Creating an effective magazine advertisement



Magazine ads have always been great at catching readers’ eyes. Magazine readers know, before they even pick up an issue, that they will be advertised to within the pages, making these readers more open to what the ads are selling them. Not only do magazines offer a focused, attentive reader and a targeted, specific audience; consumers also value magazine ads and read them nearly as much as the editorial content.

Now that magazines (and digital magazines) are rising in popularity again, it may be worth your time to begin advertising in them. Here’s how to make sure your ad is making the most impact.

1. Target a specific audience

Understanding your own target audience is key to knowing in which magazine your advertisement will be most effective. If your target audience is men, do some research on what magazines are most popular with men in your target age group. If your target audience is families, magazines like “Thriving Family”, “Parenting” and “Family Circle” may be your best bet, though women will be the primary audience. If you’re looking to reach young, working professionals, look into “Entrepreneur Magazine” or “Adweek.”

Regardless of who your marketing is aimed towards, do ample research so you can make the best decision on which magazine(s) will have the widest reach on your target audience. Since magazines are largely specified publications, it shouldn’t be hard to find a few that fit the widest or narrowest target markets.

2. Keep it short and simple

Recent studies have concluded that humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish. While the goldfish focuses for an average of nine seconds, humans’ attention span sits at a mere eight seconds—largely thanks to the distraction smartphones provide. This means your advertisement in a magazine not only needs to be eye catching, it needs to be concise and easy to understand with just a glance at the page. Catching a reader’s eye is best done with colors and images. Keep the text to a minimum and in a legible, easy-to-read font.

3. Use color to your advantage

Since a large draw to magazines for consumers is the glossy pages full of color-rich images, use this style of printing to your advantage. Even better news is that four-color ads have been shown to have the highest reader response rate and the response rate often decreases as less color is used. Design your ad in a way that uses color to catch the eye of the reader who might be casually flipping through the pages.

For more on the science behind the way color effects readers, check out this post.

4. Don’t forget images

While what we said about color is true, it’s generally a waste of money to run a text-only ad in a magazine, even if it’s colorful. Since photos are the allure of this form of print, your magazine ad should include some sort of image, whether it’s hand-drawn, photographed or designed. Leave your text-heavy advertisements for newspapers and bulletins. Call up a stylist, photographer or graphic designer to help you find a more creative vision for your magazine ads.

Check out our blog for more posts on print industry trends and marketing tips for your business.

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