How to Successfully Promote Your Art by Placing Ads in Magazines and Newspapers

By Alyice Edrich in Art Business Advice > Art Marketing Tips

Did you know that placing an advertisement in a local paper or magazine can be a cost-effective way to reach art buyers? Many small print publications offer affordable advertising rates, especially if you choose to advertise in the classified section.

Below are five key elements for creating print ads that help sell your art—without breaking the bank.

1. Make your ad relevant to your buyers

Nikolas Allen, Heavyweight Marketing Champion of BAM! Small Biz Consulting, believes print advertisements should be less about your art and more about your buyers.

“There’s an old adage in the ad biz that states, ‘Sell the sizzle, not the steak.'” says Nikolas. “Your ad should not be about your art, it should be about how your art is going to improve the lives of the people who buy it.”

“Your headline should grab the readers’ attention in a way that speaks to that life-changing benefit,” Nikolas continues. “This means you must know your audience, understand their reasons for buying art, and be able to articulate how YOUR art will satisfy their needs and desires. When crafting your body copy and call-to-action, keep your meaningful marketing message in mind so your conceptual storyline flows through the whole advertisement. This will ensure that your print ad attracts the attention it deserves rather than getting passed over along with all the other visual noise that surrounds it.”

2. Select a single market to advertise to

Scott Richards, of Faceless Technologies, believes print ads should do two things: market a specific audience and speak directly to that audience.

“Think of 2 things,” says Scott. “First you need to know who the target market is that will be seeing the ad, then you need to put items in the ad that will directly speak to THAT target market.”

“In other words,” Scott continues. “If you are putting an ad in a magazine that targets women who are also parents, you don’t want to place paintings from your latest horror series in that advertisement. Instead, you want to choose a piece of art that brings a warm smile to your heart when you see it.”

Other key elements in getting to know your target audience are: age group, income level, gender, marital status, ethnicity, education level, occupation, hobbies, interests, religion, etc.

3. Showcase appropriate images

As Scott stated in his example above, it’s important that you choose the images for your advertisement wisely—especially since advertisement with images receive a higher response rate.

When choosing a piece of artwork to showcase in your ad, you need to take into account the size of the advertisement and whether the ad will be in color or black and white.

If your print ad is small, for instance, you’ll want to avoid choosing busy artwork because it’ll make it difficult to see the details and quality of your art. And if your ad will be printed in black and white, you’ll want to avoid artwork that has a lot of dark colors as those colors will blend too much, making it difficult to make out certain aspects of the art.

4. Leave plenty of white space in your ad

If you want your advertisement to stand out from the rest material on the page, you need to give it plenty of room to breathe. . . so don’t be afraid to pay for a 4 inch space, but only fill 2 or 3 inches of that space with content. Not only will the white space around your advertisement separate your ad from the rest of the material on the page, but it will draw the reader’s eyes directly to your advertisement.

5. Include relevant contact information

When placing an advertisement in your local paper, you may think the most relevant contact information is your website address or telephone number. But that may not always be the case. If you’re hosting an art show at your local gallery, and you’ve agreed to pay for the advertising in exchange for a lower commission, for instance, you’re going to want to include the gallery’s website address and contact information, not yours.

So the next time you’re brainstorming about how to promote your art, read this article again and give print advertisements a try. If you follow the five tips above, your ad is sure to get results!


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