In today’s digital world, a solid marketing strategy is essential for brands that want to stay relevant and successful. And the key to any good marketing strategy is omnichannel marketing.
By JORI HAMILTON
Today’s consumers are everywhere, so your marketing needs to be everywhere too. This means using every possible channel or avenue to put your brand in front of as many eyes as possible to expand your reach, including print.
While many believe that traditional impression marketing is falling out of fashion, it’s actually not. While print may not necessarily resonate as much with younger generations of consumers, it continues to prevail. Consumers are still 20% more likely to be motivated by print marketing.
So the question isn’t “should you still use print marketing?” but rather “how can you make print work for your brand?”
The more channels you use to attract customers, the better. So you still want to incorporate print as one of your marketing channels, but you may need to make some changes to make it more appealing and effective.
Below are some of the best tips and strategies for making traditional print marketing work today:
1. Know your audience
A critical part of any marketing strategy, print or digital, is understanding who your target audience is. If you don’t know your audience, how can you expect to attract the right customers who will be motivated to take action?
With print marketing, knowing your audience is even more crucial because print inherently does not have the impact that digital does. So, you need to put even more effort into making sure your print materials are relevant and appealing to the right audience if you want them to work.
So, before creating the design, spend a little more time thinking about who this marketing material is for. Don’t just make a generalized piece intended to appeal to a mass audience – be specific. Everything from the header and layout to the color scheme and incitement to value should appeal to your niche audience.
2. Use the right type of print
Just as digital has multiple channels through which a brand can gain exposure, so does print. Today, print is often lumped into one category, but there are different ways you can use print to market your business. However, not all print marketing channels may be suitable for your brand.
Choosing the right type of print marketing is part of appealing to the right audience, which is why the first step of knowing your audience is so important. For example, if you were to choose billboard marketing, but statistics show that your target audience does not pay attention to billboards, you are wasting your money.
Impression marketing can and does work, but you need to make sure you’re using the right type of impression. Options may include flyers, brochures, business postcards, door hangers, magazine ads, billboards, giveaways, and more.
Business postcards, for example, are still widely used and can be very effective in generating revenue if used correctly. Any type of printing can be really effective; it’s about knowing your audience and knowing how to grab their attention with the right elements.
3. Get their attention
Whatever type of print marketing you choose to use, you first need something to grab your customers’ attention. If your marketing doesn’t have something with an initial impact to generate interest, then customers will look past it.
To grab their attention, use things like a strong headline or attractive images. The idea is to make a statement that instantly intrigues and attracts your customer. Beyond knowing your audience and choosing your type of print, getting your marketing to grab attention is the first step to designing effective print materials.
4. Appeal to their interest
Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, the next step is to entice them further with something that matches their interests. It should be something that provides a bit more detail to let your customer know what you’re offering or selling, but not so much detail that you get overwhelmed.
People have a much shorter attention span today and won’t dwell on an advertisement if it doesn’t interest them quickly. So you want to have the most impact in as few words as possible.
5. Provide a value incentive
Once you’ve captured the customer’s attention and sparked their interest, then you want to provide something of value that encourages them to take action. Simply grabbing their attention isn’t likely to convert them into a sale, because if you just grab their attention, but don’t immediately provide them with something of value, they’ll likely forget about you.
So you need something that attracts them and makes them want to take immediate action to get results. It can be a sale, a limited time offer, a discount or coupon, a loyalty bonus, an exclusive offer or invitation.
Whatever the incentive value, it must create a sense of urgency. It should be something that benefits the customer, but won’t last forever, which means they need to act as soon as possible.
6. Use a call to action
The second part of incentivizing value is a way for the customer to take action and access that value. If you entice them with an offer but don’t provide a clear and obvious way to get it, again the customer could lose interest or forget about it.
You must therefore make your brand and what you offer as accessible as possible so that the customer can act immediately. And that’s where it’s a great idea to link digital to your print marketing.
Customers today can and want to be able to do things easily using their smartphones, so take advantage of that. Use a QR code to direct them to your website or give them instant access to the coupon, deal, etc.
An email, phone number, and web address listed on printed material is also helpful, but something like a QR can engage them instantly and give them the ability to take action as quickly as possible.
7. Publicize your brand identity
Finally, don’t forget to create brand awareness by including something like your logo or brand slogan to remind the customer who they are interacting with. You want the customer to clearly remember who the advertisement or material is from.
However, don’t make your brand identity the primary focus of print marketing. If the first thing the customer notices is your giant logo, they probably won’t be interested. All of the items listed above should grab their attention first, but you still want to leave your mark behind so there’s no confusion as to who the marketer is branding from.
Print marketing is still relevant and can be very effective. While digital is king today, people still love tangible marketing that they can interact with. Think of it as handing out a business card instead of telling someone your email address. Both are effective, but a business card feels more personal and special, and customers appreciate that kind of effort. So, when crafting your multi-channel marketing strategy, remember to include effective and thoughtful print marketing.