choose, be sure to put enough thought and time into it and be mindful of how you approach your customers. You don’t want to just approach anyone; after all, you’re asking them for personal information – names of their friends, family members, etc.

A referral should be rewarded nicely with an appropriate gift. Consider what a new customer is worth to you, and that will help guide you in picking a suitable reward.

 

Man on laptop with coffee in hand looking at email

 

 7. Email Marketing

Email marketing is another viable digital advertising method that doesn’t cost too much. It’s an excellent way of reaching out to existing customers as well as your fans and followers. There are plenty of great resources online for how to establish an effective email marketing strategy.

 8. Accelerate Your Efforts on Social Media

Social media is undoubtedly one of the most affordable small business advertising methods in existence currently. One reason is that posting on social media is free. While it’s true that there’s a lot of clutter on social media, there’s still plenty of methods that a business can utilize to boost their numbers on social media without needing to spend too much money.

 9. Purchase Facebook Ads

If you want to go with the “paid approach” on social media, you should consider going with Facebook ads. FB has some top-notch methods of targeting – you can focus your ads on a particular group of people (a key demographic, for example) that matches who your ideal target audience is. You could even make your ad only target certain age groups, a specific gender, location, behavior, interest, etc.; the sky’s the limit!

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different affordable small business advertising ideas out there. Therefore, you should never feel like you don’t have enough funds to improve your marketing results. Regardless of the industry that you’re in – ingenuity, hard work, and some hustling can go a long way when promoting your business.

If you’re prepared to spend some money on purchasing ads or investing in direct mail advertising, then this is one of the best times to start. There are MANY advertising opportunities for any size business to scale-up that can fit your needs and budget.