How Print Can Drive Digital Marketing Success

In a digital world, why do print ads, catalogs, and direct mail still perform? And why should you consider adding print to your media mix?

Digital advertising alone can deliver only so many customers cost-efficiently.  When it comes to brand building, customer retention, and even customer acquisition in specific product niches, print ads can deliver results. According to a recent article about a global advertising survey, “ad spend on print is forecasted to reach 2207.6 million people in 2021.” This year will be the biggest print ad revenue in US history.  

According to Small Business Trends, direct mail marketing can be more effective than email marketing. Look at the following stats from Small Business Trends:

  • Receivers open 80-90% of direct mail but only 20-30% of ad emails get opened.
  • Direct mail marketing can be more effective than email marketing to reach millennials

So what are some of the ways you can leverage print to complement your digital program?

The Key is Empathy

Print ads, mailers, and catalogs typically have more “space” than web pages or emails. That’s more space to create an empathic and visually appealing ad, with total control of size, color, message, and more. All marketing materials, digital or non-digital, must always appeal to the target audience. The varied sizes and formats such as newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and direct mail let you choose the right sized “space” to showcase products, inspirational messages, and copy to better explain features. 

Consumers Trust Print Over Digital

Would you be surprised if I told you more people trusted print ads over digital? A study by Marketinsherpa found that among survey respondents:  82% trusted print ads, 76% trusted mailed catalogs, while only 39% of people trusted digital. 

Pop-up ads haven’t helped the reputation of digital marketing, and there’s the warning of “don’t believe everything you see on the internet”, right?  Most print publications have a recognized point-of-view and often decades of trust because of their editorial quality.

If selling your product requires developing a strong reputation, then advertising in a reputable print publication will really help you.  Plus you can partner with the publication through sponsorships to take advantage of their online audiences.  A link from a trusted publication can also help Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by adding to your website’s domain authority.

Better Targeting…Beyond the Instagram Feed

When people pay for a magazine, they are committed to that content and industry.  They may spend an hour reading the publication and are highly likely to buy in the category. Print is a very targeted media buy in most cases. Contrast that with an Instagram exposure, where the follower may not have purchased in the category.  Also, an Instagram story is only available just for a day. Posts are mostly seen once a day, and even so just for a few seconds. We absolutely believe in social and digital advertising, it’s all about the mix.

How Print Complements Digital

Print campaigns should always include strong calls to action to visit a digital property such as a site or app.  Visits generated from this medium can be tracked with unique offer codes, special landing pages, and more. Even without special landing pages, print marketing can increase “direct load” which is when a visitor types in your site’s URL instead of coming from a Google search.  By tracking all your metrics carefully, you should determine the impact of print and how it can be an important driver of digital marketing success.  

Having a well-rounded campaign and smart media mix will help you gain and retain customers. It is all about complementary media and creativity. Need more information about Digital agencies? We’ve got you covered here! If you’re ready to enhance your print and digital, James Ross Advertising is waiting for you!