Everyone knows our showpig issues get a little hefty. In fact, we expect three times the number of ads in our September Showpig issue of the Seedstock EDGE than the July issue you’re most likely flipping through this week. So for all of you advertisers out there wondering how to make your ad stand out among the clutter, here are a few quick tips.
- Lead with a strong headline – (Sorry, but your farm name doesn’t count.) An ad headline needs to give potential customers news or advice, evoke emotion, establish curiosity or make a statement about your products. Now the trick to a good headline is making it short, but impactful. Five times as many readers will read the headline in an ad rather than the small print so make it a good one. Amazingly, most readers are bored by the ninth word. Marketing research shows the best headlines are less than eight words.
- Use the body copy to your advantage – Now I know that many ads will be filled with prospect pictures, herdsires and past winners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the best use of the words in your ad. While straight-to-the-point thank-yous and pedigrees are nice, think of how much more impact your ad could have with a testimonial from a junior exhibitor or a strong statement a judge gave during reasons. Get creative and think of new ways to say the same things.
- Make it a sight to be seen – No one likes dull, boring ads. Think of supporting visuals that can support your claims. For me, brainstorming and word association help. For example, if your headline claims, “it takes more than luck,” then make a list of anything that reminds you of luck: four-leaf clovers, rabbit feet, pennies (face-up of course), leprechauns, the Irish, etc. Nothing is too crazy, when you’re brainstorming, some of the most striking images come from the most out-of-the-box ideas.
- Communicate to the ‘creatives’ – Now that you have an idea what you want, you need to make your vision clear to the folks creating your ad. Sure, they’re good at what they do, but they’re not mind-readers; if you have an idea in mind, tell them. Even if you don’t think your concept is complete, the ad designers can often take what you have and build on your ideas to create an ad.
- Meet deadlines – Last but not least, it is hard to create a good ad without the materials. Be conscious of deadlines. Designers need time to layout and put together your ads. Editors need time to check your copy. You need time to look over and approve the ad. And the publication needs time to reserve a spot and place your ad before their magazine is printed. Since everything takes time, you need to have all of your materials (copy, photos, ideas) in on time. To see the Seedstock EDGE deadlines click here.
As always, if you’ve hit a creative road block or would like some marketing guidance, give the Marketing and Communications Team at the National Swine Registry a call. We’re always glad to help.