Saying so long to bad ads – three keys to effective print advertising
The financial lifeblood of most magazines, consumer or trade, is advertising. Magazines need them to help pay the bills, and advertisers need them to communicate to their target audiences. But not all ads are made the same.
The goal of an effective ad is to relay a single message. If the message is received by the intended audience – the ad did its job. But if eye balls glance over it and the page is turned, then the advertiser just wasted its money. So what exactly goes into making a business-to-business avertisement effective, and thus prevent the page from being turned? Three things: a clear message, brevity and good photography.
A clear message
An advertisement needs to convey its one and only message to the reader in just a few seconds. If it takes longer than that or the message isn’t communicated well, the page will be turned. An effective ad needs to catch the reader’s eye and hold their attention so the message can be delivered. The ad should tell the reader what the product is and then relay the appropriate features and benefits – and do it in about three seconds.
When it comes to ads, less is definitely more. A strong headline, supported by concise body copy and a call to action is what’s needed to communicate your product message. Designing an ad with a headline and two subheads, three loose paragraphs, multiple graphic elements and additional photos almost guarantees the message will be lost or overlooked, and the page turned. Don’t bog down or hide the main message with a bunch of clutter.
As consumers of promotional materials, we’ve become accustomed to high-quality images. We’ve also formed quality-based opinions surrounding these images, and may make a buying decision as a result. A good image or photograph goes a long way toward catching a reader’s eye and holding their interest. The one or two photos in your ad are a direct reflection of your company and product brands; if it looks cheap, that’s how your brand will be viewed. Invest in professional photography or illustration to best capture the shot your ad requires. Don’t short change the power of good photography.
Following these three steps will greatly increase the chances of your ad and message being seen and received and acted upon – and prevent the page from being turned.