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Marketing Strategies

Print Advertising


 


What is print advertising?


Print advertising is a type of advertising that uses printed media such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers, and billboards to promote a product, service or brand.


Print advertising can be an important part of a marketing strategy as it allows businesses to reach a large audience through various printed materials. Print advertising has retained relevance, even in a world dominated by online and digital marketing, because of its effectiveness in reaching certain audiences.



The evolution of print advertising


The origin of print advertising dates back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Greece, where messages were written on papyrus and walls. In the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press which revolutionized the way information was shared. Since then, print advertising has evolved from simple text-based ads to visually appealing designs that incorporate images and color.



What are the 3 main types of print advertising?

Print advertising comes in various forms, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages. The three main types of print advertising are:


Newspaper advertising


Ads are placed within the pages of newspapers to target a broad audience, often based on the newspaper's circulation which can be daily, weekly or special editions.

Newspapers provide a timely and cost-effective way to reach a local or regional audience. They offer a mix of editorial and advertising content.



Magazine advertising


Ads appear in magazines, which may be general interest or niche publications to target a specific demographic or interest group based on the magazine's readership.

Magazines are typically published monthly, quarterly, or seasonally and generally allow for more detailed and visually appealing ads. They reach a targeted audience with specific interests.



Direct mail advertising


Printed materials, such as postcards, flyers, or brochures, are sent directly to individuals or businesses which can be highly targeted based on mailing lists, demographics, or geographic location. Circulation is variable, depending on the campaign objectives. Direct mail allows for precise targeting and personalization. It can be an effective way to reach a specific audience with a tailored message.

These print advertising types have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between them depends on the campaign goals, target audience, and budget constraints. Additionally, advancements in technology have led to the integration of digital elements, such as QR codes or augmented reality, into print advertisements to enhance engagement and provide a bridge between print and online content.



Building a print advertising campaign for your business


If you’re new to print advertising, you’ll want to focus on the following when creating your ads and campaign:


Headline


Focus on perfecting the main title or message of the ad as this is what will grab readers attention and hopefully lead them to explore the ad further and potentially take further action from it


Body copy


This text provides more information about the product or service being advertised, this should be compelling and concise at the same time. It should be true to your brand messaging.


Visuals


Remember to images or graphics that enhance the ad's message and capture the audience's attention.


Call-to-action


A statement that prompts the audience to take a specific action such as visiting a website or calling a phone number



Benefits of using print advertising


There are several advantages of using this type of advertising for any size of business, the main ones of which include:


  • Its tangible: Printed materials can be physically held and kept for future reference - think flyers hung on a fridge or ads on fridge magnets. This puts your brand in people's homes.

  • Its targeted: Ads can be placed in specific publications that cater to a particular audience, allowing businesses to hone in on a target market backed up by data. This makes it more likely to be a success.

  • Its less intrusive: Unlike digital ads, print ads do not interrupt the audience's online experience and may be considered less annoying as readers have more control over how they engage with them. They may feel they have more control over their own exposure to ads, which can make them then more positive about the brands they're exposed to via print advertising.



Examples of print advertising done right


Some examples of effective print advertising from large brands are:


Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign that featured personalized names on their bottles and cans. This took personalization in marketing and advertising to a new level.


Nike's "Just Do It" campaign that features inspirational messages and images of athletes on billboards and bus stops.



Best practices for creating a print advertising campaign


If you’re thinking of getting started with a print advertising campaign, it's worth keeping the following in mind:


  • Know your audience and choose publications that cater to them. Publications should also be able to provide this information before you choose them as an advertising space.

  • Create eye-catching visuals and use a clear, concise message that align with your brand messaging and values.

  • Include a call-to-action that prompts the audience to take action, whether it's a sign-up or sale.

  • Ensure the ad is properly sized and formatted for the publication it will appear in, again the publication should provide clear guidelines and help with this.


 

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Challenges of using print advertising


As effective as it can be, this type of advertising is not without its challenges:


Cost


Printed materials can be expensive to produce and distribute. Publications with high readership rates will be more expensive, so the higher the reach you need, the more it will cost.


Limited reach and readership


Print ads may not reach as wide an audience as digital ads and it then may cost more to reach the same numbers of people.


Limited lifespan


Printed materials, especially those in publications, have a shorter lifespan than digital ads which can be viewed indefinitely online.



Print advertising FAQ

What's the main difference between print and digital advertising?

Print advertising refers to ads that appear in printed materials such as newspapers, magazines, flyers, and billboards. Digital advertising, on the other hand, includes ads that appear online such as social media ads or display ads on websites.

Is print advertising still relevant in today's digital age?





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Related Term

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Related Term

Target Market

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