Have you ever considered advertising your art or craft in a publication? Advertising has been around for many years, but it still remains a viable way to reach customers. These tips will help you maximize the impact of your print ads:
- Take advantage of advertising in trade magazines. Ad rates are generally less expensive than consumer magazines, and you will reach a targeted market. If you want to reach store buyers with your line, find out what your ideal customer reads in their industry, and research that publication.
- Plan an advertising budget. Buy the biggest ad space you can afford, and make sure you run your ad consistently. Making a commitment to run it over a period of three to six months or more will make an impact, whereas one lonely small ad run one time will not usually produce good results. Your ad needs to be seen repeatedly to be remembered.
- Make your work memorable by using great images, taken by a professional photographer. These will show your art to its best advantage. And, when you run a series of ads, use images in the same signature style, to present your line cohesively.
- Ask for expertise. When placing your ad, speak to the magazine advertising rep, and ask for their advice. These reps have tons of experience, and they want your ad to be successful. Quite often they will have very good ideas to help you create the best possible advertisement.
Merle Honey Porter, Advertising Manager at NICHE Magazine, has a few suggestions for artists. She says, “Advertise your best sellers. If you know they sell well, it stands to reason that they will pique the interest of other buyers.” She also mentions that one image in an ad may be the initial reason people visit your website, but “when they get there, you can present your whole collection to them.” Make sure that your website is current and presents your work beautifully.
- Co-op advertising is a concept where one large ad can be shared by a number of artists, who may grouped by medium, or belong to a guild. This allocates a bigger space and reduces the cost to each artist presented.
- Online ads. Many publications have advertising available on their websites, where an ad buy can reach potential customers who are not yet subscribers, and acts as a reminder to those subscribers who have seen your ad in print.
- Complement your print advertising with other marketing methods, such as press releases, postcards, and email newsletters, to reach out to those target customers in as many ways as possible. Make sure to follow up on all leads, and stay in touch with those prospects over time. It can take a number of contacts before you make a sale.
Merle Honey Porter also notes that you can gauge whether your ads are working by checking analytics to see if your website traffic has picked up. Although you cannot always know the source, make a point to ask prospects how they heard about you.
And, she mentions, “The recognition factor can cause shoppers to come into your trade show booth. Then – the ad has worked for you.”