The cost of a 1/8 page ad in a local business paper is $765 (give or take a hundred bucks).
That’s $765 for a 5”x2” splash of ink, buried deeply inside the bowels of a newspaper.
How many times can you run this tiny print ad before you go broke? How can you measure the ad’s effectiveness? You don’t even know where the ad will appear until it’s printed!
Print advertising is expensive and difficult to track. Yet so many companies rely on it because it’s “the way we’ve always done it” (and they have the money to spend). Yet they’re probably not getting the most bang for their buck.
After reading this article, you’ll know how to outsmart the “big guys” when it comes to pre-testing and tracking your advertising’s effectiveness.
The secret method to both testing print ads before they run and deploying a successful marketing campaign spending about one-sixteenth (or less) of what you’d have spent if you went with print alone is to…
Test your ad copy and artwork before it prints with Google AdWords and Facebook ads!
Have you ever heard of Google AdWords? If not, Google it! Or go to http://adwords.google.com. If you need to create an account with Google, do it. When you perform a search using Google, those ads you see off to the right of your results – and sometimes above them – are all Google AdWords Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising . Check out Google’s support site for detailed how-to information.
By spending some time writing headlines and copy in their AdWords space, you can see EXACTLY how effective certain words are by how many times someone has “clicked through.” It’s completely measurable from within Google’s interface. And instead of paying $700, you can start with as much (or as little) money in your AdWords account as you feel comfortable with. A click generally costs anywhere between $.05 and $20 depending on how popular your keyword is. Create a few campaigns using different keyword combinations and see which perform best.
Think your keyword is expensive? Check out Google’s Top 20 Most Expensive Keywords. Insurance ranks #1 at $54.91 per click!
Google AdWords accounts for 65% of the PPC industry. However, you can’t effectively test IMAGES in these ads. Images won’t show up on the Google search page, only on partner “display network” sites, and setting those up is a whole separate article.
The other way to affordably test copy and artwork pre-print is to do exactly the same thing using Facebook PPC advertising. Their platform allows you to write a headline, ad copy AND upload an image. Try out different pictures, colors, calls-to-action and see what works best. Keep in mind the image is VERY small, so be sure to pick a clear, clean image. Use images with people’s faces – they yield more clicks than those without.
A caveat with advertising on Facebook is that unless your content is “share worthy,” it’s not likely to be very effective. Your ad has got to get someone’s attention and drive them to click or “like” your ad. This takes some trial and error before you find the perfect mix.
B2B advertising on Facebook is difficult because the bulk of Facebook folks are on the site for personal use. Still, testing your ad on the mega social media site is a great way to test copy and design for a fraction of the price.
So is print advertising going the way of the Dodo?
As long as printed magazines and newspapers remain in circulation, advertising in those mediums will remain an important tool in every marketer’s arsenal. However, smart businesses will TEST their message’s effectiveness using the methods I’ve outlined above before spending big money. I predict this shift in advertising will result in smarter advertising: fewer bad ads, more creative, engaging headlines and better targeted ads overall.
So be smart, save money, see better results.
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