Nowadays, many marketers rely heavily on digital channels for their marketing efforts. According to a recent study, roughly 72% of overall marketing budgets go towards digital marketing channels, and print advertising has fallen out of favor significantly.

Yet, while the popularity of print media has dwindled, you shouldn’t overlook it. Why? Often, the most effective marketing campaigns combine both print and digital advertising. Therefore, adopting both mediums can yield better results.

But how can you combine print and digital marketing? While the two marketing mediums may seem disparate, they can complement each other.

Here are several ways you can use print advertising to supplement and improve your digital marketing efforts.

Offer Digital Opt-Ins for Direct Mail

According to a Data & Marketing Association study, roughly 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20–30% of emails. Additionally, according to Canada Post, direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than email. These perks make direct mail an excellent way to send marketing messages.

Suppose you want to combine your direct mail and digital marketing efforts. In that case, you can include an opt-in form on your website that allows customers to sign up to receive marketing materials such as coupons they can redeem online.

Add QR Codes on Print Materials

A person scanning a piece of paper with a phone
QR codes are an excellent way to link your print marketing materials and digital media. You can add QR codes on print materials like brochures, catalogs, and posters to direct customers to your website or social media pages.

Besides driving customers to your owned digital media, QR codes can also allow you to measure the effectiveness of your offline campaigns.

For instance, if you include a QR code with a personalized URL (pURL) on a banner and another on a poster, the QR code can help you determine the most effective medium between the two. This can allow you to refine your offline marketing campaigns.

Add CTAs on Print Materials

Calls-to-action are widely used online, such as “Shop Now,” “Sign Up,” and “Learn More.” They’re less common on print media. They’re less common in print media. You can also use them for your print campaigns.

For instance, you can include a CTA such as “Get 30% off” on coupon codes to drive traffic to a promotional landing page on your website.

Use Campaign Hashtags in Print

If you’ve got a catchy hashtag for your online marketing campaign or one frequently used online, consider adding it to your print advertising materials. When used in conjunction with a compelling CTA, a hashtag can amplify the impact of your marketing campaigns.

For instance, in 2011, Coca-Cola launched the “Share a Coke” campaign in Australia using the hashtag #ShareACoke. Later, the campaign was rolled out in over 80 countries.

The hashtag was widely used on billboards and posters. Meanwhile, the phrase “Share a Coke with…” and a famous name replaced the traditional Coca-Cola label on Coca-Cola bottles. Subsequently, this resulted in many people sharing photos on social media with their names inscribed on the Coca-Cola bottle with the hashtag attached to their posts.

The campaign was incredibly successful, and in 2016, a new variation of the campaign dubbed “Share a Coke, and a Song” led to the creation of the most liked photo on Instagram.

Add Testimonials and Reviews to Print Materials

Positive feedback about your brand doesn’t have to be limited to the online space. Include them in your print materials if you have several positive reviews and testimonials about your products or services on your website or third-party sites like Yelp.

By adding positive testimonials and reviews to your print materials, you’ll be able to:

  • Build trust and credibility in your business
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build social proof
  • Increase conversions
  • Humanize your brand
  • Demonstrate how your product or service solves a problem

Use Variable Data Printing

Variable Data Printing (VDP), also known as variable printing, is a digital printing technique that can allow you to modify certain elements, such as text, graphics, and images, for particular print materials. This feature makes it perfect for direct mail because it can allow you to send tailor-made messages to your customers.

For instance, instead of sending a similar offer to all your customers, you can send different offers to individual customers based on their past online purchases.

While this may seem like a trivial detail, a study by McKinsey found that 76% of customers believed that personalized messaging influenced their purchase decisions. Therefore, it’s something you shouldn’t overlook.

Integrate Social Media into the In-Store Experience

Social media doesn’t have to be confined to the digital space. You can also take it offline by integrating it into the shopping experience at your brick-and-mortar store to create a richer shopping experience for your customers. Here are some creative ways to combine print advertising and social media at your physical store.

Place Social Media Posts on Banners

If you have social media posts with attractive visuals, put up banners with social media posts of your products within your store. For an even more significant impact, ensure you accompany the posts on the flags with a compelling hashtag and a strong CTA.

Ask for Reviews

Generally, happy customers are glad to provide positive reviews for excellent service. Putting up in-store signs asking customers to share their shopping experience on review sites like Yelp, Foursquare, or Angi can allow customers to provide instant feedback about your products or services before they leave your store and forget.

Display Social Media Pages

Customers who walk into your store may not know anything about your online presence, mainly if they visit your store for the first time. Put up signs with details about your social media pages and all the platforms you’re on so that customers know where they can find your brand online.

When crafting your marketing strategy, you shouldn’t rely solely on digital advertising and ignore print advertising. By combining both, you can create better marketing campaigns that impact both offline and online.

If you need help developing a print advertising strategy for your digital platforms, contact Sherchan Media. We are a digital marketing agency in Albany, NY, specializing in helping small businesses generate leads and increase conversions through digital and print advertising.

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