Businesses today need to have a digital presence, plain and simple. But that doesn’t mean you should forego more traditional advertising tactics. In fact, print ads remain an incredibly effective way to reach audiences.

Whether you’re running an ad in your city’s paper, sending out direct mailers to neighbors, or creating postcards or brochures to hand out in-person, print can still play a vital role in your marketing strategy, and in fact, it can complement and enhance your digital marketing efforts. Let’s take a closer look at the way print ads remain relevant today and can help you get even more from your digital marketing strategy.

Get Seen in More Places

Today’s online advertising space is crowded. Experts estimate that the average consumer sees anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day, with the majority of those ads seen online. And because consumers are also spending time online doing other things ““ it can be hard to focus on all those ads.

With print ads, it’s a different story. Whether they’re looking at a direct mail piece or your ad in their favorite publication, they’re a fairly captive audience.

In fact, even Millennials, who are thought of as digitally-obsessed, pay attention to print. Surveys have shown 77% of consumers in that generation pay attention to direct mail, while by contrast, half of Millennials report a lack of interest in digital ads. And across generations, print is the most trusted advertising medium.

Print is a great first place to get noticed by consumers. The marketing rule of seven says that a consumer must interact with a brand’s messaging seven times before they consider doing business with them, so running print ads is a great first step in the advertising long game.

Print allows you to get your foot in the door, capturing consumers’ attention. Then, when they see your ads in their social feeds, on search engines, or in display banners online, they’ll already recognize your name and be more likely to register those digital advertising touch points.

Win Local Favor

The beauty of print ads is that you can reach a local audience on their turf. Direct mailers go right to their homes, and ads placed in local publications target only those readers who are invested in your community.

There are a number of great things about running ads in local publications. First, you get to capitalize on the audience the magazine or newspaper has already built. They do the legwork of attracting the readership, and you get to tap into their audience by advertising in their pages.

Plus, that readership is loyal and trusts the publication. When your ads run in that newspaper or magazine, you align your brand with the publication readers already trust (which helps them to associate good feelings, like trustworthiness and a meaningful presence in the local community, with your brand, too).

You can complement this local print strategy with a smart local online presence. Start by managing your business on local listings sites.

You should establish a presence on the major local listings sites, like Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook, but keep an eye out for more niche listings sites as well. These may be national sites that have a particular focus (like Angie’s List, which is focused on home services businesses), or it might be a listings site that’s specific to your city or town.

Having a presence on these local directories online makes for a seamless connection between your local presence in print and on digital. When consumers can easily find you in both locations, they feel assured you’re a legitimate, trustworthy brand.

Related: Want to see how you look online? Contact us today for a free digital health check.

Drive Offline to Online Engagement

Just because this kind of content lives offline doesn’t mean you can’t ultimately drive those consumers interacting with your print ads towards your online presence. In fact, creating print ads that make it easy for consumers to find you online is a great way to ensure that they’ll see the efforts you’ve put into your digital presence. QR codes, for example, make it easy for consumers to scan your ad and be whisked away to the desired page on your website.

It’s a great idea to create customized landing pages to go with each of your ads. That way, you can direct consumers to the content on your site that’s most related to what they saw in your ad. For example, if yours is a kitchen supply company and you run a print ad about a sale on pots and pans, create a landing page that contains the sale items, rather than making consumers land on your homepage and sort through kitchen appliances, utensils, and linens to find the on-sale pans.

Finally, including your social handles in print ads makes it easy for consumers to find the rest of your online presence, beyond your website. Because social often provides consumers a sense of the people and heart behind the brand, linking out to social can help humanize your business and build a more meaningful connection with consumers.

Find the Right Blend of Print & Digital

There are many ways to go when it comes to print advertising. Whether it’s a local paper, niche magazine, direct mailer sent to consumers via snail mail, or flyers or brochures for your retail store, it’s important that you find the right print solution for your business.

And part of finding the right print solution is finding a new way to align each print campaign with the right digital asset. For example, maybe the ad in your local paper drives readers to a specific page on your website ““ one that speaks to the content of the ad. But the in-store postcards you drop into shoppers’ bags include your social handle and encourage folks to take a picture of their new purchase and tag you on Instagram or Facebook.

You’ve likely invested a lot of time and effort into building out an incredible digital marketing strategy. And that’s a smart move for any modern business. But those brands who recognize the lasting value of a print campaign can enhance their digital strategy by creating complementary content in the form of print ads.

If you’re ready to add a killer print ad campaign to your digital marketing strategy, give us a call.

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