Learn how to use print as a cross media marketing tool to link the real and digital worlds for profit…
Understanding how brand awareness works in the digital age necessitates a hard look at the force of printed media. Consumers today are more likely today to learn about new brands, services and products from print media rather than just relying on digital ads or social media alone. Cross media marketing strategies using print and digital together are vital to effectively reaching your target audience.
Studies show that very active smartphone users (those doing 6 or more activities per day on mobile phones) are reading more print materials than any of the other groups (smartphone or regular phone owners). Print advertising has proven to drive consumers to shop online and a study by the Direct Marketing Association reveals that 78% of them react to direct mail immediately with 44% visiting the brand’s website and 34% searching online for additional product information.
Why Print Works!
The vitality of printed media as a staple in the modern marketing mix even as online and mobile use continues its inevitable growth creates a situation where “old becomes new again” as a market so digitally flooded is revitalized with print. Indeed, one of our earliest forms of communication has gained steam and evolved so that today, printed media is an integral means of reaching and enticing consumers to get online and pursue other platforms that brands have to offer. The printing industry has shown no decline in the area of modern technology, effectively employing innovative technologies such as PURLs, QR Codes and augmented reality, for instance, as a way to connect the real and digital realms together and allow businesses to thrive as a result.
Global managing consultant firm K. Salmon showed that print catalogs directly boost online sales by increasing “purchasing intent.” 58% of online consumers surveyed said that browsing catalogs for ideas is preferred and 31% keep a retailer’s printed catalog handy when they go to make purchases online – thus increasing the average order size (as compared to internet-only customer shopping) by 12.5%.
Yet another study, this one by Exact Target, discovered that 65% of consumers surveyed have been directly influenced to purchase an item or service thanks to a direct mail piece. Creating a connection to customers using print as it has been studied revealed that almost 90% of business executives prefer to visit online sources of information that is tied to print publications. A survey of 3,500 consumers discovered that when examining print and digital magazine platforms, printed ads were more likely than digital ads to inspire a purchase either from a brick and mortar store or online. It might not be a shock that digital channels are likely to trigger online searches for information about products and services, it turns out that an impressive 57% of respondents say that the printed media led them to visit online.
6 Ways to Use Print to Create Online Buzz and Increase Website Traffic Using Cross Media Marketing
1. Use print to tease consumers with sneak peaks of products and services: Expertly designed and customized printed collateral produced by the highest quality production team that the business services industry has to offer can be used to entice consumers to visit you online for a bigger picture of products and services. Using the interactivity of the web with videos and product demonstrations, with the proven success of printed media to get them there, customers will have a fully-rounded experience with your brand that will get them involved with it. This kind of early engagement bonds potential clients with brands and leads to the budding of business relationships because the more involved you can get folks to be, the more likely they are to make a purchase or use services.
2. Make them want to respond by giving them a strong offer: Using a postcard, a flyer or even a business card with a valuable offer like a seminar, white paper, coupons, samples or a free trial is more than just a run-of-the-mill request to visit your website. Give them something they want, not just something you want them to see and they will storm your way online to find it. Remember that direct mail leads 76% of online consumers to buy a service or a product online – it remains the one medium of many that connects your brand to nearly everyone in your target market with reliable access and results that can be measured and adjusted. Use it under the guide of a business service franchise with marketing specialists ready to assist in the process.
3. Short, easy URLs and PURLs for the win: The shorter and easier to spell, the more traffic it will likely generate to your page. Creating a separate domain exclusively for a promotion allows the URL to be much shorter and if you want the landing page on your site, redirect from the unique URL to your page. Personalized URLs or PURLs have the power of using an individual’s name to get attention and can be combined with personalized teasers, subheads and copy to encourage engagement. The proper balance of personalization in all printed collateral must be considered during a design consultation with professionals to have just the right balance to be effective. PURLs should be easy to type and they will provide a tight integration of the direct mail piece and the landing page for easy tracking.
4. Build a unique landing page: It may be too easy to get lost on a homepage with all of its choices, so creating a perfect landing page and driving prospects to the specific message intended for them as crafted during a consultation with a marketing specialist, helps ensure they will be properly engaged as well.
5. Have a call to action that creates urgency! People are more likely to respond when they are given specific instructions with a deadline for that sense of urgency. A flyer or mailer that is imprinted with a website might also have a 20% off coupon code. Whatever is being offered should have a deadline date clearly stated near the call to action.
6. Printing Industry Growth = Options. Test and use them! Yes, one can find success using postcards to drive web traffic. But there is a whole world of printed collateral to review and all of them can have a monumental effect of driving valuable traffic online for further interaction and future sales. There are no complaints when branded promotional items are distributed and there is every reason to include a web address on every one. Partner with a marketing specialist within the business service industry and test the numerous formats that begin at self-mailers, flyers and envelope packages. Testing must be considered part of the journey of developing and maintaining a marketing strategy. Using a variety of printed items as part of the campaign is a wise and proven way to push traffic online, engage with new clients and build trust with your customer base.
Cross Media Marketing Recap: Remember to Integrate Your Marketing on EVERYTHING!
Research that investigates the influence of offline channels on online search revealed that nearly 70% of the online search population is driven online by offline channels and of them, 30% come directly from printed methods of advertisement. What is even more significant is the fact that print marketing led the list of offline media sources that led to an actual purchase, with about 30% of Internet users searching and purchasing online as a result of a print medium.
Ultimately, business owners need to acknowledge that they are welcoming a wasteful decline in sales as well as web traffic if they are not using print media to its full effect. Web traffic is fed by print and so is future business. Successful marketing campaigns integrate the highest quality printed items and take full advantage of the ways that online channels representing their brands can be featured.