13 Secrets That Inject Power In Your Newspaper Advertising Ideas

What’s the most effective newspaper ad format? For newspaper advertising ideas, we suggest this prime small business advertising idea.

Usually we feel we have to compete with our big competitors by publishing big ads. Why compete when you can’t win that way? You’re trying to fight fire with fire. You’ll do a better job when you fight fire with water. This article highlights some ideas from How to Put Sales Magic In Your Newspaper Ads, which illustrates the complete Maverick method.

The guy with the most money always wins that one. He can probably run ten to your one. A bigger ad may soothe your ego or calm your fears of the moment, but it seldom produces as much sales results as multiple smaller ads. (That’s a secret, so don’t tell the big guys or they may get smart and we little companies will lose the advantage.)

  1. Instead of publishing one full-page ad, run four quarter pages. Or run one 3-column by 13 inch and three 3-column by 9-inchers. Then, check sales results. You’ll almost invariably bring more sales with the latter.

  2. Use smaller ad sizes. Assuming your company is not large and cannot afford to run full-page ads once or twice a week – even once or twice a month – we recommend smaller size formats: 3 column by 8 inches, 3 column by 5 inches, and 2 column by 3.5 inches.

    Some research shows readers equate large ads with large businesses and small ads with small businesses. Don’t be tempted to use a large ad to make people believe you’re a large business. They’ll be disappointed when they arrive at your door – and you’ll discover your ploy was all for naught.

  3. Be who you are, work hard to make your ads reflect exactly who you are, and flood them with benefits to your customer.

  4. Use a simple advertising format layout. Develop a single format, which presents the same look in all your ads. Adopt a distinctive logo to use in every print ad.

  5. A thin-line border allows maximum space for your message. Often, managers are tempted to use ornate borders because they think it will make the ad stand out. It will, but it chews up expensive selling space and you seldom get a reciprocal benefit. Use the thin-line border. It saves space and gives your finished ad a look of class.

  6. Choose one style of type and use it throughout the ad format from headline through the end of your body copy. Your logo will probably use a different type style of course, and such basics as hours and address may be set in other type styles.

    Ad shapes & dimensions
    are important

  7. Height and width. With smaller ads, we suggest you use both 3 column X 5” ads and 2 column X 3.5” advertising formats’ because they are wider than they are high.

    This format usually gets better position because of the way newspaper page makeup people tend to set up each page. For instance, if your format is 3 columns X 5” high, often makeup people will place the ad just above a large 3-column X 10” ad.

    Such placement means readers see your ad more easily and read even more easily. Even if your ad fails to get this position, the size and shape we suggest will still make it show up better.

    What do you say in your ad?

  8. Focus first on what to say in your headline. Spend inordinate amounts of time in constructing a headline that tells people graphically what you’e going to do for them with your product.

  9. Then focus on each item you feature. Tell people the facts and features about your product and the benefits of each of those features.

    What you say takes precedence over all your pictures and art because . . . oh, sacred violation of the creator’s itch . . . your words sell your prospect. Your pictures or artwork only assist.

    More about pics & illustrations

  10. Use simple illustrations and photos. Crowd scenes and panoramic photos do not work well in newspaper advertising formats.

  11. Focus interest on one person or two. Get up close. Look for ways to take product photos with people using the product in close-ups.

  12. Avoid showing panorama photos of your business. I hate to tell you this. We love to show pictures of our business but readers find them dreadfully boring. You can use much expensive space to show something no one really wants to see but you.

    Instead, show your customers enjoying your products. They’d rather see themselves in the event instead of you anyway. (Customers are so egocentric, aren’t they? Not like us, of course!)

  13. Create story appeal with photos and pictures. If you use a picture, make sure it has “story appeal” – an interest factor that causes the reader to ask himself, “What’s this?” Once you have the appeal, explain your proposition with words.

  14. With your interesting picture, be sure to use a word caption directly under the picture. Use the caption to highlight an important selling point. Then explain the same point in the story in your copy.

    You can see how the complete method Maverick coaxes more results from newspaper. Take a look at How to Put Sales Magic In Your Newspaper Ads.

I wish you well.

Rod Rademacher
Maverick Strategy
785-783-7756 or
E-mail us here

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