Is print advertising still worth it?

Radhika Sivadi

3 min read ·


With Internet marketing and social media becoming so popular, the more traditional methods of marketing seem to have fallen by the wayside. Is print advertising still a worthy investment?

Everywhere you look, there is talk of using the Internet as a marketing outlet and while social media and online advertising is certainly effective, it isn’t the only method of marketing out there. Print advertising is still alive and well, for a variety of reasons.

Every time something new comes up, people assume it will wipe out previous techniques. When television appeared, many thought radio would be gone forever. In some cases, it does work this way, but when it comes to marketing, the more people you can reach, the better. That means that print marketing can still be a worthy investment of marketing dollars.

Print Advertising Cons

While paper marketing still exists, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any downsides to this method. In fact, since social media and online advertising can be very cheap or even free, many business owners don’t even consider the more expensive print advertising anymore.

Magazines are particularly high cost to place ads in, but you can often get smaller ads for less. Newspapers can be good alternatives to magazines, as well. However, the actual ad cost doesn’t end with the price of placing it. First, you have to create the ad and that in itself can be pricey. You will need a photographer or graphic artist if you are going to be doing a quality visual ad or a copywriter for a print ad. Either way, you are looking at paying a lot of money out just to build the ad.

Another issue with print marketing is that many younger people will look online rather than in the Yellow Pages or a newspaper. It’s fairly uncommon to see anyone under the age of 30 reading the newspaper in print, since they can read it online. However, in some cases, your ad may be made available in both print and online editions, so it can still be a useful method of promotion.

Overall, if your audience is over 30-35, you should consider ads in newspapers. Magazines, because of their targeted marketing and appeal in print, are still an excellent way to reach any target market. While some are available online, most people still prefer to read them in paper versions.

Pros of Print Marketing

Despite the cost, there are some serious benefits to having your business appear in a magazine or newspaper. First, it still conveys a certain level of professionalism, something that isn’t always evident online where everyone can pay $10-25 to get their ad on a decent website. If you want to be respected, print is still one of the higher quality mediums, simply because of the price. This is one reason you might want to consider it . . . people will look at your business differently than they would online.

Print marketing tends to target a very specific audience, which means your ad will reach plenty of people who are more likely to be interested in your products and services. When it comes to magazines, you are placing your promotional materials in front of people interested enough in that specific topic to purchase a magazine about it.

How to Make It Work for Your Business

An effective print marketing campaign should involve plenty of planning ahead of time. You need to know exactly what your ad should achieve and then figure out the best way to reach that goal. This is what your graphic artist or copywriter will work with and it is what will make your ad function.

Keep in mind that most ads are not designed to sell, but to get people to remember your brand or to learn more about you. The next time they are in the store, you want your name to pop up when they are looking at the wide variety of products. It’s always a good idea to give a website address where people can find out more about your business, but even this will usually see a low number of people actually checking it out.

Repetition is key when it comes to getting people to remember you. That’s why you see the same exact ad on television over and over every time you watch a certain show. By making sure your ad gets in front of people on a regular basis, you can rest assured that they will remember your brand when they need something you offer. In general, people need to see an ad 7 times before they will actually act on what they are seeing.

Print advertising may not be as popular with some businesses these days, but it is still a very useful method of promotion. Your best option is to use a combination of both online and print marketing, to reach as many people as possible in as many ways as you can.

Radhika Sivadi