We are lucky enough to live in a world full of diverse stories and voices, and the means through which to share them. Images, videos, articles and essays distributed through print, social media, websites, radio and television enrich our understanding of the world and the people we share it with. Some of these channels of information sharing are relatively new, as developments in technology provide evidence that change is a constant in how we communicate. Print media counters this change with a credible and colorful past, beginning more than 500 years ago with Gutenberg. The printing press kicked off a revolution that allowed information and ideas to be recorded, distributed and consumed more widely and easily than ever before, and it is undeniable that print remains one of the most popular mediums available.
This storied past and persistent presence are closely tied to print’s role in marketing. As magazines and newspapers gained popularity and became more accessible, businesses began to understand the potential for showcasing their products in front of specific audiences. They understood who their audience was and where they were going for information and entertainment, making sure to position themselves directly in their line of sight.
Today, the way in which we receive information has drastically changed, with countless messages placed in front of us every hour. Naturally, the way in which companies market and advertise has changed as well, but print has remained a powerful tool capable of reaching out to audiences exactly where they are.
The Case for Print
When considering the developments we have made in understanding our world, the continued prevalence and reliance on print media may seem unlikely. It clearly cannot be any coincidence that it has remained this way, and research in neuroscience and psychology provide plenty of explanations for the power of print. Studies have shown that print not only lends itself to higher comprehension and recall, it stimulates emotions and desires in readers, appealing to both the head and the heart.
Because readers consume so much information digitally everyday through their screens, the difference that print brings becomes even more powerful. Holding a physical copy of a newspaper or magazine means the reader is less likely to be distracted by things that divert their attention when using a computer or tablet, with notifications invading their screen and their concentration. In addition to increased focus, print carries more credibility. People often associate these publications with trustworthiness; the material on these pages has been selected, edited and curated. While digital might be immediate, most are aware the Internet allows anyone — expert or novice — to write anything. Through print, you have the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and experience, positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Crafting a message, presenting it through a tangible medium,and placing it in front of a specific audience represents an undeniably powerful marketing strategy.
Bringing unique advantages all its own, print media can then be utilized to increase reach and compound results, inspiring consumers to follow up through other mediums. Magazines are the top stimulus for online searches, and 61 percent of readers take action as a result of a magazine ad. Integrating print with inbound marketing campaigns through content or creative ads has had impressive results for brand awareness. After its initial run, a piece can be distributed to clients in reprints, displayed in offices on plaques and repurposed as digital content for months to come, maximizing the momentum.
How to Utilize Print for Your Campaign
Using print in your marketing strategy does not always mean doing so through traditional formats or messages. Combining a time-honored and proven method of advertising with new ideas like content marketing, social media and inbound campaigns opens the door to countless possibilities for your marketing strategy. Publishing informative editorials or profiles in a magazine can convey to your audience not only what you can do for them, but also creates a sense of value and loyalty. Creative advertisements and designs help you stand out even more, while adding calls to action directing traffic to social media channels or websites creates opportunities for engagement. Even the way you present these pieces can have an impact. Think about packaging your content in eye-catching ways such as gatefolds, bellybands or polybags.
For centuries, print has provided opportunities to educate, entertain and enrich our lives. The new trends in marketing, whether they are in strategies or platforms, do not signal the end of the possibilities and impacts offered by print, but opportunities to expand them.