The internet will constantly tell you that print is dead. That newspaper and magazine ads have had their day, and you should focus all of your efforts and budget into your online presence and digital ads. In fact, more and more brands are pulling out of the print arena altogether. Should you, too?
Hold On Just a Second
We might now be offered more ways to consume media than ever before, but there’s still power in print. Here’s our top five reasons why, in a digital word, print still has its place.
Digital advertising may be quicker, cheaper and easier to measure, but there’s just something about being able to hold a newspaper you’ve just bought in your hands and actually owning it. Print simulates the senses, leading to a greater audience attachment than a fleeting digital ad. High-quality imagery and luxurious paper can also both contribute to a more premium feel, differentiating you from competitors, which can be difficult to achieve digitally – the web is arguably a more equal landscape for marketers.
And that tangible power isn’t limited to just an hour, or even a day; newspapers, magazines, direct mail pieces and flyers can all stay present in your customer’s homes or offices for years, to be read again and again long after a digital ad has disappeared.
Print also gives you, to a degree, greater control over every aspect of your marketing. With flyers and direct mail pieces , or example, you can decide on everything from the thickness and GSM of the specific paper to whether you want a matte or gloss effect.
Similarly, the nature of print ads mean you have complete power over the format, colour and style you want your ad to take. All of these things can further cement your brand message and identity. You can also choose to buy ad space in contextually relevant areas, or position your ad in publications which showcase the values that you yourself would like to reflect. If you would like be perceived as more of a luxury brand, for example, ads placed in higher-end publications would help you to achieve this association.
In the same way, print advertising allow you to intensify your brand awareness in certain geographical areas. For example, if your research highlights a lack of salience in the South, you might choose to target London specific publications and newspapers in order to remedy this.
The web can be a dark and scary place, full of ads, popups and spam. One wrong click can mean downloading a virus which completely wipes out your system.
In comparison, print is reassuringly safe and predictable, carrying with it a sense of credibility. If something’s made it into print, it will have had some vetting, quality assurance and budget behind it, meaning it’s much more likely to have come from a real and credible company. On the internet, there’s really no way to tell. A study from internet security provider Adblock Plus found that a colossal 93% of people don’t trust online ads.
Print breeds trust and authenticity, and can therefore result in a high conversion rate of quality leads. In a study by Print Power, a reported 63% attached trust print media, compared to just 25% for the internet. This just goes to re-emphasise the fact that while newspapers and print have been around for many years, the internet is still finding its feet.
Targeting and Engagement
Magazines, especially trade magazines, have very specific and niche demographics meaning you can more accurately target your ad than you can online. As consumers also select and purchase the print media they consume, they’re often more immersed and engaged in its content than they are online; where they tend to click on a whim and skim-read.
When a consumer chooses to purchase and actively take time out of their day to read a publication, rather than let information wash over them as they do on the internet, you tap into a much more actively engaged customer.
As mentioned earlier, more and more companies are focusing their advertising efforts purely online. This means there is much less competition out in the print market, giving your ad more of a chance to shine. The fewer ads there are, the more a consumer will pay attention to the ones that are there.
If you doubt the power of print alone, options such as vanity URLs and QR codes allow you to bridge the gap between print and digital. When scanned using a smartphone, a QR code can be used to fetch a specific landing page targeted to your customer base.
Generally speaking, the best way to market your business and increase your share of voice is to market your brand using as many different channels as you can. It’s about finding that perfect media mix that works both for your demographic and your budget.
One thing is for sure: print isn’t dead. There’s still a place for newspaper and magazine advertising in your marketing strategy. Print makes it ways into people’s homes, becomes part of their day, and provides that initial first contact and inspiration that leads them online and to your website. When combined with other forms of media, print is a power to be reckoned with for your brand.