Very few businesses succeed without the use of advertising. Advertising introduces customers to products and services, announces sales, and even helps to build brands. For a small business, though, the question often hinges not on whether to advertise, but in what medium to advertise.
Online and television advertising receive a lot of attention from advertising and marketing experts, but both have pitfalls. While often downplayed, a number of reasons exist that make advertising in print an attractive alternative.
Print publications tend to serve specific geographic areas or specific consumer groups, and sometimes they serve both. Newspapers, for example, usually cater to specific cities and their surrounding areas. This makes a newspaper an ideal advertising medium for a business that provides services. The customers most likely to use the business’s services probably live within the circulation area of the paper.
Magazines that cater to specific audiences, such as snowboarders, deliver to customers that already spend money on products related to that topic and will almost certainly buy related products in the future.
When watching television or surfing the web, people often multitask, meaning they divide their attention. In the case of television, watchers often leave the room during advertisements.
Readers who purchase newspapers and magazines actively and intentionally engage with the material on the page, including the advertisements. A survey conducted by the Newspaper Association of America found that 79 percent of readers took some action after viewing print advertisements, with 46 percent purchasing something.
Print advertising gives the ad buyer considerable control. Ad buyers choose the size and, within editorial guidelines, dictate the content of the advertisement. Many publications also allow buyers to control over the placement of the advertisement.
A restaurant, for example, might ask that the ad appears in the lifestyle section of a newspaper. This helps the buyer ensure that the ad reaches the readers most likely to act on it.
Print publications often command a genuine or at least perceived credibility. The readership trusts the information the publication offers, and the advertisements in the publication reap the benefits of that trust.
Readers lend the advertising in the publication more credibility by virtue of appearing in the publication. Psychologists refer to this type of trust transfer, where the positive qualities of one thing influence the perception of another thing, as the “halo effect.”
A well-designed glossy advertisement creates a visual appeal that draws attention. Readers may pause to look at the ad or even return to look at the ad a second time.
The longer, or more times, the reader looks at the ad, the higher the chances of the reader remembering the product or service in the advertisement.