When you are brainstorming ways to advertise your business, chances are that your mind immediately goes to modern methods such as using social media or driving traffic to your website. However, there’s another tried-and-true channel you could be overlooking: print media.
You might not have opened a physical newspaper since you were a kid reading the Sunday comics, but you would be surprised at the number of people who still do, not to mention how many print magazines are still in circulation despite the internet’s dominance.
What do we mean by print media?
Unleashing your creativity with print media could be the thing that sets you apart from your competitors. It’s not just newspapers and magazines; print media can include any physical form of media a person consumes.
For example, billboards are considered a form of print media, and if you have ever driven down a major highway in the United States, you know they are inescapable. So, drop by at the post office and send out some funky personalized postcards or consider putting up posters around town. When you meet people at a party, why not hand out some coupons or a memorable business card?
You should not discount these options just because they might seem antiquated. There are still a number of advantages to using these methods.
What exactly are the benefits?
- Print media can reach the whole family. Rather than relying on targeted ads on certain websites, you can spark interest across more demographics by making your ads accessible to everyone—and between digital and print media, print remains the more accessible. Imagine four generations in one car all looking at the same billboard or a huge cross-section of people seeing your poster at the bus stop or on the subway.
- You can’t click out of a real-life ad. Online, many users have installed ad blockers or alternative browsers to limit the number of advertisements. If an ad pops up, people are likely to close it as fast as they can, rolling their eyes at the annoyance and never actually seeing the content. In a newspaper, there are no flashing pictures or distracting pop-up sounds. Your content looks just as dignified and credible as the article on the next page, which could lead people to take your business more seriously.
- People like tangible objects. It might seem counterintuitive now that we live our lives online, but physical items are more likely to provoke an emotional response. You might not scroll through your new list of phone contacts after a networking event or a fundraiser, but if you reach for your wallet and pull out a business card, there is a much better chance of you remembering what’s on the card. The same goes for branded merchandise such as sunglasses, chapstick, or water bottles.
- Print is good for the brain. With print media, people use 21% less mental resources than with digital media. The less you have to strain your brain, the more information you can retain. Taking notes with a pen and paper is more effective than typing on a word processor. When you’re not staring at a screen, you have a chance to focus, and your brain activity permits more stimulation, so give your clients something to read.
- There’s less competition. It’s true that it remains marginally cheaper to advertise on the internet (which you absolutely should keep doing), but more often than not, the companies with deep pockets can afford to spend a lot on search engine optimization and advertising on majorly trafficked websites, which puts other businesses at a disadvantage. Since many entrepreneurs erroneously perceive print media as having gone the way of the dinosaurs, they are not diversifying their strategies. Print could be the edge you didn’t know your business needed.
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As an entrepreneur, you have more marketing tools at your disposal than have ever existed in human history. If you are only using one channel, you are missing out on the benefits of all the other resources you could be exploiting. Throw some print media into your advertising mix alongside your robust digital marketing, and whatever you do, keep innovating. Perhaps you could next consider radio or podcast commercials.