Think about what draws your attention to an advertisement. It is the colour? The balance of text, image and space? The words? A combination of these? Or something else entirely?
Some simple tips can help small businesses to create advertisements with impact, that stand out among the myriad of other ads in the local newspaper or yellow pages for example. Consider how the following may add impact to your advertisements:
- Ask a question
- Make a profound statement
- Use a bold colour
- Make people think (or look) twice
- Let images tell your story – if you are a service organisation, remember that people relate to people
- Use the space creatively (I recently saw a local real estate advertisement placed sideways along the entire left hand edge of the newspaper – it worked!)
If you want your advertisement to stand out, it is worth spending time to research the publication and try to do something different to other advertisers. Ensure your style and pitch is adequately differentiated from your competitors by becoming familiar with what they are doing.
One of the most effective techniques is the creative use of space. Newspapers tend to be cluttered and most space is filled with text and images. Using space around your key message, name or logo can be powerful. A small word or phrase in a large space can be more effective in drawing attention than a cluttered advertisement that tries to include all your service offerings.
Always include a call to action (call now, come and see us, visit our website, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on facebook are just a few examples). Your call to action will depend on your overall marketing strategy and where your advertising fits into the mix.
Your call to action can also help you track the effectiveness of your advertising through tools such as Google Analytics, phone responses, Facebook likes and newsletter sign-ups.
Often, the company you are advertising with will include the design in the cost. However, if you are seeking brand awareness and consistency, spend the extra money and have your graphic designer design your advertisements. This gives you more control and flexibility…and you won’t end up with an advertisement that looks like all the others in the publication.
Lastly, be sure your advertising fits your marketing mix and overall marketing plan. There are many alternatives to newspaper advertising available to promote your product or service. It you’re not using social media as part of your strategy, be bold…perhaps now is the time to start!
Until next time…remember to do something every day that scares you…it will challenge you but you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process!