Most magazine publishers have sold and printed advertising campaigns that have resonated with their audience and produced great results for the advertiser. And, of course, those same publishers have sold campaigns that fell flat.
Why are some magazine ad campaigns so successful while others just don’t work? What’s the secret to ads that generate leads and sales? What advertising elements increase the likelihood that readers will engage with and act on a campaign?
We know that strong ads produce results and that advertisers a return on their investment. And publishers know that happy advertisers are likely to stick around and buy more space in the publication.
There are ways magazine publishers can help their advertisers create better, more effective, ad campaigns. A place for publishers to start is discussed by Jenna Bruce of Media Space. In her article about ineffective campaigns she states, “Most print campaigns fail miserably; not because print is dead – it is very much alive – but because marketers often make the same old mistakes that lead to wasted spend and little to no ROI.”
Why advertising campaigns work
In general, successful campaigns follow these guidelines:
- Hitting the target. Advertisers are typically interested in advertising with magazines with audiences in the advertiser’s target market. It’s worth the time for publishers to ensure they understand how their advertisers have defined their target market, and to assist refining their definition where possible.
- Honing the message. Magazine publishers are expert wordsmiths and are intimately familiar with their reading audience. Once a publisher knows an advertiser’s campaign goals, they’re in an excellent position to lend a hand ensuring that advertising campaign messaging will resonate with target readers.
- Pointing to benefits. We’ve all seen ads that focus on features. As objective partners, magazine publishers can help ensure advertising campaigns focus on benefits for the reader, so that readers quickly and clearly understand what’s in it for them.
How magazine publishers can leverage their expertise to improve ad campaigns
The status of print and print advertisement is positive. As reported by Beth Braverman of Folio magazine, print advertising is alive and well. Helping your advertisers refine their print ad campaigns will help strengthen these result trends.
So how can you help advertisers place better ad campaigns in your magazine? The answer is to use your expertise with the written word and knowledge of your readers. This will help your advertisers get better results and will solidify your role as their partner.
Here are some of the areas you can help:
- Where is the best place for the ad? An ad doesn’t have to be a full page to be effective. Can it be placed next to content that makes it especially relevant? Is there a location where the ad will be more eye-catching so readers are more likely to see it?
- Is the ad too wordy? A short, punchy message is usually most effective, but you’re the expert on your audience and what they want. Help advertisers identify when more or less verbiage would help them connect with your audience.
- Is there a strong call to action? As an objective partner, you’ll recognize if an advertiser’s call to action is clear.
- Does the headline speak to a benefit that aligns with a need? Headlines matter. Does it highlight a benefit that aligns with the needs of the target audience? As covered above, you’ll know if an ad focuses on reader benefits that will help them understand what’s in it for them. Honing headlines are a great place to start.
- Does the campaign make the most of the advertiser’s budget? Helping your advertisers stretch their marketing budgets is a great way to build long-lasting relationships. Evaluate where you can help advertisers maximize impact and increase ROI. If you can become part of their planning process, you’ve succeeded in becoming a partner and ensuring a mutually profitable relationship.
The best way to sell more advertising is to create a track record of success for your advertisers. Start with small wins and build on those. And the best way to do that is to help your advertisers refine their ad campaigns to resonate with your audience.