Brochures, flyers, newsletters and banners – these tools can be used successfully to communicate your marketing message. It is important in this digital age to engage in the physical world with your customers. However, today’s best marketing campaigns need to achieve a balance between tangible communication activities and digital engagement.
Why do we need to combine print and digital marketing?
Let’s say you distribute 1,000 posters around the city for your event. 25,000 people see your posters, and 600 people buy tickets for your event. Maybe some of those people who saw your posters were interested, but weren’t available that day, or didn’t have the budget for tickets that month, but they were your target audience group and they may be interested in attending a future event. What if you had a chance to build a relationship with those people so you could communicate with them directly in the future about upcoming events? If your poster provides an engaging message that directs your target audience to interact with you on your social media platforms, you can secure a relationship with those potential future customers and interact with them in a meaningful way that will increase the likelihood of them spending money to attend an event in the future, ensuring that your poster campaign not only provides immediate value, but also contributes value to future promotions.
Social media engagement
Most active consumers use some form of social media. Social media provides a venue for people to hang out, get to know each other, create and share content about their interests, talk about their favorite products and causes… it’s a constant information buzz. These networks deliver the opportunity for consumers to talk about your products and services amongst themselves, but it’s also an opportunity for you to jump into the conversation, shape the message, and participate in two-way communication with people who can become beacons for your brand online – spreading the word to their own micro networks. Give them content and motivate them to talk to you and about you!
Spread the word!
There’s so much noise online, that it can be hard to break through the clutter. Print is a great way to build your digital media programs because it gives you the chance to direct someone straight to your social environment without any distractions along the way. You might have noticed roadside banners including Twitter #tags (hash tags) or links to a Facebook page as a way to sign up for a contest. Business cards usually include a company’s web site, LinkedIn url, Twitter handle and Facebook link. Actively direct people straight to your social platforms to speak to you. You have to promote your social media activities in order to make them a success.
Have you noticed lately that it seems like every business is not only on Facebook (or Twitter, Pinterest or Google+) but they’re hosting a major campaign on these social networks? Of course, creating a domino effect, more brands and companies have rushed out to create their own social campaigns, ranging from contests and giveaways to crowdsourcing initiatives.
Yet many advertisers are overlooking some crucial components to success – namely that most social campaign awareness occurs offline. In fact, unless you are a fan of a particular social property, you are very unlikely to hear about a new social campaign directly from the advertiser’s Facebook page (or other social platform). Instead, you might very well be hearing about it through print mediums (magazine ads, banners, signs, flyers, postcards, direct mail) – often the very mediums advertisers are mistakenly avoiding in lieu of increased social activity. To avoid this problem, you need to learn how to improve your social campaign through print.
Don’t Mix Messages
Promoting a discount, giveaway or even just creating awareness for your social properties in general is a good idea for your print material – from point-of-sale distribution cards to subway posters and in store signage – but you need to remember your audience. Keep your messages simple and direct – if your goal is to build your social communities, use your print to drive people to your social platforms to learn about your promotions, download coupons, enter to win contests, don’t confuse them with a competing offer and mention your social platforms as a secondary message. Your bounceback offers and signage should support your social campaigns, not serve as a secondary call-to-action.
Clear A Path To Entry
If your Facebook page name is difficult to remember or your Twitter handle is 20 characters long, you need to make a simple process to connect the print materials to the social properties. QR codes can help you connect your print engagement to your social campaigns, as well as SMS-based opt in directions or shortened URLs. A simple hashtag can also make it seamless to connect your prospect’s Twitter engagement to your social campaign. In general, the simplest and most direct connections from your offline media to your social campaign are the best options to investigate and promote.
Watch Your Placements And Your Dates
Remember to take into account your audience’s mindset when producing print pieces. A captive audience, such as those riding mass transit, sitting at a table or waiting in a line, can process more information. If your audience is engaging with your materials in passing, such as driving past a billboard or walking past a sign, you need to keep messaging to a minimum. A simple offer and a hashtag (for example, Use #PRINTMEDIA for a chance to win $50) might be all you can slip into their eye line before they move on.
Not sure how to begin? Identify your intended social results. Do you want more fans? Perhaps you want brand awareness across a certain demographic. Based on your goal you can determine how to build a social campaign to meet your needs and select the right print mediums and audience communities to support it.
We’ve all heard of search engine optimization (SEO), but few people consider optimizing their print content. Your company’s web-based content and activities can successfully generate high quality leads, but print marketing still provides a strong way to reach your target audience. By using your print marketing efforts to support your social media programs, you will grow your customer base, improve your customer relationships and leverage higher sales.
Make Your Brand More Visible with a Personalized Social URL
If you have a social media page, you may have been offered a personalized URL. On Facebook, personalized URLs are offered after you receive 25 or more likes on your page. If you’re offered the option to change your URL, be sure to use your business name. For example, our Facebook url is Facebook.com/UnitedReprographics. Once you do, print this address on your business cards, advertisements and brochures. This will make it easy for potential customers to engage with your brand on the social platform they prefer.
Include a Call to Action Message
Printing the social media URL address, isn’t enough to get someone to actually type it into their browser. To leverage an action, you have to call to it. Next to your social media URL and logo, include a CTA (call to action) message such as “Follow us on Twitter to receive a 20% discount” or “Like us on Facebook and receive a free coffee” To increase the response ratio, your call to action messages should also contain words that evoke urgency.
Increase Your Success with Feedback
Many businesses use social media pages to forge a better relationship with their customers and leads. Social media platforms offer a perfect environment for marketing and sales feedback. Take this feedback and use it to enhance your print marketing ads. You can also use it to create a successful social media CTA message.
Finally, don’t forget to add content next to your social media icons (buttons). Don’t make the assumption that readers will know your business name is the same on all networks. Buttons may work online since the viewer can simply ‘click’ on it, but they cannot do this from printed material. So, instead of placing a huge social media icon or your ads, print your business handle next to small icons. Lastly, make sure the address is correct, the worst thing you can do is link your audience to a dead page.