Connect With Your Audience Through Printed Media

Having a sincere connection with one's audience isn't all smooth sailing. There is, however, something that's innovating and effective: printed media!

In times of social media, having a sincere connection with your target audience does not happen very often. Bombarding them with advertisements on Facebook or Instagram might seem like the right thing to do, but is it? Scrolling rapidly through their feed, your audience will catch just a glimpse of your ad, and end of story. Not a sincere connection between one another if you ask us. Phil Alexander, Joint Managing Director of paper merchant GF Smith shortly explains why he prefers printed media over social media to communicate.

I think that the mass of digital information and the way it’s so instant is working against it. We are realizing that digital is a fleeting experience and we don’t get any feeling of ownership or any real connection with it.

Phil Alexander, Joint Managing Director of GF Smith

However, there are some tools and channels out there that will vastly change the way you connect with your audience. One of them is a very old tool that still proves to be immensely effective. And, at the same time, in this digital world, it demonstrates its innovating power. What we’re talking about? Printed media, of course!

Lasting power

Well, first off, printed media isn’t as fleeting as digital media such as Facebook or Instagram. Your customers cannot only experience your communication with their eyes, but they can also grab it. They can reach for it, whenever they feel like it.

Traditional print media provides consumers with a personal experience, something tangible they can interact with, take with them and go back to at their own leisure. It is a unique medium.

Rachel Aldighieri, Managing Director of DMA

Printed magazines, books, catalogs or leaflets turn out to be a favorite medium for many. Two Sides indicated with a survey that over 72% of all respondents prefer printed books over the digital version.

Besides, keeping your target audience informed about your latest services or products can easily be done via printed media. As a retailer, you regularly publish catalogs or leaflets, announcing new stock or discounts. Printed media is thus an indispensable tool for you to keep your customers informed.

Different businesses and sectors have realized that too. For example, Airbnb – originally a digital brand only – publishes airbnbmag. The focus of the magazine is to honor diverse cultures, all over the globe. In addition, the magazine of Airbnb celebrates the power of traveling. Airbnb’s adventure in the print world clearly demonstrates the value of print: it’s around for a longer amount of time, it’s nice to read and look at and it proves to be a source of inspiration for many.

Trusted source of information

Besides there being a difference in the lasting power of social versus printed media, other characteristics of these media differ too. Let’s take the confidence consumers have in them.

As you’ve already noticed in the last few years, fake news has become a reoccurring element in our world of today. Recent studies have shown printed media has a more credible reputation than its online counterpart. People have become more skeptic towards news they find on, for instance, Facebook. MediaHQ highlights that readers have more trust in print news than in news they find on digital platforms.

Moreover, a Norwegian researcher found out that people tend to read more closely when they’re being presented with a printed copy instead of a digital copy. The research indicated that students who read texts in print score significantly better on reading comprehension than those who read texts digitally.

We can conclude that reading printed media differs widely from digital media. Firstly, readers pay more attention to a printed text than they would do with a digital one. And secondly, print has a more credible reputation. Remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal from Facebook? Where and how did they apologize to users of the social media platform? You guessed it. In a newspaper, the print format.

Versatile communication tool

Printed media has been getting more attention over the past few years. However, at the big bang of the digital age, there wasn’t much buzz about the medium. Critics, journalists and communication specialists all proclaimed the end of the print era would soon be near.

Nowadays, opinions about the use of printed channels have somewhat changed. Many advise following a marketing strategy in which you combine different media. Think printed media, combined with social media, websites, videos, television or radio. If you were to mix all of this diverse media together, you’d have a solid base for a convincing omnichannel strategy.

Nevertheless, printed media is so much more than just one of the tools you use to address your target audience. It can take the form of many things. Besides, printed tools also fulfill many purposes.

For instance, you can send a printed birthday card, accompanied by a 10% discount, to one of your loyal customers. Or, you could deliver newcomers a personalized card. Alternatively, you could also select this approach when you’re launching a new collection or product. What you do then? Send a printed card with a QR-code on it to your customers. That code will directly take them to your website or webshop!

Connection guaranteed

Besides being a refreshing tool in this digital age, print also demonstrates to be a reliable source of information. People think information provided by printed media is more credible. In addition, printed information is more tangible. The information presented in the text lingers for longer and is better remembered. On top of that, it serves as the perfect addition to your marketing mix.

Have we convinced you to implement print in your communication strategy? Be sure to give it a try! If you’ve already carried out a successful strategy with print, share your story with us in the comments. Link this blog post to colleagues in retail ready to tackle print! And, don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn if you want to transform the way you use print!