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You are considering placing an advertisement in a print publication like a newspaper, magazine or our weekly Business Record. Good choice! Even though everyone is saying that print is a dead medium, you’re still reaching thousands of readers. In fact, this article from Forbes explains just how print is NOT dead. However, just because your ad is in a print product doesn’t mean it’s actually making an impact with the readers.

So, let’s see what we can do to make your ad powerful. I’m going to give you some of my key tips to creating a great advertisement.

1. Less really IS more

The general public is trained to ignore interruptions, quite well actually. So, print ads have to try extra hard to grab their attention. Even if you do get their attention, you will most likely have it for only 3-5 seconds. They are there for content, not interruptions.

The best way to guarantee your ad will make an impact is to buy the most space. Understandably, a full-page or half-page ad will get noticed before a smaller one. Why did I say “less is more”? Let’s imagine you decided to purchase a smaller advertising spot. In order for the publication to fill the space you didn’t purchase, it needs to sell more ads. If you purchased a quarter-page spot, you can bet you’ll likely share the page with four other ads. All of which will be littered with text and various shapes and colors.

The only way to stand out in this mess is to do what others aren’t doing. Use solid colors with minimal graphic elements. The less you have going on in the ad, the better. Remember, you only have their attention for seconds.

2. Be striking, but don’t strike out

Viewers don’t read. They scan. Don’t fill your ad with a bunch of text and bullet points Leave the bulky info for your website, and use the ad to get people there. 

Only if done correctly can text heavy ads be effective. You have to give them a reason to read. People will read good content. Some good examples are native ads and advertorials.

Large and interesting images will be remembered much easier than a paragraph of text. Think about the last impactful ad you saw, or anything else that you found impactful. My guess is that it isn’t a bunch of letters. My guess is it is a face or another striking image. Couple an interesting, or even controversial, photo with a short line of text and your ad will get noticed.

3. Generate action

The last, but most important, part of making a good ad is having a good call-to-action. Give the reader a next step to purchasing your product or service. Even something as simple as highlighting your website as a place to learn more about your business will make a difference.

The next time you place an ad, keep these things in mind. Not only will your ad look more professional, but it will be more effective as well.