To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of print media’s death are greatly exaggerated. While print may be on the backside of the curve when it comes to innovation, the sheer volume of content, both sponsored and journalistic, that must be distributed to consumers has stemmed print’s rout. Here’s seven reasons to include print in your content marketing mix:
- It stands out: The amount of print materials sent to the average household has plunged. Your print content may be the only thing a customer receives by post on a given day.
- It keeps them coming back: Providing a print magazine at no cost to your present customers makes them feel valued and gives you the opportunity to sell still more.
- It’s cheap: While mass emails may be cheaper, they are also easier to filter out. For its effectiveness, print remains excellent value. This is especially true when your content is distributed to your existing customer list. The creation and maintenance of that list is a sunk cost, using it for another purpose is effectively free.
- Print can demonstrate quality: While digital content only gives a choice of layout, colour, and so forth, print also gives a choice of material. Marketers can choose not only what their content looks like, but what it feels like. When a high end product or service is on offer, making the print materials feel thick and expensive subtly reinforces the status of your brand. For example, when Ritz-Carlton hotels dispatch letters inviting previous guests to visit a new property, they make sure to use heavy laid paper and crisp, embossed printing. On the flip-side, brands that prize sustainability can send out content on recycled paper.
- Print is contained: While the internet has an answer for everything, it’s much harder to frame an issue or make a pitch when a user can open a new tab and get radically different options from commentators or your competition. Print, on the other hand, gives you page after page in which to make your point, without distractions.
- Print is more credible: Think of the news websites you trust the most. Most of them started out as magazines and newspapers, didn’t they? People trust print over digital because the costs of printing and its traceable nature require a level of commitment that dishonest organizations are unlikely to be willing or able to undertake. Printed marketing materials enjoy the same advantage.
- When your consumers unplug, print is your best avenue: Unplugging from the internet is an increasingly common stress management strategy for busy people. In this situation, print is preferred. Further, the low stress, contemplative nature of an hour or day spent “unplugged” is the perfect time for a buying decision to be made.
It is clear that print remains a valuable avenue for content marketers. While not every company may be able to pursue it, those that have the option to do so should consider reaching their clients in the physical, as well as digital realm.