Forking over big bucks for magazine advertising can be somewhat off-putting for the small business owner or solopreneur. But print advertising done right can be an effective way to create brand recognition and drive leads. But “done right” is the key to your advertising success.

Keep it Local

Not only can national or larger regional magazines be very expensive, they might not be super effective for driving leads in your specific market. Limiting your advertising to local publications that reach prospects only in the markets you work in is a much more effective use of marketing dollars. If there’s a high-end home and design magazine in your market, that could be the best option to capture prospects who are not only interested in remodeling or interior design but also ones in your market.

Consistency is Key

Buying an ad here and another ad there is not an effective strategy for print advertising. Having a consistent presence in a publication that reaches your target market is important to the success of the advertising campaign. Many studies indicate that it takes exposure to your brand at least seven times before brand recognition starts to kick in. This is the reason you will find many magazines discourage one-time ads. It’s not because they just want more of your money — it’s truly how you create better return on investment (ROI).

Keep Your Branding Consistent

Again with the consistency — yes. Be sure, whether you depend on the publishing company or an outside designer to create your ads, that the branding is consistent both with all your other marketing — and especially your website — and consistent between ads. You must drive that brand recognition. Changing colors or fonts or style will confuse readers and not create that recognition required for success.

Control the Medium

There is a way that you can not only control the messaging throughout the magazine but also control what advertisers you are up against for page placement and frequency. Custom publishing. Yes, you can publish your own magazine. And it can be affordable with a high ROI.

Custom publishing offers a variety of strategies from fully funding your own publication to offering advertising to complementary businesses or contractors you have relationships with such as electricians, plumbers, etc.

There are several reasons to consider custom publishing. First, you control what if any advertisements are in the publication — aside from you own, of course. You have control over the content, and most of the content can feature your projects. Your name or business name is threaded throughout the content positioning you as the go-to designer for your market.

Want to pursue custom publishing? Ask me how—I can help.