With print advertising still generating more than $50 billion in annual newspaper and magazine ad revenue, it’s important to consider building print advertising into your marketing strategy. In fact, business to business (B2B) media is continuing to increase in importance as it’s a great way to build confidence and trust with consumers. 

 However, simply having print ads in a publication is not enough. If you’re going to develop print advertising, there are a few tips to keep in mind to help you develop the most effective ad possible.

1. Clean copy. Know how to communicate your brand, product or service in a clean, concise manner with as few words as possible. Ensure copy is free from spelling and grammar errors. The copy should be professional and clear, and be written in a way that resonates with your brand.

 In addition to clean copy, be sure to have an effective headline. Use a powerful headline to grab the reader’s attention and persuade them to keep reading or looking at your ad. The headline should be simple and short, no more than a few words, but should give the reader enough information so that if they read nothing else, they would generally know what the ad was about. In the headline, you can ask a question, provide information, or start building a relationship with the reader.

2. White space. In print ads, graphics, images, and design structure are just as important as the copy you use. Don’t feel like you have to cover all of the available space with design elements and text. Having a proper ratio of design to white space can, in fact, make the ad more visually appealing and effective.

3. Keep it simple. Your reader should be able to know what you’re advertising after just a few short seconds of looking at or reading the ad. Keep your fonts simple, use black or dark-colored text, and make sure it’s large enough. Avoid putting text or imagery on a bright background, and stay away from overlap of text and complex images. The simpler and easier to read and comprehend, the better.

4. Consider images carefully. If your ad is too text-heavy, it could be mistaken for an article or piece of content. It could also be easily skipped over. It’s important to use images or graphics correctly to help draw the reader in as well as display and communicate your message.

Try to avoid generic stock photos and use something that aligns with your company’s brand (original photography works best). Don’t make the images or graphics too complex, but try to make them stand out against the other pages in the publication.

5. Be unique, but descriptive. Why should someone buy your product or service? What makes you different from competitors? You should embrace and share your brand within your ad. The combination of text and imagery, color, graphics, and fonts should convey what your brand is all about while convincing a consumer they should purchase from you. Promote your product or service from a unique angle – what can it provide that similar products don’t?

In the ad, be sure to either visually or through text communicate how you’ll solve the consumer’s problem. You could also include testimonials or reviews from past customers describing why your product is the best.

6. Have a compelling call to action. Without a call to action, a consumer won’t know what to do next. Try to generate a sense of urgency with your CTA. For example, you can provide a coupon or ask for action before a specific date. You could encourage the reader to sign up for your blog or emails or offer a free quote or consultation.

In the most simple scenario, at least provide a phone number or website to contact you for further information. The more direct the call to action is, the more likely the consumer is to do something.

Make sure any and all contact information stands out, and try to provide multiple ways of getting in touch with you. This gives the consumer options to contact you in the way they feel most comfortable with, so they are more likely to reach out.

Contrary to what many believe, print advertising is not dead, and in fact, will continue to remain relevant and important in marketing and advertising strategies for years to come.

Whether you’re designing a print ad yourself, using an in-house marketing team, or taking advantage of what a marketing agency may have to offer, following the six tips listed above will help your print ad stand out, build trust and brand credibility and generate leads and/or sales with consumers.