How to Use Print Advertising
to Drive Your Online Sales
By Peter Koeppel
days, advertising your product or service requires much more than
simply a print ad campaign or even a television blitz. To reach
today’s consumers in the most efficient manner, you need a mix of
offline and online ads. And while many advertisers are already aware
of the power of television advertising to drive sales and online
traffic, few realize the potential of print advertising and how it
impacts a company’s bottom line.
research from iProspect and Jupiter Research that looks at the
influence of offline channels on online search found that 67% of
online search population is driven to search by offline channels. Of
that percentage, 30% come from print ads. Even more impressive is
the fact that print advertising topped the list of offline media
sources that led to a purchase, with 30% of search users who opened
their wallet and bought online coming from a print medium.
does all this mean to today’s advertisers? It means that if you’re
not using print media, such as magazines and newspapers, to
advertise your company, product, or service, then you’re missing out
on not only sales, but also web traffic that could in turn lead to
future business. But before you rush out and place any old print ad
with the hopes of a big online payout, take note of the following
guidelines that will enhance your print campaign success.
key search terms in your print ad: Including your web site
address or URL in your print ad is obvious. But don’t stop there.
Realize that readers don’t necessarily take your web site address
from your ad and type it into their Internet address bar. Often,
readers remember some other key item from your ad, such as the
product name or tagline, and search that phrase in a search engine.
That means your print ad needs to prominently display your company
name, product name, tagline, or any other pertinent descriptor or
keyword your customers would remember. Therefore, before you design
your ad, think like your customer and create a list of keywords they
would likely search for if they were looking for your product. Then,
include those words in your print ad so you can reinforce the
message into the readers’ minds.
your print ad as a “sneak peak” of your product: Since print ads
are static, you often can’t give readers a complete overview of your
product or showcase all the “bells and whistles.” That’s where your
online presence comes in handy. You can entice people with your
print ad, and then use your web site as a way of demonstrating the
product and showing all it can do. Show a video of the product in
action or give a demo of what customers will experience. Take your
print ad to the next level by using the interactivity of the web to
get prospects involved with your product before they even own it.
The more involved you can get people, the more apt they are to buy.
your online presence as a way to further educate the consumer:
Depending on your advertising budget you may not be able to afford
running a full page print ad every month. Instead, you may need to
make the most of a quarter page ad or even less. If so, don’t
despair. Since print advertising is all about long-term exposure,
you need to choose the largest size ad you can afford to do for the
long-term basis. Any information you can’t include in your print ad
can go on your web site. So in addition to having demos and video
clips on your site, make sure you include a section with all the
pertinent technical or educational information your prospects may
want to know about your product. When you give your prospects
adequate information, you make their buying decision much easier.
the web to elaborate your print testimonials: Most print ads
contain a few testimonials from satisfied customers. Your print ads
should certainly do the same. To make the testimonial even more
powerful, have the same person do a longer video testimonial for
your web site. Why video? Because it’s more believable than simply
reading a short paragraph testimonial. Additionally, it puts a face
to the words and helps your prospects identify with other satisfied
customers. Finally, most purchase decisions are based on emotion,
not logic, and video is a more emotional medium than reading a block
Right Mix for Your Success: No matter what product you’re
marketing, if you’re not using some form of print advertising to
reach customers, you’re missing a huge share of potential revenue
and online traffic. Remember that it takes a combination of offline
and online advertising to make a true impact on today’s consumers.
So leverage your marketing dollars by using the synergy of print and
online ads to maximize the impact of your campaign. When you do, you
will see your company’s bottom line results improve.
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