What Is Print Advertising?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 26, 2021

Print advertising is an effective way for individuals or companies to market their products or brands. It is still one of the most popular forms of advertising, and print advertisements mainly appear in magazines, newspapers or brochures. If you or your company wants to use print advertising, it is important to learn about its advantages and different types of print advertisements. In this article, we define what print advertising is, list the benefits of print advertising and its different types and provide steps on how to create print advertisements.

What is print advertising?

Print advertising uses printed media such as newspapers, magazines and billboards to advertise services and attract more customers to a business. It is a common form of advertising that captures an audience's attention when they read particular publications. The purpose of print advertising is to influence a reader to buy an advertised product either physically in a store or digitally on a company's website.

Benefits of print advertising

Print advertising provides many benefits you can leverage. These benefits include:

Fewer distractions

People often read printed information more thoroughly than they do digital information. Online advertisements can be distracting to a reader because they tend to pop up while a reader focuses on an article. Readers often close digital ads because it interferes with their concentration. Print advertising doesn't distract a reader because they often choose to subscribe to a magazine or newspaper. The reader is more focused and can intentionally read your advertisement.


Print advertising provides you with the flexibility to reach your targeted audience because there are various magazines and newspapers that may cater to your niche. Additionally, you can decide to place your advertisement in a section that offers the most extensive visibility to target your audience. If you make certain adjustments or updates to your print advertisement, you won't have the same complicated process that other advertising media, such as radio and television, have involving rerecording and reshooting certain parts.

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Social media advertising may only run for a short period of time, and online advertising involves readers clicking to see your advertisement. However, print advertising does not expire. Advertisers who use print media gain credibility because it helps loyal readers trust a certain brand.

Building relationships and reputation

Local printed media publishers work hard to create relationships with their readership in their communities. Due to their existing relationships, they have a loyal customer base who choose to subscribe to their outlet. When you choose to advertise with a credible local newspaper or other printed media source, you may cultivate a good reputation with a community simply by association.

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You can use local newspapers to reach a target audience within your budget. Local print advertising provides a variety of options that can cater to your budget. Instead of aiming to attract the largest audience, you can insert your advertisement in a specific newspaper category where specific readers can see and benefit from your service.

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With print advertising, you often have control to customize your advertisement. You can pick what colors, typography and graphics you want to portray a visual that appeals to your audience. Digital media tends to offer less customization due to certain browser configurations and operating systems.

Types of print advertising

There are various types of print media outlets that offer advertising services. Below are the most common types of print media:

  • Newspapers: Newspapers provide excellent print advertising opportunities because consumers who read newspapers are often proactive. Newspaper advertising includes publications such as local, city and national newspapers. If you have goals of attracting local customers to your business, advertising in a small local newspaper can be productive.

  • Magazines: Magazines offer you the freedom to create advertisements that visually appeal to an audience and reflect your brand. You can choose to advertise with national or regional magazines. However, it is important to focus on advertising with magazines that can reach your target audience, as many magazines cater to a specific niche.

  • Direct mail: Some advertisers use direct mail to reach a small target audience. Direct mail usually includes brochures, letters or flyers that you send through the postal service. It's important to first conduct research on who you want to target and rent a mailing list from a specialist firm that can mail your letters.

  • Posters and billboards: Billboards usually target consumers who are either driving or walking. Billboards and posters are common in cities, train stations and airports. They often capture the attention of a large number of consumers who are traveling to or leaving work.

How to create print advertisements

To create effective print advertisements that can engage your audience and motivate them to take action, good designs and strategic planning are vital. Here are some steps that can help you create clear and appealing advertisements:

1. Craft a headline

The headline of an advertisement is the first thing a consumer sees and often captures the attention of a reader. It's important to create a headline that persuades them to continue reading the advertisement. A headline is typically easily understandable and avoids complicated vocabulary. It is often short, simple and inspires curiosity.

2. Keep your copy brief and concise

The next section of your advertisement often includes informing readers of your services or product. Try to make your copy professional and check for grammatical and spelling errors. If you are offering subscription deals, for example, offer ways to subscribe and explain subscription types, your location and your website.

If your copy is longer than a few sentences, consider creating subheadings that can separate your information into sections to make it organized and easy to understand.

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3. Create a call to action

Successful print advertisements not only inform consumers but create a call to action to encourage readers to sign up for a newsletter or purchase a product. You can offer readers coupons or discounts that provide immediate benefits of responding to an advertisement.

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4. Use graphics

Try to make your print advertisement visually appealing to capture a reader's attention. Make sure to use images and graphics to optimize your message. Many readers focus on images as much or more than they do on text, so ensure that your advertising team prioritizes graphics as much as they do the text of the advertisement. Also, ensure that the images reflect your brand and complement your copy.

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