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8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

By Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 10:55 AM |


If you’re a small local business, you know the challenge of getting your brand message out there on a tight budget. The key to making your ad spend go farther is to make your newspaper ads work harder. Scratch that, the key to newspaper advertising success is to make your ads work smarter.

Here are eight newspaper advertising ideas for local businesses:

1. Advertise Like David, Not Goliath8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

So many small local businesses have ad envy; they want the budget to be able to place those huge, flashy, full page ads like their bigger competition. Stop obsessing over the size of your ad. David brought Goliath down and he didn’t do it with a huge boulder; he did it with one tiny rock.

You’d be surprised how effective multiple small ads can be as compared to one or two large ones. So, think about running four quarter page ads instead of one full-page ad, or even a few 3 column by 8 inch ads, then check your sales results. Don’t be surprised if sales have gone up.

As a side note, consumers tend to assume large ads are placed by large companies, and small ads by small companies. Since there has been a consumer shift and people are more likely to want to support their local merchants, you might be better off placing smaller ads, at least for starters.

2. Speak in Terms of Benefits

You’re paying for every single letter in your newspaper ad, so don’t throw your money away by printing your product or service features. No one really cares. Instead focus on telling your prospects what benefits you offer.

3. Keep It Simple

A clean and simple format and layout is always best. Continue this same format throughout all of your ads for brand consistency.

4. Use Thin Line or No Line Borders

Many local business owners make the mistake of selecting an ornate border to use around their ads with the (false) belief it will make their ad pop. Typically these borders just eat up expensive real estate and do little else. Go for either a thin line border or a white border which will make your ad stand out while keeping it classy.

5. Stick with One Font

The last thing you want is for your ad to come across as busy and unprofessional so select one font and use it all throughout the ad. Your logo may use another font, but keep the rest of your ad uniform.

6. Don’t Screw Up Your Headline

Spend as much time as you have to create a strong headline. What makes a strong headline? It draws the reader in, gains their full attention, and gets them to read the rest of the ad. How do you do this? By telling people exactly how your offer will improve their life.

8 Newspaper Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

7. Don’t Assume Your Graphics Will Do the Heavy Lifting

When it comes to newspaper advertising, words sell and art supports your sales pitch. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your entire ad will be an image with one tiny little tag line. Text is powerful in print.

8. Show Your Product or Service Being Used

And speaking of images… include images of your product being used and enjoyed. No one wants to see a boring old image of your storefront. Can we please let those images rest in peace? If you sell pizza, show people eating your delicious pizza. People want to see images they can place themselves in.

Newspaper advertising can be an incredible way to reach your market and generate sales. Just remember to use these eight ideas to increase the effectiveness of your ads.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.


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