by Stephanie Hintz
Courtesy of The Crafts Report

 

ADVERTISING can be defined as the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, or need, and is typically a paid announcement. Print advertising is placing that announcement in a magazine, newspaper, flyer, postcard, or essentially anything deemed as tangibly portable. That's a pretty vast medium that handmade artists, retailers, galleries, wholesalers, and suppliers can employ to help them succeed in the marketplace.

Sure, the Internet is a powerful and incredibly useful tool when it comes to marketing and advertising, but it is imperative to avoid relying solely on this source. The more people that see and recognize your name, brand, art, or product the more likely you will be perceived as established and credible.

One of the most inexpensive ways to advertise in print is by handing out BUSINESS CARDS. Some companies, like www.vistaprint.com and https://hotcards.com offer free business cards through promotions that will only cost you shipping and a little of your own time to design. If you don't have the time or knowledge, most established publishers offer both design and print services custom-made to your specifications and send them right to your door.

In other forms of advertising, one of the most important things to ask is, ''What is the CIRCULATION?'' Circulation of a print publication refers to the number of copies distributed. The higher the circulation, the wider the audience reach will be.

What about other forms of ''portable'' print advertising? Have you ever considered putting a business logo DECAL on your vehicle? Every time you drive, you are effortlessly advertising to an infinite number of potential clients. Make sure your decal can be read easily and has contrast.

How about magazines and newspapers? Did you know that when you commit to a package or bundle of ads most publications will extend their EARNED RATE to you? This discounted rate is usually based off of frequency, volume of ads and placement and can save you not only money and time, but also ease the burden of decision-making and budgeting. A FLAT RATE is fixed, with no discounts or adjustments applied.

Sometimes, you may choose to really make an impact with a multiple-page advertising spread, which is a visual cornucopia completely independent from any other ads or editorial content. Here, it is important in the design and photography phase to consider how the ad will appear in the GUTTER--the inside margin of the two pages that meet.

In any size ad, it is imperative to HOOK, or capture, your audience's attention--quickly. Effective hooks create emotional triggers that appeal to and attract customers, and affirm that you have what they can't do without. High-resolution, quality IMAGES in your ad campaign will help tremendously. Do not skimp on photography.

Do you think the cost of print advertising is out of your reach? JOIN a group of others and split the cost of one large ad or ask your representative to organize one for you. This can be useful when a small business or artisan would like to advertise at an event, fair or show.

Another effective tool in print advertising is implementing a KEEPER. A keeper is a premium or a bonus offer in an ad that encourages a reader to take action, such as completing a survey, or trying and buying a specific product. One thing is for sure, in order for your audience to recognize and retain your image, you need a solid LOGO. A logo can be as simple as an artist's name, integrated branded colors or patterns, or may even contain an image. It is important to keep your logo consistent or your audience may not recognize you over time.
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You happen to be reading a MAGAZINE, just one form of print advertising, and each one has a specific purpose. For example, the mission of Handmade Business is to inform, instruct, and inspire both the beginning and the established craftsperson and crafts retailer by providing them with: how-to articles on all facets of handmade business management and related topics; relevant industry news, as well as information on current issues and trends; a forum for exchanging ideas and concerns and encouragement and recognition.

Another form of print advertising is found in a NEWSPAPER. Newspapers can be a great source to get the word out about a limited-time sale, announce a local event an artist might be featured at, or to reach out to potential employees in a help-wanted ad.

In magazines and other periodicals, you can really grab your audience's attention before they even open the front cover by applying an OUTSERT, which is an additional printed item tucked inside a bag or poly-wrapped on the cover. This is an affordable alternative to a separate direct-mail piece. It can contain a postcard, mini-catalog or even a poster.

Other ways to save money in print advertising is through selecting a PACKAGE--essentially committing to buying multiple ads in one contract. Many publications offer generous discounts on packages, and they can be custom-tailored to fit your needs. It is wise to come to the discussion with such things as what time of year is it most prudent for you to advertise, and in what markets. Identifying who your target audience is will help determine where to spend your ad dollars wisely.

A competent publication will offer advertisers what is known as QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH. The information provided in quantitative research includes the demographics of their readers, circulation/distribution data and possibly consumer and wholesale trends and is commonly included in the publication's media kit. This is an important free tool that can help you determine which publication is a good fit for you, and what type of content would be most effective in your ads.

Printing Press Did you know that on average, each issue of Handmade Business is read by nearly twice as many people than have received it? You can see how print advertising can really hit a large portion of your target audience with its overall READERSHIP, and the more you share the publications you advertise in, the more exposure you will receive.

STRATEGIC PLANNING of your advertising campaign will yield a higher profit and success rate. Ad representatives are more than just sales-people; consider them your marketing partners.

Choosing the appropriate TIMING for your ad campaigns can be a challenge, and perhaps confusing, especially since in most cases, upcoming issues are prepared and distributed in advance of the ''issue date.'' Most media kits outline these dates, making timing your ads easier to navigate.

Do you want to know another trick of the trade? Effective advertising hooks often tout UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITIONS--what specific product/service benefit do you offer that sets you apart from your competition--without identifying your competition. Your craft is special and unique, but why should a consumer, gallery or retailer choose you? Tell them why.

Your time is valuable. Most publications now offer downloadable VIRTUAL MEDIA KITS, which you can refer back to when you need them, or print to keep on file. Some publications post them online, which gives you an opportunity to review them before you set your annual advertising budget.

Print publications often recommend WAVE SCHEDULING, which is an advertising strategy where ads are scheduled intermittently--two months on and two months off. Having an advertising contract does not require the same size ad in every issue.

Have you ever looked over a print ad and yawned over its content? Make sure your ad content is relevant, important, informative and memorable. Avoid generic, XEROTHERMIC information. What is xerothermic information? Dry and uninteresting material! That's the equivalent of burning your cash.

One of the most important things to ask yourself when advertising your craft, service or associated business is, ''What's in it for YOU?'' How will it benefit your business? How will it expand your network? Will it reach your target audience? Will your marketing partners support your strategic marketing plan?

Finally, there are ZERO reasons not to advertise; you just have to set a plan. Is money tight? Consider that many publications offer payment plans, package discounts and special promotions. Never tried it before? Inquire about a first-time advertiser rate, or ask to have a ''spec ad'' designed for you to preview for no cost. Not sure where to start or don't have an ad design? Most publications offer low cost or complimentary in-house design services. What if your past advertising campaign did not yield the results you were expecting? Carefully review why, and make some changes; reach out for help and find a marketing mentor.

Congratulations! You've made it through our first story in a new advertising and marketing series offered by Handmade Business. What else would you like to see us cover in this series? Email your suggestions to me at editor@handemade-business.com.


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