With technology racing the last couple of decades some may consider print a forgotten medium that has been replaced by online marketing. However, the print industry has continued to evolve almost hand-in-hand with the upsurge of new technology. In a nutshell, you can make a huge impact and lead competition if you manage to harness the powers of print.
According to a Pitney Bowes survey, the overwhelming majority of small businesses (76%) report using a combination of both digital and print communication to shape their ideal marketing strategy. Print is, and will remain, a very effective tool in the hands of those that want to get their message heard loud and clear.
Here are just five ways that print can differentiate your brand.
1. Print as Part of a Social Media Marketing Campaign
Many business owners rely on social media to connect and communicate with their customers and prospects. But according to a Nielsen survey, more than 50% of respondents used print media in conjunction with a social media campaign to increase the effectiveness of their outreach efforts.
Therefore, a print marketing campaign can be fully integrated with online social media and make your brand’s print marketing far more effective.
You can also add testimonials and customer reviews or comments from your social networking profiles to your print designs. In other words, you can use your social media sites to solidify your print campaign, and use print media to draw attention to your social media profiles.
2. Print Marketing to Draw More Attention
Standing out of the crowd can be difficult, especially when so many organizations are competing online to draw people’s attention. However, the fact that so many businesses focus on online marketing allows you to benefit from print marketing.
The US Postal Service has indicated that people that receive direct mail advertising pay significantly more attention to it. This means that – unlike the spam email that is deleted before it is even opened – more people will take a few minutes to go through their mail, before they get back to whatever it is they were doing before. So, postal mail (hence your print materials) will likely receive the extra attention you want, especially if you have something unique and interesting to show.
In fact, a research conducted by International Communications found that almost 75% of consumers show a clear preference for mail, compared to other advertising strategies. Also, about 40% of consumers are more prone to try new brands after they have received direct mail from them. Therefore, there will always be a large audience that you can target through direct mail and print marketing campaigns.
3. Use Variable Data Printing to Personalize Print Media
Let’s say you are running a mailer campaign and personalize every postcard (i.e. by addressing the recipient by name). Using variable data printing gives you an edge. You can customize every piece of media by altering some elements from one piece to another. This is called complex personalization and is a strong asset in the right hands. You can use this technique with different images and create something unique every time.
4. Be Creative
As a business owner you need to develop a strategy that will differentiate your brand and thrill your audience. The trick is to be creative and not use what everyone else is using. Step out of your comfort zone and make your mark. Print media is not just about having standardized paper products (i.e. business cards). It can include other promotional elements, such as coasters, magnets, apparel, buttons, key chains, or anything else.
5. Use Technology to Connect your Audience to your Website
QR codes allow your print media to quickly and easily bring your customers to your website or social media page. Although you could also do this by listing your website url on your card or print advertisement, QR codes have the advantage of allowing a user to simply scan the code with their smartphone and immediately be taken to a destination of your choosing. The newest printing technology even makes it possible to integrate your brand colors into the QR code, further personalizing your print campaign.