Ten Print Advertising Tips
In our last blog we made a compelling case that print advertising is relevant and valuable even in this digital age. Now we turn our attention to a handful of basic techniques for making your print advertising more effective.
- Don’t try to say everything.
The temptation is always there to communicate all the qualities of the product or service in one ad, but if you try to do that you will end up with an ad that is too busy and wordy and still falls short of the goal.
- Drive readers to your website.
Your website is the place where you should have all the information about a product that anyone would want to know, so drive the reader there with a noticeable URL. A simple “For more information visit: www.Your Site.com” will do the job nicely. The ad should be compelling enough to make readers want to learn more.
- Use measurable URLs.
If you advertise more than one product and/or in more than one publication, you’ll want to track each ad’s effectiveness. You can accomplish that by using a unique URL in each ad. You can use your web analytics software to track how many readers use each unique web address. For example if Bob’s Audio is advertising the Framitz 1000 model in Sound & Vision and TAS the URLs could be www.Framitz1000.com and www.Framitz1K.com respectively.
If Bob can’t get appropriate domains, he could do something like this: www.bobsaudio.com/Framitz1000 and www.bobsaudio.com/Framitz1K. Many people will not bother to use the extension after “/” but enough will that Bob will at least get a relative indication of which publications and ads are drawing the most interest.
- Picture people as well as products.
It is a measurable fact that readers’ eyes are drawn to images of other people.
- Don't pander.
Some people are going to read tip #4 and get the brilliant idea to use images of scantily clad attractive women in their ads. Don’t do it. Readers are not dumb, they’ll know you are pandering and using a clumsy advertising trick and many of them will resent you for it. Years ago we tested car stereo ads with 16 – 24 year olds (mostly males). One of the ads under test featured an attractive woman. We were stunned to see that it tested poorly. We even got some comments along the lines of “Yeah she made me look twice but she distracted me from the product” and “I knew that was an ad trick and thought less of your brand.” From the mouths of babes (so to speak)…BTW, the CE Marketing Pros never, ever pander by using provocative images.
- Use great photography.
People absolutely judge books by covers. Your brand will be judged by how good your ad looks. Nothing makes an ad look better than a stunning photograph. Conversely nothing says “poor quality” louder than a lousy image.
- Remember the Zee (Zed if you are Canadian).
People tend to scan pages in a “Z” pattern, from top left across the top, diagonally from upper right to lower left and again laterally across the bottom. Keep the most important elements of the ad in those zones, especially your logo. This is not a hard and fast rule, other layouts can be effective too, but when in doubt stay with the tried and true "Z.".
- Choose background colors carefully.
For a time black background ads, websites and other marketing media were the rage among purveyors of luxury goods. We get it – the right photo against black looks really dramatic, but it has been overdone in the CE industry. We’ve noticed that more and more luxury brands have switched to light backgrounds and we like the way they look and read. Try something new – look different.
- Focus on the benefits.
Too often we see CE product ads with lots of techno babble but little in the way of benefits that consumers can relate to. For example: “The B-Vox 8000 features composite ham sandwich cones,” says nothing of value to most consumers. It would have been better to use: “The B-Vox 8000’s composite ham sandwich cones bring the musicians to life in your listening room.”
- Focus on your differentiation.
Take a long hard look at your brand and products and isolate those technologies or features or services that make you stand apart from your competition. While "better performance" is important, it is hardly a unique claim and cannot stand alone as a point of differentiation. Hard as it may be to admit, your competitors make great stuff too. Dig deep, and identify your differentiation and make sure that comes across in your ads.
- Bonus tip!
When in doubt you can always reach out to old pro marketing execs who know the CE business to help you design and write your ads. Know anyone like that? Contact us.
About CE-Marketing Pros
We’re a full service marketing/advertising agency specializing in helping consumer electronics brands and retailers compete more effectively. Former marketing executives with two of the most successful CE brands, Al Ballard and Paul DiComo help brands STAND OUT in a crowded and confusing CE marketplace.
WE KNOW CE.