With so much emphasis on digital marketing these days, one might think print advertising a thing of the past. On the contrary, integrating print ads into a full-funnel strategy can help marketers accomplish a variety of goals that would be more difficult to achieve through online efforts alone.
What kinds of objectives in which parts of the buyer’s journey are best served by print ads? Here, members of Forbes Agency Council explore when and where it makes sense to enhance a marketing strategy with print ads and how effective these tactics can be.
1. Support New Healthcare Product Launches With Ads In Scientific Journals
In healthcare and research, scientific journals are still often consumed in printed form. Leveraging print advertising opportunities within these journals is an excellent way to support a new product launch. Associating with these publications will not only aid in generating awareness but also help build credibility for the product, as these are reputable journals that healthcare professionals and scientists respect. -Jill Collins,Audacity Health
2. Use Direct Mail For These Specific Purposes At Various Funnel Stages
Direct mail can be used to enhance the customer experience and optimize interactions through the buyer journey. Targeted or triggered mailings can be used during the awareness stage to prime prospects. Retargeted mail can be a competitive edge during consideration. An irresistible offer during the decision stage can influence conversion, while a strong retention program will establish brand affinity. -Erik Koenig,SeQuel Response
3. Reach Niche Audiences With Ads In Print Publications And Local Papers
Print is a powerful way to reach niche audiences if you can correlate the publication to a specific user base, whether that is fly fishermen, classical music lovers or residents of a specific town. But don’t take the ad representative’s word for it—make sure that the paper’s audience is engaged and relevant to your communications program. -Nathan Miller,Miller Ink, Inc.
4. Increase Brand Awareness Through Imagery And Key Messages In Print
Print advertising works best at the top of the marketing funnel to increase brand awareness, settling your brand’s imagery and key messages in perhaps the far corner of your viewers’ minds. From there, the next touches in your marketing strategy will have a firmer foundation to build on, increasing your chances of conversions. -Bryanne DeGoede,BLND Public Relations
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5. Integrate QR Codes To Blur The Lines Between Online And Offline
Integrating QR codes is a great way to blur the lines between online and offline. This can work at all stages of the funnel! At the top of the funnel, drive audiences to follow your social media profiles for thought leadership. Midfunnel, print ads can drive readers to customer stories and competitive comparisons online. And at the bottom of the funnel, QR codes can invite audiences to download an instant coupon for use in-store. -Beth Newton,alpha | BRAVO
6. Use Print Ads As Lead Magnets That Point Audiences To Your Website
Having a lead magnet that points your audience to your website is a great way to strategically use print advertising. Once you have a potential customer looking at your website, you can then capture their details and remarket to them, adding extra value to your print campaign, which often may be too passive otherwise. -Adrian Falk,Believe Advertising & PR
Creating ambiguous print campaigns and outlining that something new is coming (with simply your logo and a date) can build early anticipation. You can fold this into your overall marketing strategy by “leaking” certain hints and clues on things such as billboards and buses and dropping other hints on your social media profiles. As the date approaches, you can take full advantage of the anticipation you’ve built. -Bernard May,National Positions
8. Look For Ways To Spur The Audience To Take Action In Passive Print Ads
A strong call to action is key in any advertisement, but in passive print ads, look for opportunities to spur the audience to take action—integrate technology such as a QR code to make it easy, for example, or use an incentive such as a limited-time offer to encourage contact or sales. This moves the target further down the sales funnel and allows you to track the effectiveness of the ad. -Michelle Abdow,Market Mentors, LLC
9. Tie Print Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy To Help Users Connect The Dots
Keep it simple, and tie your print marketing into your broader digital marketing strategy. For example, keep your print message short and easy to follow, and allow an easy way to interact via social media, websites or other online elements to bring a user closer to your brand. Use hashtags, short links, easy domains and simple social profile names. Make it easy to connect the dots. -David Kley,Web Design and Company
10. Drive Awareness And Continue The Story With Tech-Driven CTAs
Traditional ads drive awareness, so they are fabulous for top- and middle-of-the-funnel tactics. A great print ad connects with the readers’ hearts, piques their interest and has a call to action to learn more. QR codes, augmented reality and interactive experiences are amazing technologies that can continue the story from a print ad. -Katie Schibler Conn,KSA Marketing
11. Nurture Your Most Qualified Prospects With Personalized Print Ads
When done correctly, print advertising can hugely impact your overall marketing strategy and drive revenue. Consider leveraging print advertising to nurture your most qualified prospects in the funnel. You can personalize print ads that are sent to an individual prospect to truly connect with them at the exact stage that specific prospect is at in the buyer’s journey. -Elyse Flynn Meyer,Prism Global Marketing Solutions
12. Use UGC As Print Ads To Add A Special Personalization Layer To Any Funnel
Usage of user-generated content as print ads can add a special personalization layer to any marketing funnel. The idea is to include your customer’s creativity directly in your print advertising to attract more customers. For example, a bedding company may include a handwritten card in every purchase showing how users creatively use their products, which would connect with new customers. -Candice Georgiadis,Digital Day