It’s common for posters to grace bedroom walls, especially those of overzealous fans. But posters aren’t just a staple of fandom or pop culture — they can also serve as an effective part of a business’s marketing strategy.
So if you’ve entertained the thought of using a marketing poster to promote your business, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’ll touch briefly on what a marketing poster is and why it’s an effective marketing tool. I’ll also go over some simple tips to create an engaging marketing poster yourself. (Hint: one of them is using a marketing poster template!)
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a marketing poster?
- Why you should use a marketing poster
- How to design a marketing poster
- 3 tips to design an engaging marketing poster
What is a marketing poster?
Marketing posters promote a product, service or event.
Companies tend to put these up in public spaces to gain a wider reach. But printing them out isn’t the only option — you can totally promote your events or products online with a marketing poster.
As they’re both eye-catching and informative, marketing posters juggle the perfect blend of textual and graphic elements. Take a look at the example below.
This marketing event poster does a great job promoting the art show. The colorful poster background reflects the theme of the event, and on top of it there’s information on where and when the show takes place.
Feel free to edit this template to promote your event (it doesn’t have to be an art show!)
Why you should use a marketing poster
Some say marketing posters are outdated, but this is far from the truth! If used correctly, marketing posters can deliver excellent results for businesses of all sizes, because…
Marketing posters are cost-effective
Isn’t it just the dream, to have your product up on the gigantic billboard on the busiest street in the city, people turning their heads every time they walk past?
In an ideal world (not), any business would be able to do that. But in our world, when you don’t have the budget for that giant billboard, you can opt for a marketing poster instead.
Printing and distribution of posters are significantly cheaper than renting billboards, or paying for a double-page spread on newspapers and magazines. As long as posters are placed in areas with high foot traffic volume, these should prove to be effective.
That’s why marketing posters have survived the test of time — they’re effective, reasonably priced marketing tools.
You don’t even need to pay for a poster designer. To further cut expenses, design your marketing poster through platforms like Venngage. Here’s a good template that you can edit right away.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. While making way for some new stuff for your home, make some extra funds along the process by holding a garage sale. And what better way to spread the word about it than through marketing posters, right?
Marketing posters can give your brand long-term exposure
Compared to other print marketing materials, marketing posters are more accessible and have a long shelf life. They can remain visible for days, weeks, months or even years depending on the material’s durability. It can help, too, if the poster remains relevant for years — like the template below on global warming.
Marketing posters are great to recruit volunteers, especially for causes like environmental protection. This type of event rarely has a specific demographic, so putting this poster up in public areas (like train stations or malls) is an effective marketing strategy.
Marketing posters allow size, design and messaging flexibility
A movie poster’s standard size is 24 inches x 36 inches. Some may think marketing posters have the same size requirements, but they’re actually much more flexible. In fact, marketing posters can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
This also means marketing posters could communicate different types of marketing messages. You can use these to introduce new products or services, announce a big corporate event, or even remind people about the best health practices. Speaking of which, we have a marketing poster template on how to properly wash our hands.
The pandemic taught us the importance of always keeping our hands clean. You can educate people with relevant information about this habit with a simple marketing poster like the one above.
Notice how it uses multiple icons to make the instructions more engaging and easy to remember. If you want to change the icons, simply double-click one and choose the alternative:
How to design a marketing poster
Identify your audience
Every successful design begins with a pre-design process. This is when you identify your target audience and determine what the poster is for. For a marketing poster to be effective, the message must be clear and reach the right people.
Say you’re planning to promote a company’s team-building activity with a marketing poster. Include information like date, time and the types of activities involved — like in the template below:
Think of your audience when you design the poster. As this one is for a fun activity, you can include your company’s inside jokes or add some puns to your poster content.
Draft your outline
To ensure that the information you want to convey is clear and concise, create an outline.
For starters, include as much information as you can in the outline so you won’t forget any critical details.
Once the outline is ready, you can either:
- Create a mock-up of your poster in applications like Photoshop. This may take time since you need to come up with a design from scratch. And remember: when it comes to designing marketing posters, less is more. If you try to include too much information, the poster may confuse and overwhelm your readers. If you need help choosing your poster layout, check out our post: How to Apply the Right Layout To Your Poster
- Choose a pre-designed poster template like one of ours. If you already know the type of poster you’re creating and the information it contains, you can just choose a template that checks off those boxes and start editing. If you need some inspiration, just browse the poster template library.
Choose the right color palette
Marketing posters are an opportunity to spread brand awareness, which you can do by applying your brand’s color palette in the poster.
This is a good example:
You can immediately see the brand colors of the Grove Student Council here in the event poster (orange, cream, dark blue).
To brand your poster using Venngage, simply add your brand colors and logo using Autobrand:
And once you’re in the design dashboard, apply your branding elements in one click with My Brand Kit:
Besides spreading brand awareness, the colors used in your marketing posters can reflect your product or event as well. Here’s an example:
This poster promotes a Breast Cancer Awareness event: “Power in Pink”, and the poster designer uses shades of pink to illustrate that.
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Add images and icons
For decades, photos have been a staple of poster design. You can give your design a huge boost in visual appeal whenever you use the right image.
Another tip is to avoid using stock photos because other companies and organizations might be using the same and it will be harder for your poster to stand out.
Have a look at this educational poster about photosynthesis.
Instead of a blank background, an image of leaves instantly improved the design. You can use the same approach as well. For example, if you offer travel packages, you can use images of famous destinations or travel luggage as your background. Without even reading the text, the audience will know what your poster is for.
Besides images, you can add icons and illustrations to your poster too. Take a look at this template:
This scientific poster uses different icons (syringes, bandages, stethoscopes) to reflect the topic (health).
For even more examples of creative ways to design your poster, check out our blog: 55+ Creative Poster Ideas, Templates & Design Tips
Edit your headline and add a call to action (CTA)
Your headline should grab the reader’s attention right away. To do that, keep it short and snappy, and make it stand out by using a larger font size. Still, make sure the typeface and the font color you use blend well with your images and other design elements.
You should also include a CTA in your poster. It must be clear and visible to the readers so they will know the next steps. See how a call to action affects the sample poster below.
The design itself is already engaging. If you look at the bottom of the poster, you will see an RSVP. This serves as their CTA and people who are interested in attending will call right away.
3 tips to design an engaging marketing poster
Boost your marketing poster’s effectiveness with these tips.
1. Use a template
If you’re short on time, or if you haven’t come up with a design layout/theme for your poster yet — time to use a template.
Templates like those featured in Venngage’s library are created by professional designers, with you in mind. What this means is that you can:
- Create a beautiful, engaging marketing poster from a template — even if you don’t have much design experience.
- Get inspiration from different poster designs with a variety of layouts and themes you can choose from.
Here’s an excellent template you can work on right now:
Create a fun-looking poster for your tutoring services (or any service, really) using this sample. Add icons or images — whichever’s more appealing to your target audience. Don’t forget to add your website and contact info.
2. Make sure your poster stands out
Printed posters can come in large sizes, and these are typically visible even from a fair distance. But remember, not many people will go near a poster to read the fine print unless it catches their eye.
To grab the reader’s attention right away, you can make your headline stand out, like in this template:
Or this one:
You can also illustrate the poster with a striking, dominant image, like in this example:
3. Use icons to visualize concepts
You can use icons to embellish points and, in certain cases, replace text.
Icons are also great for illustrating ideas quickly. You can even make icons the focal point of your design, like the scientific poster template below:
Keep these best practices in mind when using icons in your poster design:
- Pick icons with a consistent style (line thickness, flat or illustrated, line art or filled).
- Use icons sparingly and allow for plenty of white space to let your design breathe.
- Add a simple border or background shape to your icons.
- If you do replace the text with icons, make sure that the meaning is very obvious.
For more poster design tips, check out our blog: Poster Design Guide: How to Make an Eye-Catching Poster in 2022
Marketing posters are cost-effective, engaging and fun to create yourself
When used right, marketing posters are incredibly effective at promoting your business. And if you’re not sure, just test them out. They cost little to create and you can have some fun while you’re at it.
If you’re ready to create a marketing poster, go ahead and choose a Venngage template to edit. It’s free to give it a try!