Using Print and Digital Together to Engage in New Ways
These days, it may seem to many in business that print marketing is a thing of the past. On the other side of the coin, for many businesses that are holding onto print as their primary marketing strategy, getting into digital may seem intimidating for a variety of reasons. Digital marketing may also seem unencumbered by measurable results.
Unfortunately for the holders of either mindset, the most robust contemporary marketing strategies involve a combination of traditional print and modern digital techniques – leveraging the power of each to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
Combining print and digital techniques is quickly becoming a best practice for getting results that neither path can yield on its own. Unfortunately, creating hybrid digital and print marketing programs may be counterintuitive for some marketing teams. What follows is a quick guide to some of the best ways you can leverage digital and print marketing techniques together to drive your campaigns into unknown territory and to bring in better results.
Direct Mail Isn’t Dead
Contrary to what may be popular opinion in some circles, the old marketing standby of direct mail is far from outliving its usefulness in marketing campaigns. In fact, direct mail can make a great base for a marketing campaign that is almost completely digital in nature, otherwise.
For example, try personalizing a direct mail piece to accompany a marketing campaign that engages customers and potential customers through social media, email, and digital advertising across multiple platforms. In this way, a direct mail piece of print marketing anchors a digital campaign and becomes a robust means of conversion.
The Look and Feel of Real Printed Collateral
Digital marketing is a great way to reach consumers and potential customers where they are active: online. But there are consumer goods and services that need a little extra push to get traction with potential customers.
Printed collateral in the form of brochures, catalogs, and even postcards, can be what makes the difference between informing consumers and converting them. For additional traction, savvy marketers can leverage consumers’ digital behavior to customize collateral along predictable pathways to conversion.
Print Can Make Content Stickier
By now you’ve gotten the memo. You’re using content and social media to build community around your brand. Unfortunately, digitally delivered content marketing and social media can have a very short shelf life. But print can be one way to extend the shelf life of your content.
Additionally, not every customer that you’re hoping to bring in enjoys reading longer content marketing pieces on their digital devices. Some still prefer reading print material in a printed form. Printed versions of digital content marketing pieces can make for great takeaways from trade shows and other face-to-face encounters with prospective customers outside the digital world.
Tip: when was the last time your business or marketing team tried sending out a printed version of your monthly or quarterly newsletter? Including a timely special offer can be a great way to track “opens” and to gauge ROI on your marketing spend.
Incorporate Your Digital Presence Into Your Print Matter
If you aren’t currently doing so, it is a common best practice to incorporate links to your social media and other online assets into your business cards and other durable print matter.
Business cards are unlikely to be replaced with a digital equivalent any time soon. In fact, for many businesses, business cards may currently make up the majority of their print matter. Why not give your existing and potential customers another opportunity to engage with your brand online and on social media by putting links to your online presence on every brochure, catalog, business card, and other printed marketing materials?
Print Is Still Alive, But Cannot Do the Job Alone Anymore
If your marketing mindset is either stubbornly rooted in a print-only past, or floating around in the cloud of a promised digital-only future, then you are missing out on the power of combining these two proven channels.
Putting print to work together with digital allows for wider reach and deeper penetration in every business, and may well be worth the effort it takes to adopt a new marketing channel for your brand.