Since the inception of digital media, there has been concern about the health of print media as a valuable medium for advertising. While some businesses have shifted most of their advertising efforts to digital for its cost effectiveness and exposure potential, print still maintains power in marketing and is a necessary component of a business’s advertising campaign. The print industry is not dead; in fact, print advertising has only continued to grow and evolve alongside the upsurge of new technology.
Print media – or traditional media, if you will – has advantages over its digital counterpart. Whether promotional or editorial in nature, print has a tangibility that the web doesn’t. Marrying the solidity of print to the convenience of digital strengthens both forms of media and everyone benefits.
Unlimited and targeted exposure
Essentially, a magazine can be left on a coffee table and viewed repeatedly by multiple people and at the reader’s convenience. The reader also has the opportunity to study the ads at his leisure, without time limitations.
Certain types of print media allow for target marketing. Magazines, for example, tend to be more targeted towards a specific market – ads can be developed to appeal to that niche market. With print media, the prospect has greater control as to when the ad is viewed, eliminating unwanted interruptions.
Print media sources tend to have longstanding, loyal readers, because subscriptions are paid for. This helps reinforce an advertiser’s message and an advertiser may even develop an ongoing advertising campaign. Advertising in publications that have been around for many years lend credibility to those advertisers. Niche, targeted publications are flourishing as a marketing tool.
Print magazines that consistently deliver high-quality, relevant content develop credibility in the market. In effect, businesses capitalize on something called the ‘halo effect’. Wikipedia describes the ‘halo effect’ as a cognitive bias in which an observer’s overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influences the observer’s feelings and thoughts about that entity’s character or properties.
In other words, credible print magazine readers take the credibility generated by the quality of content and apply it to the ads, making the readers more likely to purchase a product or service.
>h2>Position flexibility and creativity
Ad placement is at the discretion of the advertiser, such as positions that offer the highest visibility – front or back cover, for example.
76 percent of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication.
Sixty-nine percent of farmers and ranchers say they use both digital and traditional agriculture media to learn tips, best practices and to gain valuable information to run their farm or ranch.
According to a 2014 Ag Media study, print continues to be the No. 1 form of media consumption among farmers and ranchers. While digital use has jumped 23 percent since 2010, it is not at the expense of traditional media.
Print is tangible
Newspapers and magazines have the ability to remain in offices and homes for months, even years while the Internet is saturated with content and it may take a more creative effort for brands to stand out from the noise.
Print, however, extends beyond paper products and includes business cards, brochures, and presentation folders but also promotional products such as glassware, magnets, stickers, pens, key chains, coasters, and apparel. These are thought of as gifts, so an audience is more likely to hold onto or use them, building brand familiarity and creating a stronger impression with your audience.
85 percent of Americans remember a company’s name when they receive promotional gifts.
Print advertising strengthens brand identity. Ads should be consistent in terms of fonts, colors and images to establish brand recognition. Many businesses are competing for a digital voice.
Combining print and digital
Social networking has become an integral part of the way entrepreneurs reach their customers, and must be included as part of an overall marketing strategy for any business. Social media can be fully integrated with any print marketing campaign; it’s now pretty unusual to find a business card without any social network account link.
When print and digital advertising pull in the same direction, the results can be extremely effective. Advertisers who cross-promote between print and digital are more successful.
The best way to market your business is to use all media channels in a multi-pronged approach to reach every aspect of your target demographic – it should not exclude print.
Businesses still need to develop an effective print marketing strategy, one that will put their brand in the spotlight and excite their audience. While print advertising has less noise, creativity and value stands out from the competition.