Using Print with Social media

Breaking News: Print’s Not Dead!Social media marketing, alongside its usual cohorts in digital media advertising, may be having its day in the sun at present but print marketing’s old school tactics are not to be dismissed. The following statistics from last year are solid proof that flyers, brochures, and direct mail marketing are still pivotal to a marketing formula you are about to concoct:

  • A dollar spent on direct mail returned $12.57 in sales. - 2014 Statistical Fact Book, DMA (Direct Marketing Association)
  • 56 percent of consumers trust print materials as an advertising medium over other channels, including online platforms - Print Marketing Statistics, Direct Mailing Center
  • Forty-eight percent of those who received direct mails retain them for future reference. - Alpha Graphics
  • Seventy-three percent of customers surveyed by the International Communications Research admitted that they prefer direct mail as an advertising method - Marketing Profs

Print + Social Media = Killer Marketing Campaign

Many marketers are quick to point out that social media is the next big thing if you want to get ahead of your competitors in the advertising game. Yet there is a misunderstanding concerning the decline of print materials and the rise of social media users. While the Internet has significantly shifted the power from sellers to consumers, it doesn’t stand to reason that print media is now an ineffective medium to reach out to your target audience.

By and large, social media is not here to dethrone print advertising but rather it should be seen as a venue to further expand one’s marketing efforts When these two channels are used together, you will have a killer marketing campaign at your disposal - ala Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Watson’s combined efforts! Or Batman and Robin if you’re into comics than detective tales.

The Benefits of Combining Print and Social Media Marketing

Many companies fail to recognize the following benefits when they solely choose social media (because everyone is supposedly online these days) rather than integrating print to their existing social media marketing efforts:

  • A campaign that merges print with SMM have increased chances of reaching out to wider array of target audience. Tech-savvy and younger crowds will most likely respond to social media while the attention of older adults are more accessible via direct mails.
  • A mug with your company’s logo or a flyer pinned on a fridge door are more likely to remind your potential customer of your services or products than a tweet. Talk about leaving a lasting impression!
  • Value is often associated with something that is tangible. Print materials are objects you can see and touch. When you put something into print, it gives off the message that you are spending more and that your target audiences are worth the extra funds that you spent, whether it’s to educate or entertain. When people perceived an object with a much higher value, they are more likely to pay attention to it.
  • There is lesser competition in mailboxes because it is now used infrequently. What used to be considered as clutter in your physical mailbox can now be found in emails and social media platforms. Why compete with the noise in social media when you can stealthily make your way to your consumer’s mailbox regularly?

Actionable Steps to Merging Print and Social Media

A recent Pitney Bowes report revealed that 76 percent of small businesses consider merging print and social media as a strategically-sound marketing campaign. Yet how many of these businesses are actually doing it? If you’re not in the same boat as the businesses who have done the merge and reaped the rewards of their efforts, the following actionable steps will be helpful:

  1. Personalize your print materials! Why not personalize each postcard you send with the recipient’s name and come up with unique codes for each email you send? This will not only boost response rates but also aid in tracking customers (and their demographics!) who took the time to respond.
  2. Harness the power of QR codes and NFC. Embedding QR codes to your brochures, catalogues, and direct mails is a great way for your target customers to gain access to your website or social media platforms. No need for them to type in lengthy URLs!
  3. Think outside the box. Print marketing is not just limited to materials in paper such as flyers, business cards, and physical mail. You can also promote your brand through keychains, stickers, ballpens, bags, towels, and shirts. Interestingly, these objects are often perceived as gifts rather than promotional materials, allowing your audience to hold on to them for a long time. This will eventually lead to brand familiarity and consequently earn your audience’s trust.
  4. Find out where your target audience frequents offline. Could it be the gym? Or bus stops? Once you’ve figured it out, run an ad campaign in that specific area.
  5. Announce the mechanics of social media promos or giveaways via print.
  6. Promote new products or services during events by suggesting hashtags. Setting up a photo booth is a superb method of getting people to get involved with your brand on social media without being too pushy. Photo booths are always fun!
  7. Create a packaging that will not only call your customer’s attention but will also lead them to your website to find out more about the brand. Concoct stories by coming up with a mascot or character unique to your brand and encourage customers to follow more of the character’s adventures in your social media channels. By doing so, your social media presence becomes an indispensable extension of your print campaigns. Leave your customers wanting for more!

The Bottom Line

Do not be afraid to experiment with your approach in combining print and social media! The array of new powerful tools that you can utilize in implementing both media provide marketers a venue to be more creative and flexible with their marketing efforts.

Got an interesting story to share about combining print and social media marketing? We are all ears so share your story below!

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About the Author


Kyjean Tomboc

About Kyjean Tomboc

Kyjean likes to think of herself as an online content machine but her love for all things feline makes her human after all! She writes mainly about health, science, social media, and online content marketing. If she’s not writing, she’s either scaling mountains or taming tardigrades. Follow her tardigrade taming attempts at Twitter - @autodidactikai


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