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!