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Will Print Advertising Still Work in 2018?

By Jenna Bruce on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 09:38 AM |


For many years now, marketers have wondered if print is dead. And, with each passing year, those of us who make a living through print advertising continue to sing its praises.

But sometimes, in order to convince people of something, you need more than sung praises – you need science.

Well consider this: neuroscience has now proven that print ads make a better impression than digital ones. Numerous studies have indicated that on a brain-chemistry level, people process print content with greater engagement and focus, not to mention a deeper emotional response, than they do content viewed on a screen.

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While digital content is scanned quickly, paper-based reading is slower and more deliberate, leading to greater rates of comprehension and recall. For advertisers, this means that traditional print media ads are more likely to make a lasting impression and, thus, lead to more sales.

Why Print Will Always Remain Relevant – Through 2018 and Beyond

Print will always have many advantages over digital mediums, namely:


Perhaps the fact that print has been around so long gives it prestige. Thanks to its rich history, ads that appear in print tend to be taken much more seriously.


Studies suggest that readers trust print more than any other medium. In fact, according to an October 2016 survey by MarketingSherpa, 82% of U.S. internet users trust print ads when making a purchase decision, more than any other medium.


Clearly Defined Target Audiences 

Healthy ROIs require the ability to target readers effectively. Print ads allow positioning in the most relevant editorial sections of publications. Conversely, when buying ads from digital networks, you can never be quite sure your message will reach the right audience at the right time.

High Engagement Rates 

Humans have become modern multitaskers. We check email while texting our friends while binge-watching our favorite TV shows. In other words, we rarely give digital content our full attention.

Print content, on the other hand, allows us to really focus and engage. And, when it comes to getting our message across, you can’t beat full engagement.

Print Drives Online Search

According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers are most likely to start an online search after viewing a magazine ad.

Print Ad Tips

Now that you understand just how effective print advertising can be, here are some tips to make your ads as effective as possible:

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Simple layouts work best. Busy or cluttered ads turn readers off. But simple layouts allow your messaging (your concise messaging) to be read easily.

Forgo large blocks of copy for smaller ones, and consider using bullet points to clearly define benefits. Beyond this, san-serif fonts have been shown to be the easiest to read

Mind Your Flow

The human eye naturally wants to start at the top left of a page or ad and move down toward the bottom right. You can help this visual journey by laying out text along the eye’s natural ‘route’ across the page.

Highlight the Benefits

Too many marketers make the mistake of pointing out features in their ad instead of benefits. Here’s an example:

“We use only locally-sourced meats and produce.” Okay, that makes you sound lovely, but does your customer really care? No, not really. They care more about the fact that, thanks to your meal delivery service, they don’t have to cook after a long day at work and they can afford this convenience. That’s how your service benefits them.

While your website can list product or service features, your ad should only focus on the biggest benefits to your prospective customers. This is how you hook them and get them to find out more.

It’s not that digital ads should have no place in your marketing arsenal. It’s just, if you want your audience to really connect with your ads, science says your best chances are through print publications.

In conclusion, will print advertising still work in 2018?

Will a hot fudge sundae still taste awesome?

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