What Are the Best Tips for Effective Newspaper Advertising?

Amanda R. Bell
Amanda R. Bell
Black-and-white newspaper ads may not grab the reader's attention.
Black-and-white newspaper ads may not grab the reader's attention.

Effective newspaper advertising is all about weighing the cost of the ad versus the expected draw on the audience. Some of the best tips for creating unique, attention-grabbing newspaper ads are to use color wisely and to show photographs of the item or service being promoted. It can also be helpful to avoid overpaying for placement and instead focus on the content of the ad.

Newspaper ads with a lot of color can often be the most effective.
Newspaper ads with a lot of color can often be the most effective.

People are instinctively drawn to color, especially when reading a newspaper as a large amount of it is in black and white. In general, papers typically offer three different color options when placing an ad: black-and-white, two-color, and four-color. Black-and-white tends to blend in, and it can be difficult to draw a reader away from other ads or content. Two-color tends to be only slightly less expensive than four-color, yet it typically draws only slight more of an audience than black-and-white. In most cases, four-color ads can provide enough visual impact for effective newspaper advertising.

Companies should advertise in as many newspapers as possible for maximum coverage.
Companies should advertise in as many newspapers as possible for maximum coverage.

One of the most important parts about advertising any product or service is to provide potential customers with a good idea of what is being offered. Photographs are ideal in doing this, especially when promoting an item. Illustrations can have a similar effect, although it can cause concern in discerning customers as to why an actual photo of the item is not shown. When an advertisement is for a service, showing a photograph of the storefront or the people providing the service can help to sell the deal to potential customers.

People are instinctively drawn to color while reading a newspaper because the rest of it is in black and white.
People are instinctively drawn to color while reading a newspaper because the rest of it is in black and white.

When it comes to placing effective newspaper advertising, location often does not matter, despite many newspapers selling space at a higher premium based on location. In general, if the promotion is well-written, laid out, and attention-grabbing, it will do just as well at the top of a page as it will at the bottom. There are, however, some exceptions to this. The first and last ads of a section in a newspaper tend to generate slightly more attention, as many newspaper readers skip between sections that hold little interest to them, and only see these areas.

Employment opportunities may be advertised in a newspaper.
Employment opportunities may be advertised in a newspaper.

While color and occasionally location will draw readers into a promotion, the actual content of the ad is the cornerstone of effective newspaper advertising. The text should be clear and fully explain the item or service being offered. Despite this, overcrowding an ad with content will typically cause a newspaper reader to lose interest. Keeping the text concise yet catchy is important when creating effective newspaper advertising.

Discussion Comments

Logicfest

@Vincenzo -- A problem is that the advertising prices in those niche publications might be higher than what you'd pay for advertising in a newspaper sent to the general public. Besides, you might reach more of a secondary audience in a general publication. Perhaps only 20 percent of the people reading your obstetrician add are potential patients, but their children and others who help them make healthcare decisions might be out there reading your ad.

Vincenzo

It is also a good idea to target the niche audiences that will be interested in your company's goods and services. If you are an obstetrician, you might advertise in a publication that caters to retirees. If your company sells computer games, get into a publication that reaches gamers.

A problem with general circulation newspapers is that most of the people reading it might not be in your target audience. Why waste money reaching them?

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    • Black-and-white newspaper ads may not grab the reader's attention.
      By: Feng Yu
      Black-and-white newspaper ads may not grab the reader's attention.
    • Newspaper ads with a lot of color can often be the most effective.
      By: Petoo
      Newspaper ads with a lot of color can often be the most effective.
    • Companies should advertise in as many newspapers as possible for maximum coverage.
      By: stocksolutions
      Companies should advertise in as many newspapers as possible for maximum coverage.
    • People are instinctively drawn to color while reading a newspaper because the rest of it is in black and white.
      By: miklav
      People are instinctively drawn to color while reading a newspaper because the rest of it is in black and white.
    • Employment opportunities may be advertised in a newspaper.
      By: Brad Wynnyk
      Employment opportunities may be advertised in a newspaper.
    • Newspaper advertisements should provide potential customers with information about the products offered by a business.
      By: Kurhan
      Newspaper advertisements should provide potential customers with information about the products offered by a business.
    • Newspaper advertisements should feature attractive, colorful photographs.
      By: BlueSkyImages
      Newspaper advertisements should feature attractive, colorful photographs.