Let’s get one thing clear; print isn’t dead. It’s easy to understand why many believe that print media is on the decline. With more adults than ever carrying smartphones around all day and the population at large spending more time on the Internet than ever before, it’s easy to believe that digital marketing has completely replaced print media. The reality is that print marketing is thriving, and it’s thriving right alongside digital marketing. If you really want to maximize your marketing, the question isn’t whether you should choose print or digital, the question is what is the right balance of the two for your business. Coordinating your print and digital marketing efforts is an important step and one that will bring greater results than either by itself. Learn how and why you need to integrate your print and digital campaigns.
Print and Digital are Better Together
Digital marketing didn’t kill print, but it did help it evolve. Because we can check the weather and scan headlines with email and social media apps, doesn’t mean we completely abandoned reading physical materials as well. Customers live in both the physical and digital worlds. If you’re trying to decide where to put your focus, digital or print, the real answer is both.
Digital data is great at targeting consumers based on real-world behaviors; looking at their locations and times of the day when they are online. Print marketing gets to boast about its high response rates. For example, a recent study showed that the average response rate of direct mail was over 8x better than email. Combining print and digital is a great way for you to differentiate your brand. With so many brands focused solely on digital marketing, a printed piece can help set your brand apart from the competition.
Think about print and digital marketing being two halves of a relationship that work better when they are together. The key is to always consider the other half when making decisions. When you launch a new email campaign, consider what print marketing could support that campaign. Maybe you’ll send a matching postcard or hang flyers with matching graphics around your business location. Always be thinking about how each half, digital and print, can support the whole picture.
How to Integrate Print and Digital
How do you get a potential customer to take the next step? With a powerful call-to-action (CTA). CTAs work just as well in print as they do in digital, and they are one of the keys to integrate your print and digital efforts. In some cases, it will be digital media that pushes readers to an offline promotion. In other cases, it will be a piece of print marketing that leads customers to a landing page online.
QR codes, barcodes that can be read by the camera on your smartphone, are a great way to integrate your print and digital efforts. Include a QR code on print media like flyers and direct mail postcards that immediately takes readers online to a landing page. QR codes aren’t the only technology that can be brought into a mail piece. Augmented Reality allows customers to become immersed in an interactive experience right from their mailbox. With the help of technology, you have print media taking potential customers online. Print and digital can also work together the other way, where you take your online audience and bring them offline. If you are launching a new product, you might create a social media post inviting followers to sign up for free samples that will be delivered through the mail.
Whether you are working online or offline, tracking data from your campaigns will continue to provide you with valuable insights into your audience. Whether you’re online or offline, utilize a strong CTA to bring print and digital efforts together.
Keep Your Messaging Consistent
You never know where someone will come across your brand for the first time. They might be handed a business card or see an ad on social media. This fluidity between online and offline interaction is why it’s so important to make the most of that first impression, no matter where it happens. When you combine print and digital to create a comprehensive marketing campaign, it helps you maintain brand consistency across your marketing platforms.
Perhaps your business has an anniversary coming up, and you’re hosting a celebration at the office to which customers are invited. Email is a great way to get the word out quickly about the event and to make sure you’ve reached a wide audience. However, after the event, you might decide to send a follow-up letter thanking guests for their attendance. If you had guests sign in, you would know exactly to whom to send those letters. Having a campaign that includes both print and digital means the tone and appearance of the email and the letter can complement one another and create a cohesive experience for your customer.
When we’re talking about consistency, it’s more than just having your logo across all of your campaigns. Make sure that the tone and message of your campaigns deliver a unified brand to customers across all the online and offline channels. When you combine print and digital strategies with a consistent message, you engage with customers and build trust.
Communication platforms and content consumption are ever-evolving. Print marketing isn’t dead; it is only enhanced by the emergence of digital marketing. When they work together, print and digital communications can create a great experience for the consumer. Your personal Safeguard consultant has everything you need to be successful, both online and offline. Contact us today for advice and ideas.