Researchers estimate that in 1984 a person saw an average of 2,000 ads per day.
By 2014, they saw about 5,000. With the explosion in spam and social media ads, that number increases daily. But consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising that seems disruptive or manipulative. Instead, they’re attracted to authenticity and friendliness in a brand.
How can you build that kind of culture in your business?
It’s All About Content
Narratives and content marketing can bring fresh life to your marketing mix!
Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It shifts your team away from a “message” focus to a more optimal “people focus,” building trust and driving more profitable consumer action.
Content marketing generates stronger leads, increases sales, and enhances customer loyalty. Consider these facts:
- 77% of internet users read blogs
- Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without blogs
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times the leads
- A 2014 Brandshare survey found that the majority of consumers are suspicious of brands’ intentions, but 87% said they would like a more meaningful relationship with their preferred brands
Why Print + Content Marketing = Success
When people consider content marketing, they typically think of digital media.
However, true diversification means thinking bigger. The Content Marketing Institute suggests two out of three marketers don’t include print in their content marketing, but there is strategic value to including printed content elements.
1. The Information Factor
Nielson found about 56% of consumers rely on printed matter for sales information, and:
- 56% preferred mailed or delivered circulars
- 52% relied on newspaper circulars
- 37% relied on in-store printed pieces or store-generated e-mails
- 27% relied on store websites
Print is seen as a concrete, reliable source, especially by prospects nearing a decision. If you neglect printed content marketing you may minimize your chance of landing a valuable client.
2. The Trust Factor
With today’s “fake news” paranoia, trust in digital media has decreased.
A 2017 study showed that printed news magazines are the most trusted news source (72% rated them positively) while only 33% believed social media provided honest information.
Even print versions of national newspapers were regarded as more trustworthy than the websites of that exact same publication!
Because of the physical nature of the medium, print is naturally viewed as more informative and trustworthy than digital media.
So how can you add print to your content marketing strategies?
- Use embedded QR codes in game-style promotions or in-store displays. Check some inspiring examples here or here.
- Look for ways to get your business or product featured in magazine or newspaper articles.
- Employ printed “how to” postcards or maintenance checklists with online coupon discounts included in the text.
- Print inserts for invoices or point-of-sale kiosks that highlight an excerpt of your blog to lead them online.
- Consider generating your own quarterly or bi-annual niche publication.
- Print custom thank-you notes with a snippet of your brand story or the first paragraph of your blog on the back.
Printed content marketing should be used as “bait” to generate nibbles from your potential customers.
If you don’t have a place to reel them in (like a “get started today” link) or a way to keep them in the net (a defined sales funnel or a customer retention program), all your time and energy will be useless. So be strategic, be customer-focused, and get out there and fish!