Does Size Matter?

A question a lot of chiropractors who are actively advertising ask me a lot is “does the size of my ad matter?”

The answer is yes but it has to be taken in context. If you could place ads wherever you wanted to then bigger would definitely be better. However, the reality is bigger is definitely not better in most cases… There are other considerations which are much more important.

Firstly, you can usually only get a full page ad in the late front to early middle of the newspaper or later. There is a good reason for this. The publishers of the newspaper know that the front of the paper is more valuable to advertisers and they can therefore sell smaller spaces for more money. A “BIG” full page ad might get more notice if it is seen but many newspaper readers won’t go that far down the paper.

Let me give you an example. I nearly always run 1/2 pages. If my half page “specialist” ad goes towards the front of a publication (page 6) with about 100,000 circulation I will expect to get 10-15 people responding. But if it goes in the middle FORGEDABOUDIT!

You can take an awesome ad and not take the trouble to negotiate your position and your results will suck. EVEN if it’s a full page ad. So it’s much better to have a smaller ad near the front, right. Even if that means you go down to 1/4, but in my experience you wouldn’t want to go much smaller.

The right time to use 1/4 page ads is when you have secured a position near the front, certainly the first 10 pages but even better the first 6; and you would use it as a “POP” ad to test a niche. If you get a bite with a 1/4 page you know you’ve got something that will potentially make a good “specialist” ad later on.

If you’re getting good responses with 1/4 page ads then it is a good bet that you have found a good newspaper that people like and trust enough to look through  - now is definitely the time to negotiate your permanent 1/2 page space. I love 1/2 page ads, this is the size that I have found to return the best response, and they work awesome with “specialist” ads. The reason for this is that good newspaper copy usually occupies more than a 1/4 of a page, in fact it nearly always occupies a 1/2 page, this means the readers of the paper are conditioned to trust 1/2 page articles and your “specialist” ad should look exactly like an article.

1/2 page ads allow us to straddle that sweet spot in between size and position. That sweet spot where we can be near the front and also have a good size to get good exposure.

In the beginning when you don’t know your local market and media it is a good strategy to use 1/4 page ads because they are cheaper and you will find some niched ads not working at all; but once you get data on what your community wants and which media is the best to ask in then it’s time to upgrade the size to a 1/2. You need to discover this with the least possible expense and 1/4 page ads will give you that without being so small that you’re getting faulty data on what you community really wants.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not place an ad if you can’t get in the first 15 pages of the newspaper, you are unlikely to get a good response.


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