You read that right. There’s little point in paying to advertise in a magazine if you don’t give much thought to what goes in the space and what it looks like.
How to Get the Most from Magazine Advertising: Tips and Tricks for Horse Business Owners.
One of the best ways to create an impact is through equestrian magazine advertising. It can be tempting to rely solely on social media marketing but to effectively market your horse business, you need to consider various media to reach clients.
For the purpose of this article, we will assume that you have already found the perfect niche magazine (it is us, right?!) that you want to advertise in.
Finding the right publication is the first step, but for your advert to land your ideal client, you must have a fantastic design to make the most out of your marketing budget. Check out these tips for designing a magazine advert that will help you get noticed by potential clients and generate more leads.
Designing an advert with perfect conformation
The first step is to decide on an advert size that will best suit your business and your budget. Print adverts can be as small as 1/8th of a page up to a full page. Your design will be very different if you have a 1/8th page (likely text only) than a full page (can be dramatic and creative).
Make sure you or your designer have the magazine "spec", i.e. the requirements for the ad, to make sure you supply an ad that can be used. This will include the exact size, whether a border is required within the ad size or not, and the colour specification (RGB, CMYK).
You must make sure your advert stands out. One way to make sure that your advert stands out in a crowded marketplace is by creating eye-catching artwork. This includes using bright colours, striking imagery, and the right words to attract your target customer.
Pro Tip: ask if you can have a spot on the bottom right of the double-page spread as this is where the eye goes to before turning the page. There are no guarantees you'll get it, but it's worth asking.
Advert Copy That Sells
It's not all about colour and images, they are essential for catching the readers' attention, but words matter, so let's first explore 'sales copy'.
What are you going to say? What do you want people to do as a result of reading your ad? There's no point advertising an offer that ends the day after the magazine comes out, so make sure you think carefully about the content of your ad.
Advert copy should be concise and compelling. Keep it brief so that your message is clear, easy to read, and can be quickly absorbed. The headline should attract the reader's attention with something new or unexpected (an itch that needs scratching). At the same time, the text provides information in a logical order on what you are offering.
I bet you could talk all day about your product or service as it's your passion. Unfortunately, in ad copy, this can lead to wordiness, making your advert cop-heavy. Limit your words to one central message with a call to action. Trying to tell potential customers too much will confuse them and lead to them doing nothing.
Finish with a clear 'call to action' (CTA). A CTA is an emotive, simple, and powerful message that leads the reader straight to your product or service. For example: 'Order now and get a free gift worth £15!'.
Here are two copy frameworks to help you think about your copy, these work just as well with your digital marketing.
AIDA is a framework that aims to help people with their advertising messages. The letters stand for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. AIDA is an excellent framework for print adverts, as it is easy to memorize and provides a straightforward step-by-step process.
First, you need your reader's attention with an eye-catching headline. Once they are interested in what you have to offer, provide some details about how the product or service will meet their needs. Interest leads to desire, so make sure that you follow up with a call to action.
Another framework that you could use is the PAS approach: Problem, Agitate, Solution.
This framework is compelling as it places your reader in the centre of the story and demonstrates they are not alone with their problem. This technique also provides a clear path to obtain relief from their issue by following through on the offer.
Colours that convert
Not all colours are created equal. Some colour combinations perform well, while others do not convert at the same rate. Colours have meaning and evoke emotion.
Red is associated with danger, anger, power and passion. Yellow has a playful vibe to it as well as optimism. Blue evokes meanings of trustworthiness and peace, while purple is often linked to royalty and luxury.
Green leaves people feeling calm or energized, depending on the shade that's used.
For colour inspiration, the colour Marketing Group website is a great place to explore colours that sell.
If you're looking to improve conversions or grow sales, consider which colour combinations best suit your equine marketing, what you offer and how people will react.
You can also use these tools to find the appropriate colours for designing your advert.
- Have you seen a colour you like but don't know what the colour is called? Canva has a nifty tool to upload a document and show you the colours that have been used.
- Once you have selected your primary colour, you can use the colour palette generator to find complementary or contrasting colours.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, make sure you include them in your advert
Pictures can convey complex ideas without filling your advert with lots of words. Choose pictures that represent your equine business well and to which your target audience can relate. Product pictures should be clear and focused.
There are typically two types of photography in adverts: product and lifestyle.
Product photography is the best way to convey what a product looks like. Lifestyle photographs are great for conveying how products or services can be used in real-life situations and help a horse owner or horse rider understand their relevance better. Lifestyle should be aspirational to potential buyers.
As well as ensuring there isn't too much text in the ad, you need to carefully choose your fonts.
The most popular fonts are typically serif, sans-serif and script.
Serifs are often more traditional and formal, whilst sans-serifs can look a little cleaner with less detail, but both will depend on your company's advertisement style. Script fonts have an air of elegance about them which is great but avoid fonts that are hard to read or are too fancy.
The white space is as important as the text. An ad that is too "busy" will not be appealing and won't get read. Think of white space in design as a relaxing place for your eyes, breathing room to rest.
Should you use a designer?
You can design your own ads using applications like Canva or Pic Monkey or adobe tools for the more advanced, but if you haven't used these before, it could be a false economy. Instead, you can either use a service such as Fiverr.com (though picking a designer from the crowd can be overwhelming), or the magazine can get their design team to do it for you for a modest fee. An equine magazine designer is more likely to understand what appeals to customers in the equine industry.
If the ad you supply doesn't meet the spec, the magazine won't use it; using a designer, particularly the magazine design team, will ensure this doesn't happen to you.
Follow these advert design tips and tricks to get the most from your equine magazine advertising.
Do you need a magazine advert design to showcase your equine business?
Our designers can create an advert with the perfect balance of colours, pictures and beautiful fonts that compellingly represent your equestrian business. We'll work with you to design an advert that will make people stop what they're doing and take notice.
You'll be able to reach more equine customers than ever before when we put together an ad for you and place it in our niche magazine. It's time for your business to shine! Let us help get the word out about what you do best.
Contact us today! 01245 939001 or email [email protected]
Can you tell which framework we used there!