More than likely, you aren’t thinking of print advertising as the most effective form of communication. After all, there are a lot of downsides. Overuse of print ads cause people to ignore them, lack of customizing audiences, lack of connection, and then there’s the cost. But whatever your opinion on print ads, most of us are figuring out how to work postcards, billboards, handouts, or local ads into our marketing strategy.

If we’re being honest, we would both probably say that we want to be on the cutting edge of technology. We would love to innovative with our digital presence and social media strategy. We would love to be industry leaders in communication, and I agree with you that as the Church, we absolutely should and could be.

But, the truth is, that you and I are not operating on our own. We work on a team, with varied ideas and interests and experiences. We often execute marketing strategies that are outside of our personal preferences. And if print isn’t one of your preferences, there are ways to connect it to a digital strategy.

Let’s pause and own up to the fact that just because print isn’t  “cutting edge”, doesn’t necessarily mean it is ineffective. I often wonder, as more and more moves digital, if print will make a comeback as a novelty or a form of advertising that people will pay attention to more than digital. Maybe the fact that it’s different will make it more memorable.

In any case, there are ways to make print advertising more effective, easier to track, and unique. Here are 3 tips to take your print ads to the next level.

1. Create a unique URL for your design

Creating a unique URL will allow you to track digital traffic, based completely on who saw your print piece. This obviously won’t be 100% accurate, as not everyone will visit your website. But it will give you a picture of how much interest your piece engaged, and can also allow you to retarget your audience in the future.

2. Create a Call To Action

Creating a unique CTA will encourage your audience to engage with you, and give you the opportunity to connect with them in a digital space that creates community. One major downside to print advertising is the lack of interaction and follow through. But if you can drive your audience to your social channels or your website, this not only allows you to capture their info, but maintain a connection with them as a result.

Here’s a great article on Best Practices to Push All the Right Buttons for Your Audience.

3. Use Good Visuals

Have you seen this fun little graphic floating around on social media?

How many of you read that exactly how it laid out? Typically (there’s always exceptions to every rule) people don’t read left to right or top to bottom in ads, they start with the most dominant visual element in the ad.

Be strategic about what you want them to read first, second, last. Test it out on test audiences.

Ask, “does this make you want to know more?” “What did you read first?” “Was it engaging enough to make you read more?”

However your marketing strategy comes together, remember that ultimately, people are moved by the Holy Spirit. It’s our job to remind them that Jesus is the real deal, and that we (our church) is a solid and safe place you can come to find out more about Him.

So before you take any of the above steps, pause and ask God to lead you. Ask Him to spark and inspire creativity; to help you communicate Him and His message effectively. You are in your role for a purpose. You have unique gifts and talents. You are literally changing lives by communicating the message of Jesus.

If you have other ideas, please comment them below. I’d love to hear what’s working in your community!

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash