Advantages and Disadvantages of Print Advertising

Advertising for small businesses

Whether you choose to advertise in a newspaper or a magazine, prepare print ads that have some lasting power. Typically, a print ad will run several times before you'll want to start working on a new one, especially a magazine ad. Below are some advantages and disadvantages to both newspaper and magazine advertisements.

Newspaper advertising: Newspapers continue to provide a means of reaching a large audience in a city, town or region. You can reach a specific audience by selecting the best location within a newspaper to advertise your product or service.

Advertising rates vary significantly by geographic region and market size. Deals can be made through negotiating. Buying an ad that will run for weeks will always be cheaper in the long run than buying on a day-to-day basis.

Advantages to newspaper advertising:

  • Ads are inexpensive to create
  • Most papers offer various rates and sizes of ads
  • Changes can be made to an ad rather easily
  • It is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other forms of advertising
  • You can offer coupons or immediate savings (Request an "outside position" on the page if you are placing coupons in an ad)

Disadvantages to newspaper advertising:

  • Photographs typically do not print well
  • Placement - The ad is only as good as the page it's on
  • Readership may be limited depending on the news of the day, the circulation of the paper and the day of the week
  • Competitor's ads are usually found in the same section(s)

Magazine advertising: Magazine advertising allows you to place ads in periodicals read specifically by your target audience. Photographs can, and typically do, enhance magazine advertisements. Unlike newspapers, where ads feature the basic details of the products or services and the price, magazine ads are more often focused on creating and building an image. The immediacy of newspapers is advantageous for special promotions, sales and one-time offers. Magazine ads, however, are typically designed to have a longer life. Often a reader will pick up the magazine two or three weeks after it was initially published and the ad should still be of value to the reader. Take time to look at ads in the magazines your research has determined are read by your target audience. Also consider regional magazines if your business is regionally based or trade magazines if you are doing business-to-business sales and marketing.

You may opt for an advertising agency or copywriter to handle magazine print ads if your budget allows for such specialists.

Advantages to magazine advertising:

  • You can more easily create an image
  • You can use photos, color and a more elaborate layout than with newspaper advertising
  • You can target a very specific audience (more so than with a newspaper, where a reader may be buying the paper for any of ten very different sections)

Disadvantages of magazine advertising:

  • More costly than newspapers
  • There is a long lead time (ads may need to be ready six months in advance)
  • Typically, the ad will run only once per month since most magazines are monthly publications



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