According to Maggie Aland in an article on Fit Small Business, about 40% of those in the United States still read print newspapers weekly. For service businesses, this means your ad will be seen by nearly half of all households.
However, you’ll also be competing with a number of other ads, so you’ll want your ad to stand out and capture the attention of those readers. After all, you’ll spend a good amount of money getting your brand out there in print.
If you want to advertise in Indianapolis, for example, expect to pay over $300 per column inch in black and white. If you are in New York City, you might pay as much as $1000.00 for the same ad. Of course, it depends on the size of the publication you choose and the space the ad takes up.
And that is for just one print. If you plan to keep the ad running long-term, then the costs can really rise. Magazine advertising can run even more, too! Yet, advertising is vital if you want to reach new customers. Fortunately, there are five things you can do that will make your business ad great and engage readers.
1. Create a Before and After Visual
Before and after advertising is powerful. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that is true when you compare two different things. One ad that does this brilliantly was created by DraftFCB, Germany.
It shows a green wall with a sign in the middle that says “Weight Watchers”. On either side of the sign are two white doors. One door is marked “Entrance” and the other door is marked “Exit”. The “Exit” door is about 1/3 the width of the entrance door.
By showing the reader what the end result of the service is, the ad clearly shows what customers will get for their money. HVAC companies can do something similar by showing a person shivering and then the person warm and cozy, for example.
2. Showing What the Product or Service Adds
Another option is to focus on what the product or service adds to your life. This clearly shows the potential customer what he or she has to gain from using your service.
One example of this type of ad can be seen in the Pedigree: A Dog Makes Your Life Happier. Adopt campaign created by the AlmapBBDO advertising agency, São Paulo, Brazil.
HVAC and service businesses can use this same tactic and show what you gain, such as security, comfort, or improving your home.
3. An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Another idea is to create an offer they can’t refuse and one that makes them want to save the ad itself. The best way to do this is with a coupon or free gift offer that somehow ties into your business.
A good example of a print coupon ad can be seen on the website AdMedic. They show an ad for FastLube oil changes. This ad has a bit of text explaining what they do and why you should get an oil change for summer. Then, they offer a coupon you can cut out that saves you $5.00 on your oil change.
Service businesses can draw in new customers by offering a slight discount. A coupon grabs the reader’s eye in a print publication. Often, the lead will clip the coupon and save it for later use.
4. Tying into a Trending Topic
Is there something trending in the news that somehow ties into your service or product?
A good example of a creative article-type ad can be seen in the ad that Windex created for the Daily Telegraph. Directly under a story about a dust storm, Windex places their ad. The caption reads, “Now that the dust has settled, enjoy a streak free shine.”
Consider using a blizzard or heat wave to tie into your HVAC services. Of course, you’ll need to create the ad ahead of time and then instruct the newspaper to hold it until such a story runs, but what a brilliant tie-in that will grab the attention of the public.
5. Make It Fun
Sometimes you need to show your fun side and your personality to stand out from the dozens of other ads on a given day.
One example of taking a simple ad and making it more creative can be seen in McDonalds french fries ad. They took a potato and carved out a French fry holder. This unique take of the food item in the whole food it came from catches the eye.
Service businesses can create an ad featuring the product or service they sale. If you can add a little humor or a unique twist, then all the better.
Print advertising requires a lot of different elements to be successful. However, by studying other successful ads, you can grasp some of the basics of a great ad.
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