• nat sharp

What are the different ways to promote your business in print media?

Updated: Jun 22



You're probably familiar and may have placed adverts in publications. But did you know there are more ways you can leverage the power and reach of print media? There are three main ways you can use traditional media to promote your business. All work in different ways and have different benefits. Here I explain the pros and cons of each so you can understand what could work for your business.

1. Advert

An advert is when you pay a media owner for media space to promote your business. Pros - with this sort of advertising you’re in complete control. You choose what your advert says and how it looks. It is an effective way to start building your brand using your brand identity and brand guidelines. Cons - this can be a costly way to get your business noticed. Not only does the media space cost money but for an ad to be effective, you’ll need to invest in design and copywriting resource and even photography. If budgets are tight, photo libraries are always worth exploring first. It can be quite an art to design the perfect ad that creates impact, so it is always worth hiring a specialist. 2. Editorial

Editorial is part of PR and designed to enhance your reputation. It occurs within a publication, and in some cases social media, and isn’t paid for but written by a journalist. Pros - first and foremost it is free. By having your business endorsed by someone else, it gives you instant credibility. This means it has more weight than a paid-for ad, as it isn’t just you saying your product is great. In fact, it is said to deliver between 10 and 100 times more value than a traditional ad which is why PR is an important part of the marketing mix. Cons - editorial may be free, but this can come at a cost. You have little to no control over what and when the story is published. And having the wrong person endorse you could damage your brand. Plus it can be hard to seek out opportunities. Not everyone has contacts with journalists and knows how to pitch to them. So it is highly worth investing in specialist PR support to create the perfect story which is newsworthy.

3. Advertorial

This is a hybrid between the two combining an advert and editorial. This tends to be a paid-for advert written as a more informative piece on your product or company from the perspective of the publication. Pros - with an advertorial you have more control of what is written and benefit from the credibility of a third party recommending you. You can also communicate a lot more information as it tends to be 'copy led' rather than 'image led' like adverts. Cons - whilst you’ll have input over the written content you probably won’t control the layout. Typically, you normally supply the assets such as logos and images, and then the publication put it together. Be aware that some publications have rules about making it clear in the copy that it is paid for advertising, which can undermine the credibility gains. However, they're usually subtle enough to convince the reader.

Ready to advertise

So you can see there is a little bit more to advertising then meets the eye. There is no right or wrong answer, it really depends on what your objectives are. I find a mix of the three can work really work.

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