Most businesses think print media is dead. They’ve bought into the idea that digital has killed it, and that the only businesses still using print are ones that are on their way out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Bother With Print?
When you own address & envelope printers, you can basically print your own paycheck. Print media has always worked, and it will continue to work. Why? Because it is timeless. Print media engages your audience with a tactile experience that digital cannot duplicate. A sales message on a printed piece of paper, or postcard, is a very personal and direct form of communication.
There’s also the matter of deliverability. When you’re mailing to prospects (especially on a small list), you can usually send out your direct mail pieces via direct private courier, which makes your marketing stand out from the rest of the crowd.
And, while it’s an expensive way to send a marketing message, the ROI is almost always higher than with digital media.
How To Make Print Media Work
First, keep your ad focused and simple. The best marketing messages don’t try to do too many things at once. This is where print media has an advantage over online media. The Internet is one big distraction — tons of websites all vying for attention.
And, because it’s cheap to throw up a website and test something, lots of companies do it. There’s little consequence to marketing a business online and so small and large companies are willing to be more liberal with their use of advertisements, often to the detriment of sales.
Ads are forced to share space with navigation menus, videos, and podcasts. Businesses try to cram more and more information into smaller and smaller spaces. The result: lots of wasted ad dollars.
Another thing to consider is the appeal of your ad. Because a lot of newspapers and magazines will replicate their content online, you’ll get added exposure for your print ad, even though you never spent a dime in online advertising. The print media is the ‘source material’ so to speak for the online content.
If your print media doesn’t currently allow for a design that’s consistent for the web, then make sure your printed material is formatted for the web or that it will make sense online.
Next, avoid unnecessary restrictions in your ad. Longer text in your ad is OK as long as you have space for it and it doesn’t look cramped or “stuffed.” Some studies show that longer headlines will make your print ads more effective. Go for clarity over length, though,
An ad headline that doesn’t make a clear promise, or speak to a specific market, is a dud and should be dropped in favor of a more specific ad headline that introduces proof and credibility, along with a clear benefit statement.
Track and measure your results. Almost no one does this, yet nearly everyone talks about its importance. But, tracking ad spend and ROI are critical in print media.
Evie Norton works for a marketing company in a creative role. She enjoys brainstorming, planning and creating using both traditional print methods as well as online marketing through social media and more.