With the world becoming increasingly digitized, marketers are increasingly using online platforms to target new audiences. So…have we arrived at a point where print marketing is no longer needed?
Far from it.
There’s no doubt that a startup that successfully pulls new consumers into its online platforms is likely to experience more success. However, I’m convinced that the way to do this isn’t through digital-only marketing strategies.
While it may seem a bit contradictory, there are reasons to consider using print as a unique way to boost your digital presence. There are a few reasons why your startup’s marketing budget shouldn’t be solely digital. Instead, incorporate print as a key and innovative way to boost digital traffic.
One of the main reasons why online advertising can have limited value for a startup is competition. There’s a huge volume of other businesses using this format. Your voice risks getting lost in all the noise.
There’s also the fact that digital ads can be surprisingly expensive.
This is especially the case if you want to target a large segment of your market. You’ll also have to think about hiring a digital marketing expert. This is especially true if you want to maximize the potential of your campaign. Again, this is something that can easily limit a profitable return on investment.
Digital-Only vs. Digital + Print
Of course, these might be reasons why digital marketing shouldn’t be your startup’s marketing priority.
However, I’m sure you’re wondering why print marketing is the way to boost your business’ audience.
Print, especially now in the digital age, can really resonate. There’s a tactile feel that comes with a physical product. Let’s be honest…we all spend a little more time flicking through a physical brochure. Compare that to a quick swipe on yet another social media post.
What I’ve learned so far is that print can hold greater resonance with consumers. You can see an increased return on investment compared with a digital-only approach. While this may sound too good to be true, it really can work.
The only caveat is that without a clearly defined strategy, going print can end in disaster. That’s why I’ve included a detailed examination of which print product(s) will work best for your startup’s marketing campaign. Before we strategize, let’s all be on the same page as to what print marketing actually is.
Print Marketing 101
Let’s start with the basics. Print marketing is using physical services or tools as a way to sell products and raise brand awareness.
Simply put, print marketing is all forms of advertising that incorporate some form of physical product as the tool to communicate between a business and its audience.
Print marketing has been around forever. Some of the more traditional forms are newspaper ads and handing out business cards.
More contemporary variations include wowing event attendees with a custom stand banner. Another option is placing a QR code in a brochure to send customers straight to your social media profile.
The Best Tools for Print Marketing
While we wish there was just one product that was the perfect tool for all print marketing strategies, that doesn’t exist. Depending on your needs, budget, and goals there are different options that work best.
We all wish that there was one go-to form of print marketing that’s the best tool for all marketing needs. Sadly, that doesn’t exist either. We all have different needs, goals, and budgets, and thankfully there’s the perfect print product for every requirement.
As a start-up, you may very well have a limited budget. This might mean you consider an apparel campaign instead of opting for aerial advertising. An eco-friendly green organization might not want to boast about its ecological footprint by printing a million glossy magazines.
The Importance of Attending Events
One of the great places to start with a print campaign is at trade shows and events.
A well-pitched stand, plenty of informative material, and a couple of fun games or freebies can do wonders for growing your audience.
There are many great options for maximizing your start-up’s success at these physical events. I recommend reading “The Five Things You Need to Prepare For an In-Person Event” by DGW Branded to become a trade show expert.
One of the recommendations DGW Branded suggests is to opt for an X Stand Banner to attract attention from every direction. Because of the high-quality vinyl, your brand’s logo or custom message will be highly visible. It will stand out against the competition with thousands of potential customers suddenly aware of your business.
For Startups on a Budget
I understand that start-ups can have limited budgets. Having a professional stand at a big business event can be out of the reach of many small businesses looking at growing their audience.
One of the most tried and tested forms of print marketing that can boost your business’s online presence while remaining on a budget is business cards.
If you can find a good deal, these cards tend to be pretty cheap. However, adding a few extras is something we think is a must if you really want this strategy to be successful. Going for recycled cotton can be massive. It decides if it’s a card a customer keeps in their wallet instead of going straight in the trash.
Even more crucial in helping your business grow in the online world is adding a QR code to the front of your cards. By scanning the code, customers will be transported to your social media accounts. This can increase your following more than a sponsored post ever could.
Choosing an Eco-Friendly Option
There’s no doubting the visual appeal that glossy magazines hold. Having a stunning high-res portfolio of what your business is all about can be an incredible way to grow your customer base.
While this is all well and good, it’s less attractive to a growing percentage of consumers. These folks think about the harm to the environment that’s caused by this type of print product.
A more eco-friendly option would be to use apparel as a social media prize. Because it’s a freebie, you’d only need to print one or two, so it’s budget-friendly while being kinder to Mother Earth.
Further increasing your green credentials can be achieved by ensuring the T-shirt is made using recycled materials, such as plastic bottles. This is also a great marketing strategy!
A social media campaign using apparel is a great example as to how digital and print can be used together to great effect.
A Final Word on Print Marketing
I wrote this article to provide reasons why print marketing is even more effective in the digital age.
We’ve seen in the media industry the return of the popularity of vinyl and record players. This is proof that physical products truly resonate with consumers.
Consider some of our suggestions, such as incorporating a QR code. Maybe you merge a social media campaign with an apparel giveaway. These are simple, effective ways to intertwine both formats to grow your start-up in the digital and physical world.