The Golden Rules of Print Advertising

Print advertising, if done correctly, can skyrocket your business. It can build a brand, establish credibility and convince consumers to run to the store to buy what you sell. But to be successful, it needs to be done well.

Here’s how to make sure your advertisements attract all the right attention.

Invest in quality

Before you even think about booking an advertisement, sit down and think about your budget. What are you willing to spend on advertising? You need to be able to invest in quality when it comes to promoting your business. If you’re not willing to spend a little money, quality isn’t going to happen. A bad advertisement is worse than no advertisement, so make sure you have the time and money to create something you can be proud of before you start compiling a campaign.

You’re going to need crisp, clean, clear product photographs; a stand-out headline; and catchy copy. If you don’t think you can create this on your own, you may have to pay an agency to help you. And that’s ok! Working with an agency can provide endless benefits. Just remember: great advertising comes at a cost. It helps to think of it as an investment and know that it’s worth it. Don’t waste your money publishing something subpar. Do it right the first time, and invest in quality from the start.


Once you’ve decided you’re ready to commit to advertising, the next step is to do a little research. Who is your target audience? What problems do they need solved? How can your product improve their lives? People are very rarely interested in your business. Instead, they’re interested in solving their problems, and they want to know if your product or business can help.

target audience

Finding your target audience will help guarantee the right people see your print advertising.

For example, a shopper will buy a Coke in the checkout line because he’s thirsty, not because he wants to spend an extra $2. He had a problem. Coke was the solution. It’s your job to find your target audience’s problems.

Additionally, you need to do a little research on the publications you might want to place advertisements in. Are they credible? Affordable? Do they reach the right audience? Our guide for choosing the perfect publication for your print advertisement might be helpful during this step.

Lastly, research your competition. What are they doing, and how can you set yourself apart? Find a niche that makes you different before designing your advertisements.

Get creative 

This one is pretty straightforward.

On average, shoppers see between 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. Your ad needs to be creative to stand out. This is your time to go big. Try to create something original, eye-catching and targeted to your audience. Again, this is where working with an agency might come in handy.


When designing creative for an advertisement, choose your colors wisely.

Be picky 

Most of the time pickiness isn’t a good quality to have, but that’s not the case with advertising. When designing your ads, it’s necessary that you be a little critical. Be picky about the colors, fonts and words used in your advertising. The wrong color or font can send the wrong message to shoppers and potentially drive them away.

It’s also important to be picky about placement. Don’t just place your advertisement in the first publication that offers you a space. Just like we mentioned above, it’s important to do your research. Make sure you choose your publications wisely. Just because you can run a print ad somewhere doesn’t mean you should.


The most important word in advertising is frequency. One advertisement, even if it’s the most incredible ad, will not grow your business. You need to work to constantly keep your company top of mind with consumers. That means shoppers need to repeatedly see your ads. One exposure just isn’t enough to convince most shoppers sprint to the store and make a purchase. Place your ad in multiple different publications, and run them for a few consecutive months. Shoppers will soon become familiar with your product, and they’ll grow curious and want to try what you’re selling. Repetition is key with advertising.

Now that you know the golden rules of advertising, get out there and design something incredible (or let us do it for you)!