Who needs print media in our fast paced digital world? Tweet this, like that, swipe left, swipe right, swipe it into oblivion as “scroller’s thumb” becomes a thing.
There’s probably an overwhelming statistic that will be outdated by the time you read this that attempts to give an insight into the amount of social media content that is published every minute of every day. What I do know, is that it will be a gigantic number that continues to accelerate it’s growth.
The end result is that the pond is getting bigger and your fish is getting lost. Our capacity to consume this content has engendered a reduction in our attention spans - is there any chance your fish will break through to it’s audience.Well it seems to me that your fish will break through if it has assembled an attentive audience, eagerly awaiting rich, relevant and rewarding communication.
With the relatively recent advent of social media feeding into a smartphone held in your hand, you can reach people from the the four corners of the world with the tap of a few keys. Now that’s a big audience, but is it realistic that your message can reliable get through to everyone and make a rock solid connection; probably not.
Building your audience is essentially a simple task of connecting with people. However, let’s consider the quality of connection over quantity. Let’s just take Twitter for example; would you rather have 10 awesome followers that you’ve built rock solid connections with, or have 1000 connections that are lightweight twitter followers that seldom like your tweets let alone tell their followers how wonderful you are. The awesome 10 will gladly share your value with others and the awesomeness may well cascade through followers of followers . . . 10 x 10 x 10 = 1000 connections sharing in your awesome value.
It’s all about feelings
“They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.” - Carl W. Buehner
Social posts fly by at such a rate and their longevity on some platforms can be brief. If they get a chance to see and remember what you said there is still a capacious void to get to the heart felt feelings.
A quick question: Can you guess if I bought my wife flowers on our last wedding anniversary or sent her a tweet saying “Happy Anniversary”.
Now I’m not saying you send flowers to all your customers; no let’s not talk customers; let’s say business associates. They could be customers, suppliers, collaborators; it’s really anyone who helps you build your business. Imagine being on the receiving end of a gesture that has a personal emotion, a depth of feeling that enriches that person to person connection.
Even in our digital world there still remains value in putting pen to paper when it comes to sending a message with true feeling. Get a Thank You tweet; with a Like and ReTweet it soon passes into the digital archive, never to be seen again. Receive a hand written Thank You note and it gives you a warm glow and you’ll most probably pin it to your notice board. It has great longevity before getting anywhere near a waste paper bin.
There’s emotion and feeling pinned to a notice board giving more power to print over digital media.
Getting Creative with Print Ideas
Printed media continues to have great value in the marketing mix, although we need to be creative to ensure it’s used effectively in a world dominated by digital media. A few ideas . . .
The last decade or so has seen business cards get cheaper and cheaper; so cheap they give them away for free! How impressed are you when you meet someone and they pass you a badly designed, poor quality business card; does it reflect their value of their business? Thankfully there is an emerging trend to add value back into the business card.
Let me tell you a story of when I took a trip to Dublin to attend a conference. There would be lots of networking opportunity so I need a business card that would reflect my business values and would impress the recipients. My strap line “Turning your business ideas into gold” naturally lead to the production of a gold foiled card. I posted a quick video of the foiling process on Social Media the week before the event and come the day I had people queuing up to get one of my cards.
An excellent blend of traditional print and social media. OK, I admit these business cards cost a bit more then the average card, however, consider the value in how they made people feel, the memories of meeting me at the event. And the one thing that a memory has, is longevity.
A personal message, a thank you, a few words to show you care. It’s not difficult, although it does take thought, time, care and attention.
How do you think we felt when we arrived in our hotel room and read this handwritten warm welcome note. We felt so good that we posted it on social media. And as it added to a wonderful memory of our visit, it was the obvious choice to demonstrate this example of how a printed card with handwritten note can make you feel good.
Even reading this word makes me depressed. Well, it’s probably OK to print thousands of flyers, just so long as you have an effective way of distribution them to your target audience. Generally they work on a numbers game; send enough out to hope there’s enough replies to make it worth while.
Now you don’t really want to pay for the leaflets that get thrown in the bin, so the prices and quality of flyers have been driven down. When is the last time you saw a really good quality flyer that made you feel good?
It doesn’t take much to realise that you can feel the difference between a cheap flimsy 120gsm flyer and a smart 300gsm postcard. And those gsms can make a difference. A good quality postcard can elevate a marketing message. And with the use of digital and social media you could work on a more focused distribution sector to keep the overall costs affordable.
Printed media in 2017
Well there’s a few examples of how print is being kept alive in a digital world. Going into 2017 presents challenges for all marketing approaches and print is no different. It still has a place, albeit with more thought and creativity.
Don’t devalue yourself. Cheap, low quality print isn’t a good way to promote yourself or your business; it reflects badly on you. Print to impress!
Keep it personal, make the connections and make someone’s day with a handwritten note, a thank you card - they will feel good and remember you.
Fundamentally nothing much has changed with one of the most powerful marketing tools - word of mouth - and it will still be around in 2017. Impress a few people and they will tell more people, who, in turn will tell more people; all that’s changed is the many new ways that we can communicate your awesomeness.
If you'd like help with telling people how awesome you are then get in touch and we'll set our digital alchemy to work.