Digital advertising has exploded, and it seems like more companies are working to grow their online presence than ever before. But what about print? Is it still relevant in a digital world? Print marketing used to be one of the only forms of advertising, but in the internet age, it’s easy to feel like print has become obsolete. Luckily, there’s no need to fret over the fate of print marketing – it might be old-fashioned, but it’s not dead yet!
What Is Print Marketing?
Print marketing is the use of physical collateral (posters, brochures, business cards, etc.) to promote a business, product, or service. However, it isn’t as simple as making a flyer in Adobe Illustrator and hanging it around town indiscriminately. While this tactic might work out in the marketer’s favor, they’re likely better off going about it with a bit more deliberation. By choosing a target demographic and then strategically placing printed advertisements in spaces where they will be seen, heard, or otherwise engaged with offline, marketers can ensure the right people come into contact with the ads, maximizing their impact.
Benefits Of Print
Print Ads Have High Conversion Rates
If you’re a marketer, it’s easy to get caught up in trends. Even though digital ads are powerful in promoting brand awareness and attracting traffic, they are no match for printed ads. In a recent study, printed advertisements were found to convert at a rate of roughly 5%, in comparison to 2% for digital ads and only 0.4% for social media campaigns. Even more surprising? Print ads convert five times more than TV commercials!
Print Advertising Builds Trust
Research has shown that people tend to trust print marketing more than they do digital ads. In fact, 82% of internet users in the US said they trusted print ads when making a purchase decision, which is more than any other medium. This could be because we’re bombarded with so many digital ads that we’ve become desensitized to them, it could be because we can physically hold printed materials in our hands, or perhaps it’s due to the fact that print ads are less likely to be faked than digital ads. As social media platforms and digital marketing tools like Google Ads become more popular, it’s becoming easier for people to create fake accounts and post fraudulent content. Printed ad campaigns are less susceptible to these tactics since most people can’t create and distribute fake printed ads on a large scale.
Print Allows For Highly Effective Targeting
Another benefit of print marketing is that a print ad can be placed in a magazine, newspaper, or other publication designed specifically for the audience you are looking to connect with. For instance, you could advertise to Gen Z by placing ads in a magazine designed for young adults (although it may come as a bit of a surprise, 92% of those aged 18-23 prefer reading print content over digital content).
Print ads allow for strong geographic targeting as well. For example, placing ads in local newspapers allows marketers to speak to specific communities with location-based messaging. Plus, print also allows advertisers to access private events such as conferences, conventions, and meetups, which is a great way to target consumers whose interests align with what they are selling.
Print Is More Engaging
Not only are people more likely to read something if it’s in print form, but they’re also more likely to remember what they read. Forbes found that when study participants were asked to cite the company name of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece versus those exposed to a digital ad.
Books, newspapers, pamphlets, brochures, calendars—whatever you might call print, there’s something special about the material itself. It’s tangible. People relate to tangible things, they feel a connection with a printed page they don’t often feel with digital content. By opening a letter or flipping through magazines, readers can explore the material on their own. That luxury is not available with most digital media formats. Even in our tech-driven world, people still love receiving content they can hold in their hands.
Popular Types Of Print Marketing
Though newspapers may not be as widely circulated as they once were, they’re still an effective, highly affordable way to reach a large audience in your local area. The downside is that you’re competing with a lot of other businesses for attention, and it can be easy for your ad to get lost in the shuffle. To make the most of newspaper advertising, make sure your ad is eye-catching (a picture never hurts) and placed in a high-traffic section of the paper.
A brochure is a form of advertising collateral that typically includes a sales pitch and product information, and its goal is to inform the reader and provide contact details so that they can get in touch with you. For those looking to share an affordable, useful, and easy-to-design piece of printed material, brochures are a great option. However, brochures can also be easy to ignore and throw away, and they can be costly to produce in large quantities.
When designing your next brochure, make sure your contact information is clearly stated and easy to find on every page (don’t forget email and social media handles!), and be concise and to the point (most people don’t want to hear the full history of the company when they’re just looking for product features).
Direct mailers are another great choice. They’re easy to design and send, they can target a specific audience with laser accuracy, and they can easily be personalized. Moreover, direct mailers are significantly less expensive than other forms of advertising, such as television commercials and radio spots, since they do not require an extensive production team or special equipment. If you have a printer and ink, you could even create direct mailers at home, allowing you to efficiently spread your message without breaking the bank.
Direct mail also feels more personal, which means it comes off as more trustworthy than other forms of advertising. Since drect mail is targeted to a specific recipient, the reader knows right away who the ad was intended for without having to guess from context clues. And unlike other mediums such as social media or newspapers and magazines, there are no other ads vying for the reader’s attention.
However, direct mailers aren’t without their drawbacks. It may take longer to see the results of your advertising efforts because it can take days or even weeks for mail to arrive at the recipient’s house, and even when it does, many people don’t regularly check their mailboxes.
Magazines are a great way to reach a target audience that is already interested in the products or services you offer, and since they have a long shelf life, your ad will be seen by potential customers for months or even years to come.
That being said, magazine ads tend to be more expensive, and it can be difficult to track their effectiveness. If you’re considering magazine advertising, be sure to do your research and create a detailed plan. To make the most of your magazine ad, choose the right publication (one your target audience is likely to read) and use eye-catching visuals to help your ad stand out.
How To Make Your Print Marketing As Effective As Possible
Pair Digital And Print
It isn’t an either-or decision between print and digital; the best results often come when they are used in conjunction. You can use print marketing to drive traffic to your website where customers can learn more about your product or service. This is especially helpful when targeting potential customers who aren’t heavy users of social media – you can include QR codes or web addresses on your printed material that redirect readers back to your website or blog from the printout itself. All in all, when you pair print and digital efforts, you can reach more people in a variety of ways and create a well-rounded marketing campaign.
Choose The Right Medium
Print marketing can be extremely effective when done correctly, and part of this is choosing the right type of print advertising for your audience. If you’re targeting a younger demographic, then a poster or flyer campaign might be more effective than an ad in a newspaper; if you’re trying to reach a more affluent audience, then an upscale magazine or trade publication might be the way to go; and if you’re targeting businesses, then using something like direct mail or catalogs could be most effective. The important thing is to think about who your target audience is and what type of print advertising they are most likely to interact with.
Perfect Your Print Ads With Ashore!
It can be costly (and frustrating) to update a print ad after it’s been sent to the printer, so you’ll want to make sure your designs are just right during the proofing process. With Ashore, you can create customizable checklists so nothing slips through the cracks and even set automatic notifications and reminders to make sure your printed content doesn’t take months to get approved. More important than that, however, is that you can add context to your feedback. By tying comments to specific places on the page and utilizing markup tools, you can remove any ambiguity around what your feedback means.
Are you ready to streamline the review and approval of your print collateral? Start your 14-day free trial now!