What's on Tap...
A brew of marketing and advertising news for your insatiable knowledge palette

How to Place Newspaper Ads like a Pro

By Jenna Bruce on Wed, Jun 04, 2014 @ 10:54 AM |


Despite what you may have heard in recent years, advertising in the newspaper is still a highly effective way to get your message in front of your target demographic. In fact, in a 2013 online survey conducted by Nielsen, on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), it was revealed that American adults rate newspapers – both the print and online versions – as the most effective advertising source How to Place Newspaper Ads like a Probeating radio, television, and yes, even the holy grail: the Internet. The survey specifically pointed out that local newspaper advertising topped the ratings for likelihood to notice ads and make a purchasing decision.

So great, newspaper ads still work. But if you’re like a lot of CMOs and small business owners, you don’t know the ins and outs of the newspaper advertising world. You also don’t have an unlimited advertising budget. When you buy ads, you’ve got to make sure you see a return on that investment.

With those two points in mind, here are some things you should consider so you can place newspaper ads like a pro:

How Exactly Will You Buy Your Ad?

To get the most out of your budget you’ll need to decide how you’ll buy your ads. There are essentially two ways to buy newspaper ad space: you can either commit to spending a specified dollar amount over a period of time (typically one year), or pay according to how frequently your ad appears in the paper.

NOTE: The first option allows you to set a yearly advertising budget and use it as you see fit. The more you commit to, the lower your ad space will cost. The savings may turn out to be only $0.25 per ad, but that can really add up over a year’s time.

How Will Your Ad Actually Look?

When you decide to move forward and buy ad space you’ll be shown your “proof,” which is typically just your ad on a piece of white paper. Sure, it looks great on that piece of paper, but how will it actually look in the newspaper surrounded by other ads and news stories?

Here’s what you do – cut the proofed ad out of that white piece of paper and paste it over an existing ad of the same size in a recent issue of the paper. How does it look? Is it easy to read? Does it stand out from the crowd? Is it too big? Too small? Often your ad will look great as a proof, but you’ll find it looks horrible when it actually gets printed. This step will save you the pain of learning that too late.

To Color or Not to Color?

splash-of-redIs it worth it to invest in color? Industry estimates vary, but color can improve response rate quite a bit. And it doesn’t have to be a full color ad; just a splash of blue or red can draw the reader’s eye to it. So, if your budget allows, play with color and see for yourself if you don’t get a higher response.

Consider Using a Media Buying Agency

Placing advertising has become such a complex endeavor that hiring a professional media buyer is often the smartest and most cost-effective choice. It takes quite a bit of thought and time to make the right media placement decisions, and an expert will know how to spend your valuable advertising dollars judiciously.

Another reason to consider using a media buyer is because even the most well-researched and effectively created campaigns, placed correctly, and at the lowest possible cost may not always generate the desired response. When this happens you need to have a system in place that can precisely gauge what went wrong on the most granular level. A good media buyer knows how to hold the media accountable for results and isn’t shy about doing so on your behalf.

Buying ad space in the newspaper can be a challenge as well as a gamble if not done properly. Hopefully these tips give you some insight so you can purchase newspaper ads like a pro.

Download Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers


newspaper advertising newspaper ads