Even in today’s increasingly digital world, print ads remain a powerful way to reach new consumers and connect with relevant audiences. But if you haven’t made any updates to your print ads since you started running them, they likely feel pretty stale.
That doesn’t mean you should toss them out altogether, though! Instead, check out these steps that can freshen up your print approach and get the most out of this tried-and-true marketing channel.
Keep Branding the Same, But Change Up the Messaging
If you’ve been running the same print ad for years, it’s time to make a change. Marketing trends change, so your old ad copy likely sounds outdated. Not only that, but if consumers have been seeing the exact same copy and design from you time and time again, they’ve likely started to tune your advertising out entirely.
It’s time to try some new ads, but that doesn’t mean you need to throw out your branding! Yes, change up the copy. Use fresh, new images. But keep the essence of who you are as a company consistent.
If you’re wondering about the difference between fresh messaging and consistent branding, think of it in terms of your favorite artist. Andy Warhol did more than just paint soup cans. And if you’ve seen any of his other work “ even the more obscure stuff “ you likely recognized it was his before you saw his name anywhere.
That’s because his style and technique are so unmistakably his. The same should be true with the branding in your print ads. Even if the messaging itself is new, the look and feel should immediately make those who are familiar with your business think of you.
Run a Promotion
Print ads are a great place to run a special or promotion. Because of the time-sensitive nature of printed publications, they’re the perfect place to advertise limited-time offers or sales. While promotional or sale messaging might get lost in the shuffle in social media advertising or paid search, the less crowded space on a printed page is a great opportunity to draw attention to your offer.
Consider creating a promotion geared specifically toward readers of that publication. This creates a feeling of urgency and exclusivity with the consumer, who’s excited to take advantage of this offer created just for them. Plus, with today’s tracking technology, you can accurately measure the response to each exclusive offer and measure the ROI of your investment.
Test a New Design
While I do advocate for consistency in branding, that doesn’t mean your ad design should stay the same forever “ you’ve got to spice it up! Maybe your business model has shifted since you first started your company, and the design you settled on back then no longer fits your brand.
Whatever the case may be, sometimes it’s time to shake things up. If you do make a change to your print ads, make sure the new design is consistent with all of your other marketing assets.
If your website is all sleek lines and monochromatic, geometric shapes, your print ads shouldn’t be bubble letters and bright cartoons. Similarly, if you’ve been updating your online designs all along and haven’t touched your print design in years, now’s the time to get everything on the same page!
Even more subtle shifts should be handled carefully. It often pays to put a professional designer on the case. Consumers often pick up on design flaws; even if they’re not able to articulate what the issue is, they know that something isn’t quite right. Graphic designers, however, have the vocabulary and training not only to identify design inconsistencies but also to help you avoid them in the first place.
Try Different Colors
There’s been a lot of research done about how colors make consumers feel. Some colors create a sense of urgency and are great for advertising about sales. Other colors evoke feelings of trust and calm and are a smart choice for doctors, lawyers, or anyone else who wants to project stability and competence with their messaging.
Whatever the case may be for your business, thinking about the colors you use in your advertising is an important component in your design process. Consider the colors that best convey the messaging for the ad, and then make sure that the design and colors you select still align with your larger brand.
Give New Messaging a Try
Print ads can do a lot of different things for your business. From raising brand awareness to advertising a sale or special, your goal should match the messaging for the ad.
With print ads, you may have fallen into a rut with your messaging, so it’s important to take some time to brainstorm and think outside the box. How can you create print ads that are more interactive? Are there ways to build print campaigns that start a dialogue with your readers, rather than just presenting them with information about your business?
Today, it’s possible to do this by leveraging digital technology in a print format. Let’s say you create an ad with a fun question for your audience to answer. To gather responses from readers, include a QR code or specialized link in the ad. That code or link can drive readers to an interactive webpage where they can answer the question and learn more about your business in the process.
Changing up your print ad approach can make a huge difference in your marketing efforts. But making changes blindly and then hoping for the best is not a great approach.
Instead, take the time to track your marketing efforts. By understanding where your leads originate, you can measure the effectiveness of your changes. From there, you can lean into what’s working and pivot away from those less successful changes.
Even in today’s digital world, print ads remain a valuable component of your marketing strategy. By using modern tracking tools, you can better understand the results of your efforts in this proven marketing channel.
If you’re looking for help keeping your print ads fresh, give us a call. Not only do we have help you get your ads in the right publications, we ensure they look amazing, too.