When new business owners brainstorm marketing strategies they can use to promote their brand, they often consider digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and digital advertising. While these strategies can be effective, if you focus on them exclusively, you may not achieve your full marketing potential.
Instead, it’s often valuable to pursue printed marketing strategies, especially if you’re operating locally. But why is this approach useful and how can you put together a unique strategy of your own?
What Is Print Marketing?
Let’s start with the basics. Print marketing is the use of printed marketing materials, including brochures and booklets (which are different), leaflets, flyers, and even catalogs. Once printed, you can distribute them to your prospective customers or target audience by mail, at your business itself, or through other means. You can also use these materials to advertise or promote your business in numerous different ways, such as by listing and showing off your core products, offering freebies, discounts, and other incentives, or just making a major announcement – like your grand opening.
Why Is Print Marketing Advantageous?
Print marketing has a number of advantages that make it worth pursuing, including:
- Low costs. If you haven’t researched the pricing, it may surprise you to learn how inexpensive print marketing can be – especially if you’re doing a high-quantity run. Your printing costs can get down to merely pennies per piece in some cases.
- Tangibility. Printed materials are tangible, which can be useful for several reasons. Your customers may connect more strongly with the material. They may be more likely to remember your messaging. They can hang your flyer on the refrigerator and easily share it with others. They can even bring it in as a kind of coupon.
- Flexible distribution. You aren’t bound to a single distribution method for your printed materials. You can print 10,000 copies of a flyer, mail out 5,000 of them, distribute 2,000 at a local event, and keep 3,000 for distribution at your business.
How to Get Started With Print Marketing
If you’re interested in starting a print marketing campaign of your own, there are a few steps you can use to get started.
- Identify and solidify your brand. First, you’ll need to create a brand identity (or solidify your brand identity, if one already exists). Your brand is going to be the foundation for the design, writing, and overall direction of each printed marketing piece you develop, so you need to have a solid conceptual framework in place. What is your brand like? How is it different from other brands similar to it?
- Define your target audience. Next, you’ll need to define and better understand your target audience. Who, specifically, are you trying to reach? If you try to target “everyone,” you’re going to run into issues; you’ll need to target as specific a niche as possible. Who are these people? Where do they get new information? What’s the best way to reach them? How can they be persuaded?
- Describe your main goal. What do you want to accomplish with this piece? Do you want people to buy something? Visit your website? Merely find out that your brand exists? There are plenty of worthy goals, but you’ll need to choose one as your main focal point.
- Choose the right piece. Different printed materials offer different advantages. For example, booklets offer lots of information, but they aren’t as compact and concise as a flyer. Choose the right piece to accomplish your goal.
- Choose the right printer. There are many quality printing companies online, so you’ll need to do your research to find the best fit. Look for a company that’s both inexpensive and committed to quality work.
- Invest in professional design. Similarly, you’ll need to choose the right designer. Don’t be afraid to invest in someone with lots of talent and expertise; an effectively designed printed piece is worth the extra money.
- Experiment and measure your results. However you choose to distribute your printed piece, make sure you have a way to measure your results. How many people received this piece? How many people took action? How has your brand awareness changed in the meantime? While you’re at it, consider experimenting with different versions to see which ones work best.
- Analyze and regroup. Take the time to analyze your results and review your successes and failures. Then, apply these lessons to your next batch of printed materials.
Print marketing isn’t guaranteed to be effective, especially if you cut corners or if you don’t have a solid goal in mind. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and the money, you should be able to use printed materials to make your business more visible and more attractive to new customers.