When you have something important to tell people – “We’re pregnant!”, “I got the job!” or “I just won the Lotto!” – you announce it. You formulate what you want to say, select the appropriate communication channels, add some eye-catching images and then you start making a noise about it.

This is equally true for an SME or startup wanting to promote a new brand, product or service. Putting word out across a range of advertising channels, including print, is an effective way to catch customers’ attention, build brand awareness and help generate revenue.

Our lifestyle magazine, HOMEMAKERSFair, is one such channel for advertising your home improvement business. This blog provides some insights into what to consider when running an advert in our monthly print publication.

Choose an ad size that suits your budget

For ‘maximum’ impact, you may be tempted to run a full page or front cover advert from the get-go. But what if your budget doesn’t allow for it? Other than size, there are different ways to attract a reader’s attention – with a tastefully-designed advert, for example. It’s perfectly fine to opt for a smaller sized ad space if that’s what your budget calls for. Our advert sizes range from 1/8 page to full page spreads – to suit every home improvement business’ pocket.

You may also feel inclined to try advertising in magazines that have country-wide reach.  HOMEMAKERSFair is distributed to all of the major cities in South Africa (including Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban,PE, Pretoria and Johannesburg), with each region receiving a different lifestyle magazine that runs adverts for the businesses specific to that area. This closely associates our publication with your ideal target market and helps you reach local homeowners who can more easily access your products and services.

Develop strong and eye-catching messaging

How can you make your print ad stand out from the rest? According to this Linchpinseo blog, to create ads that pop you’ll need to use print friendly images and media, ensure that your logos are updated, streamline your ad’s colour scheme to match your logo, and choose a font that is legible and suits your print ad design.

  1.  Use high-quality images: There’s no point forking out money to run a print ad to only have it fall flat because your graphics, photos and vector images are of poor quality. We’ve all noticed those smudged and pixelated images in newspapers. Avoid that! As a guideline, 300 DPI (dots per inch) is the standard resolution for printing.
  2.  Update your logo if necessary: Does your logo reflect your unique brand?  Have you selected the right colours to convey the right message about your business and services? Is your logo simple enough to be recognised, but quirky enough to appeal to your customer base? As you can see, logo design requires a great deal of thought, so do enlist the help of a graphic designer where and when necessary.
  3.  Select a font that is easy to read: While striking graphics capture our attention, the type of font you select determines if readers will actually give your advert the time of day to find out what you have to offer them. Your font needs to be appropriately sized – an 18 point font is recommended – shouldn’t be too gimmicky and should ensure that your messaging is easy to read.
  4.  Always do a spell check: There’s nothing as bad as a typo or grammar error in a print ad – whether this is a missing full stop, a misspelt word or a badly phrased sentence. These errors don’t do much for the professional credibility of your brand, especially in an industry where aesthetics are so important.
  5.  Try to run a special promotion: Running a special offer or a promotion has a twofold benefit. Firstly it prompts your target market to go over into action. (eg. “Special for this month only” or “ Special for first ten clients who contact us”) Secondly it assists you to see how effective your advertisement is working. Always remember to include ‘Terms and Conditions’ apply.