Digital Is Great – But It Can’t Replace Print!
Today, as most marketers know, it’s all about using content to build relationships that will equate to sales. Messages aren’t measured by how catchy your slogan is, or by the number of sales points you can cram into an ad or commercial. Two things that matter in building relationships through your content is a) how much value your content brings to your audience, and b) how different it is than whatever your competition is doing. The former provides a bond with that audience and the latter ensures that your audience notices your communication in the first place.
The content? That’s where your expertise and your ability to understand your customers come into play. The only way to make them care about your product or service is to provide them content they genuinely care about. It’s up to you to make it engaging.
What’s The Difference?
But it’s that second part I want to talk about – being different. The vehicles in which you choose to deliver that content are supremely important. Are those vehicles “same old, same old” to your audience today, or are they diverse, interesting and different?
These days there’s nothing “new” about new media. Marketers have overrun the web, email and social media hurrying to get in on “what people are doing these days.” And it’s true that you need representation in those areas. But in their hurry to rush to the cheap, easy and trendy platforms of social media, your competition has likely left one very important territory unguarded. That unguarded territory is print and print offers a great opportunity for your business because print is far from dead. Here are five reasons print should be an absolutely essential part of your content marketing program.
5 Reasons Print Needs to Be Part of Your Content Marketing Mix
Print Breaks Through The Noise
One of the oldest cliché’s in marketing (and it still rings true) is “zig when the others zag.” Well, these days, new media is becoming old hat. Of course you can’t and shouldn’t ignore it, but remember that your audience is bombarded with messages on digital every day. Emails are deleted unopened, while tweets and Facebook posts are scrolled through at lightning speed.
Print, on the other hand, stands out. A brochure, a flier, a magazine ad, a newsletter or direct mail postcard is tangible. It’s one of only a few things in the mailbox, rather than one of a thousand in your inbox.
Print Has Substance
A printed piece is more than different; it’s credible. Your audience doesn’t have to be marketing experts to know that it takes foresight, organization and money to create, print and distribute something tangible. Those online materials don’t bring the same aura – because it’s understood that anyone with a laptop or smartphone can “publish” electronically, whether or not they have the credentials to be taken seriously.
With print, you say to your audience “you matter – we cared enough to spend time and money on you.” That audience will inherently value that content to a greater degree.
Print Helps You Hang On to Your Customers
Another business phrase you hear a lot – and this one’s no cliché, it’s a fact – is that it’s a lot less expensive to keep (and grow) a customer than find a new one. Most marketers focus all their attention on prospecting for new leads and targets; when they get one, they drop it like a fish into the bucket and go looking for more.
Smart marketers realize that their most profitable opportunity lies in a list they don’t have to buy, because it’s one they already have – their customers. And that means there is little or no waste in that list. You can reach your best targets efficiently with a printed piece – the kind they respond best to anyway. Shoot them a postcard. Create a dedicated four-color magazine filled with content about how your product interacts with their lives. Print a newsletter. They’ll care, they’ll be impressed – they’ll buy from you again. It’s the proverbial “win-win.”
Print Prospers in The Digital Disconnect
I mentioned earlier the thousands of electronic messages business people today have to fight their way through every week. More and more people are taking a step back from all the posts, “likes”, comments, emails, tweets, re-tweets, videos, shares and on and on and on, and saying “enough.” These people are taking concrete steps to turn off the electronic aspects of their lives for nights, weekends, or extended stretches of their business days.
It is during these times that a printed piece feels like a friend; a moment of relief from the digital downpour. The act of reading something on paper rather than a screen is refreshing and so is knowing that all you have to do afterward is think about what you read, without having to click on something to approve, forward, share or “like.” Or, uh, print it out!
Print Is Alive – and Livelier Than Ever
Recent studies have shown that in terms of content marketing, the usage of print is not decreasing. While for years those who predicted its demise had the loudest voices (most of them, not surprisingly, in the digital spaces) the facts no longer support that claim.
General audience print publications have certainly faced challenges in recent years, and several have discontinued publishing in the face of declining revenue. But savvy marketers who are looking to establish and reinforce relationships with their customers and key prospects, are finding that print vehicles afford them an excellent way to do just that. By producing brochures, newsletters, even beautiful quarterly magazines, they can deliver product information, entertainment, thought leadership and other engaging content in a welcome and arresting form.
To Improve Your Content Marketing, Just Add Print
People like reading things on paper more than on screens, and remember more of what they read there, too. If you’re going to go to the trouble of communicating with your customers, wouldn’t you like them to read and remember your message?
If you need help figuring out how to include the print channel as part of your marketing plan, give me call. We’ve done it for many other customers – and they’re reaping the positive results. Now let’s get you on board.