If you’re like most small business owners, chances are you look for every opportunity to minimize your overhead costs and maximize your profits — all while maintaining an excellent product or service offering for your clients. A tall order, sure, but that’s just good business. Far too often, marketing budgets are the first resource to get slashed in the name of financial cutbacks. Unfortunately, this may not always be to your long-term benefit. 

In a digital landscape, where it’s much easier and more affordable to open a corporate Instagram account than it is to produce hardcopy marketing collateral, it’s easy to see and understand the growing dominance of online marketing. But what if digital marketing simply wasn’t enough? Don’t get us wrong, digital channels are absolutely essential for developing a well-rounded marketing strategy. But it’s not the only option. 

Here are three reasons why print marketing isn’t dead and why you should still incorporate print assets into your marketing efforts. 

 

Print Marketing Helps You Stand Out

It’s no secret that we’re living in the age of the internet, which has revolutionized the way we do business. The volume of people now using the internet worldwide has grown exponentially, especially over the past few years, clocking in at over 3.7 billion users. That’s a 7.5% increase since 2016! Given that growth, an IBM study shows we create a stunning 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day. Add to that the billions of users active on social media, and we’re facing quite the racket. Amidst all that noise, how can your business stand out through the use of digital methods alone?

With all this focus on digital platforms, producing print marketing materials is a great way to strategically expand your audience in ways that the competition might overlook. Considering the fact that people still have lives offline, it makes sense from a client acquisition standpoint to take our brand awareness efforts offline as well. That way, your business can cut through the overwhelming barrage of brand messages online to better connect with potential customers — wherever they are.

 

“Old School” Methods Evoke Trust

 

Speaking of which, you might be surprised to hear that not everyone prefers to live their lives online. Older generations, in particular, may be less inclined to adopt fully digital lifestyles. Regardless of age, there’s also a growing awareness of the need to “unplug” from time to time. That means many of your potential clients might be more inclined to engage with print materials than digital ones. According to one study, millennials actually respond better to print marketing than they do to email marketing. Why? It comes down to trust.

Think about it this way: the internet is rife with scammers, hackers, and virus-ridden hyperlinks. Sometimes, that translates to mistrust of online businesses and their offerings. Since there is a cost attached to designing, printing, and distributing print assets, scammers are much less likely to pay up when they could just run a phishing scam. Consumers are often more receptive of print because it indicates legitimacy and authenticity. 

 

Hard-Copy Ad Materials Are Tangible & Tactile 

 

In a world of fake news, PhotoShop, and social media filters, authenticity seems to be a rarity these days. As consumers confront their growing mistrust of online content, it presents business owners with a unique opportunity to return to traditional modes of advertising. Conventional marketing tools tend to be more tactical and, therefore, more likely to spark engagement. Why? Screen-time has become more distracted and passive than ever.

When was the last time you watched TV without scrolling through your phone at the same time? In a 2018 survey, Nielsen found that most audiences juggle multiple screens simultaneously. That means a consumer must encounter your brand online dozens of times before your messaging sinks in — if at all.

Print marketing, on the other hand, is tangible. Customers can bring it home with them, hang it on their fridge, and even cart it around on the side of a tote bag. In that sense, your brand messaging becomes a more permanent part of their lives. Plus, according to neuroscientists, our brains concentrate more easily and retain information more effectively when reading print versus online text.

Ultimately, to grow your business, it pays to develop a robust marketing strategy that incorporates both print and digital mediums. The two in tandem will help grow brand awareness and client trust across multiple audiences.

Hungry for more SMB marketing advice? Bring your appetite to our next monthly YES Mixer for a casual networking opportunity with other local business owners. And yes, there will be food and refreshments, too!

At YES Victoria, we love a good business mixer as much as the next entrepreneur. Having hosted many successful networking events over the last decade, we know that building your professional network is about more than hobnobbing with business owners over cocktail hour. Useful networking should generate results — allowing entrepreneurs to build strong, valuable connections that translate to stronger business prospects. But how?

There’s no reason a networking mixer shouldn’t be fun, but it’s easy to get caught up in the social aspect and lose sight of your true purpose for attending. Handing out an awesome business card is an excellent way to stay on track. It’s the quickest way to leaving a lasting impression with everyone you meet. But here’s the catch — not just any business card will do.

Whether you’re a startup creating its first set of business cards, or a thriving SMB looking to freshen things up, here are a few essential tips for crafting the ultimate business card. 


Keep Your Business Card Concise

Tempting as it may be to include every morsel of detail about your company, the best business cards are short and sweet. Stick to the basics in such a way that is both interesting and to the point. Overloading a pocket-sized business card can make you appear sloppy and unprofessional — plus, it’s just plain overwhelming to read.

White space is your friend. Share only the important details, add some basic design elements, if relevant to your business, and you’re set! Bear in mind that a concise business card is effective because it’s easy to read, understand, and remember. Think of it like an elevator pitch on paper — your goal is to pique interest, not to bear all. 

 

Print With the Professionals 

If you’re a relatively new startup or small business, we understand that your marketing budget and resources may be somewhat limited. Don’t worry; creating an effective business card doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, even with only a small investment, you can design and print your new business cards with a professional. 


Unless you have your own commercial printing capabilities, try to avoid doing DIY business cards. The truth is, they tend to cheapen your brand and give off the wrong impression to your clients and prospects. Instead, try reaching out to a local print shop, or leverage the affordability of online print and design companies like VistaPrint or Moo Print Ltd. Most printing shops offer bulk discounts and small business deals, too. 

 

Follow Design Trends Carefully

If you’re new to the world of graphic design, building your first business card may leave you feeling like a kid in a candy store. Between all the different shapes, sizes and cardstock finishes to choose from, you might lean toward the more flashy, on-trend designs.

 

Don’t get us wrong, there’s certainly room here for some creative freedom. That said, stay mindful of your audience. Only choose graphic elements that are relevant to your business.

Experiment With Functionality 

If innovation is a driving force or philosophy at your company, consider experimenting with a business card that serves a dual purpose. Get creative with the design so that you’re both sharing your business details and providing clients with a useful tool. For example, you might print a business card onto a magnet or design a card that folds into a phone stand. That way, you stand out more and decrease the chances of your card ending up in the recycling bin. 

 

Review Your Content for Errors

Sounds obvious, right? Judging by the number of typos and design cut-offs circulating on even the most professionally produced business cards, we could all use a reminder. Editing your content and reviewing your business card mockups at every stage in the game is critical. It may seem like a time sink, putting in the extra effort of revision. In the long run, though, triple checking everything before it goes to print will save you time, money, and resources. 

Ultimately, your business card should be a simple, memorable reflection of who you are and what your company is about. Follow these essential tips on creating an effective business card, and we’re confident you’ll be a big hit at your next business mixer!

Plan on putting these tips to good use? Be sure to bring along your new business cards to our next networking event — we can’t wait to see what you come up with!