10 Lessons to Learn From Print Newspaper Ads
Today’s CIK Blog post is another guest contribution – this time from James Adams of Catridge Save! Are you interested in gust blogging on the CIK Blog? Send us an email, we’d be happy to hand over the reigns for the day.
The internet has changed the way that people do business. It has revolutionized the way that sales are made and products are advertised. Newspapers and other print sources are no longer the best way to find the things you are looking for, and everyone knows it. The internet is just vastly larger in terms of what is available, is so much more convenient, and offers an easy alternative. However, there are a number of things that the print industry got right, things that have been forgotten on the internet, and so there are a number of lessons that you can learn from print newspaper ads that will make your website more popular and successful.
10. The importance of bold headlining
The first thing to know is that headlines are still what generate sales. These are the things that people see, and they are just as important on the internet as they are in a newspaper – perhaps more so, since the internet is so big and there are so many headlines vying for the same attention. They must grab the reader’s interest and hold on.
9. Expertise and knowledge sell
The next thing to know is that expert advice is still extremely valuable. Just because anyone can write on the internet does not mean that everyone should. Experts should still be brought in to write about certain subjects, as then your website will be able to gather a reputation for intelligence. People still want to know they are getting the best information. Note that many big advertisers in mainstream media will include accreditation in some form from highly authoritative third parties.
8. An optimised design
Ideally your layout should be altered depending on what content is being run. Newspapers do this all the time, moving pictures and text around, altering the size of text, or running different sidebars, headers, and footers. A website can do the same thing, keeping it fresh and interesting, not letting it become a sterile, unchangeable format.
7. Only publish awesome content
The best content, and only the best, should be published. In this highly competitive market a newspaper must be beyond reproach, so the top papers are notoriously picky in the stories (and to some extent what ads) they run, and websites should be as well. Work should be carefully edited and altered until it is flawless and only then should it be published. Getting information on a website is easy, but the same care needs to go into the process.
6. Make your website look good
Graphics are still an essential part of the process. They should not be cast aside, certainly, and they should be used tastefully. The internet does not usually run the risk of under-using graphics, but of using them badly. Graphics are essential and should be very good, should be the best that they can to fit the theme and the content.
5. Use easily understood language
Another thing to remember is that the language should be simple and easy to scan. This gives your website the best reach to the highest number of readers. Some of your readers may be doctors, but if you write in a way that only doctors can understand, you will lose much of your audience. Keep it simple, and everyone can enjoy what you have to say. Newspapers have done this well in the past, as they are marketed to everyone.
Any website can also take the lesson of brevity from a newspaper. The wide open space on the internet may seem unlimited, and may in fact be unlimited. However, if you treat it that way, most people will never read everything that you write because it will be convoluted and time consuming to consume. Try treating a website like a newspaper, setting a limited amount of space and filling it as well as you can.
3. Innovative design
The eighth rule is that clever design is still very important. Newspaper ads use cutting edge design to catch people’s eyes, the same way that they would use headlines. Internet ads are often the same all the time, not clever and creative. A bit of clever work should be used to make your website stand out.
2. Use humor appropriately
Another thing to focus on is using humor correctly. Advertisers have done this for years; despite their commercial and branding content, they would use humor to spice things up. A website should tastefully use humor as well to add character.
The final lesson is that interactivity should still be used. More recently this has become a more normal part of advertising in the mainstream (advertisers offer encourage people to write in, like them on Facebook or visit their website). Websites are generally good at this as well, and should strive to stay that way. Readers like to be able to contribute!
Overall, websites should take all of these lessons from print newspaper ads if they want to be successful. Whether this means that ads are funny, interactive, clever, well-designed, or some combination of them all, they should follow the guidelines that have been set down by print media. This will ensure that they do not stray too far away from the things that have made print great, and they will enjoy the most possible success.