4 Ways to Make Your Print Marketing More Effective
As a marketing professional, one of the hardest tasks in your role is to identify the ROI on your marketing initiatives. With the myriad services available out there that can showcase metrics like product views, open rates, click through rates, time on page, etc., it can be easy to dismiss print advertising as an effective medium for marketing your brand and special offers. However, according to research conducted by Promo Marketing, 90% of distributors have consumed content in a print magazine over a 12-month period, which was more than email blasts, trade shows and social media.
Even with that data alone, it still can be challenging to prove the value of print due to the lack of ROI metrics that print has to offer. That said, it’s certainly not impossible. You can use the standards like QR codes, coupons, or specialized phone numbers, but here are a few industry-related tips that can help you in your efforts if you’re utilizing print in your marketing mix already, and what you can do to start:
Check Your Website Traffic
While it may seem counterintuitive on the surface, print marketing is a large asset for driving visitors to your website. Distributors are four times more likely to visit the advertiser’s website over calling the supplier, checking the products on their preferred industry search engine, or doing a general internet search after noticing an ad that appeals to them. If you’re running ads at different times of the month, or haven’t run a print ad in a while, compare the traffic of the month you run an ad (and include the following month) against the same time period of the past year to see if you’ve had any increase in traffic.
That may not be the best solution if you’re in multiple areas with different marketing touch points (or if you’re running advertising in magazines consistently). To that end, if you have access to Google Analytics or a marketing automation software solution, you can check the keywords that led a visitor to your website. Chances are that if you’re advertising a specific product or category in your print ads, you will see some connection of what you have advertised and what drew someone to your site. Which leads to…
Highlight New Products in Your Advertising
This is likely a no-brainer given that the question most often asked during presentations or sales calls is “What’s new?” It’s debatable whether or not it translates into a sale, but it’s an immediate attention getter and something that will pique a person’s interest. But, even the mention of “NEW” in your campaigns, whether that be a new product or a variety in a category, will prompt a distributor to take an action, even more than a special offer or price discount, according to a research study on how distributors use Promo Marketing magazine.
Consider Inserts by Geographic/Firmographic Attributes
Inserts, cover tips, wraps, etc., can make quite a significant impact over traditional fractional ads. Anytime you’ve opened a magazine, ad inserts with thicker paper stock will easily be among the first pages that readers will stop to view. To take it a step further and make this a true measurement of ROI, consider creating different offers based on the value props of your offer based on geographic or firmographic information, and work with your vendor on segmenting their distribution list to identify who it gets delivered to.
For example, if you’re a supplier on the East Coast that can offer one-day shipping to any state east of the Mississippi, create a specialized insert that will only reach that segment of the US.
Use Augmented Reality in Your Ad
Awareness for augmented reality hit a high point during the Pokemon Go craze a few years ago. The game would force users to search for Pokemon in the real world while using their mobile devices to hunt for the characters to catch, bridging the physical and digital worlds in one swoop. While we wouldn’t suggest sending your prospects and customers to look for samples in your neighbor’s bushes, AR can elevate the experience of your print ad to however you wish to identify ROI. All that’s required is a “mark” of your AR application platform in your print ad, and once the mark is captured by the users mobile devices, the experience you want to convey can come to life. You can play a video highlighting the products you’re advertising, redirect users to your website through their mobile device, or even collect contact information for those interested in learning more about your business or products.
With any marketing plan, it’s a given that you need well-defined KPIs and a strategy in place to ensure that you meet your goals. However—even in the data-driven culture that we’re all in—do not discount the effectiveness of print marketing in your marketing mix.