In modern marketing digital channels are dominant. We are bombarded with content from all angles, and given the amount of time we spend on social media (2.5 hours on average daily, but MUCH more among younger demographics) it’s not hard to see why. So, it’s easy to forget about more traditional methods of marketing, such as printed materials. But far from being obsolete, print can be a valuable and effective part of a campaign, reaching beyond the demographics targeted with digital channels, and adding a new dimension to a company’s marketing strategy. And with high-quality printing more affordable than ever, there’s no reason to overlook this old-school marketing method. Let’s take a closer look.
Print still appeals
Many marketers overlook printed materials, concentrating on the digital aspects of their campaign. But the appeal of print is still significant. Seniors often feel more engaged when they can pick up a leaflet or postcard and read from it. Items through the post have greater impact in the era of email and social media – when was the last time you got anything other than an electricity bill in the mail? Print also means that recipients are more likely to read the entirety of the copy, rather than scrolling as they do on the screens of their smartphones or computers. Studies show that millennials still read messages on printed materials, and the power of clear, succinct and engaging copy is one that will never go away, regardless of marketing delivery channels.
Another reason print isn’t going away anytime soon is the fact that clients and customers respond to objects more than pixels. Sometimes simply a well designed or creative business card can serve as a powerful marketing tool. Leaflets, flyers and postcards should be printed professionally, with high quality materials – something pleasing to the touch is always much better than a cheap, flimsy leaflet – after all, what does this say about your company? Don’t forget that engaging the other senses doesn’t end with touch – the smell of good paper projects the quality of your brand. It’s also easy to carry this material around to you, meaning you can spread your brand’s message wherever you are – and potential customers will remember you.
Copy matters. We mentioned that many people will read all the copy on an item through the mail – this makes your choice of words vitally important to your campaign. Whether you’ve chosen to create a postcard with a short message or produce a flyer outlining in greater detail your product or service, review the words carefully – this is you selling your brand, after all. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – what do they want? What do they need? Why are you the best choice to solve their problems? Crisp, informative copy does a lot of the work for you and is shown to produce a high conversion rate.
The average viewing time for a piece of digital content is in the seconds. We are bombarded with so many videos, images, gifs, text messages and soundbites every minute we are using the internet that the impact of them has considerably lessened. Much digital marketing is more of an annoyance than anything else. On the other hand, printed media actually fosters customer engagement more – not only are they more inclined to take the message on board, they are more likely to feel empowered to act on it. Also, if a potential customer hasn’t got time to check out your message at that time, a brochure, leaflet or flyer will be placed on the desk and probably revisited later – the same can’t be said of digital media.
Printed media allows you to place your marketing materials exactly where you want them – which means where you will find the most engagement. Materials can also be placed directly into the hands of potential customers at trade shows. If you’re using billboard advertising it can be positioned just as you want it, for maximum visibility. You’ll also have peace of mind that you have applied your own standards of quality control.
Printed marketing may be old school, but it has a timeless appeal to various demographics, and is able to change with the times – strategies may change but some delivery methods won’t.